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February 3rd, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 5.35
esident, who made a short address, to which Grant made a suitable reply. He was informed that it was desirable that he should come east to command all the armies of the United States, and give his personal supervision to the Army of the Potomac. On the 10th he visited General Meade at Brandy Station, and saw many of his leading officers, but he returned to Washington the next day and went on to Nashville, to which place he had summoned me, then absent on my Meridian expedition. On February 3d, 1864, General Sherman started from Vicksburg with two columns of infantry under Generals McPherson and Hurlbut, and marched to Meridian, Mississippi, to break up the Mobile and Ohio and the Jackson and Selma railroads. His force was about 20,000 strong. A force of cavalry, 10,000 strong, under General W. Sooy Smith, set out from Memphis on the 11th, intending to cooperate by driving Forrest's cavalry from northern Mississippi, but Smith was headed off by Forrest and defeated in an engagem
March 4th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 5.35
The Grand strategy of the last year of the War. re-arranged from the Grand strategy of the War of the rebellion, by General Sherman, printed in the century magazine for February, 1888, and from a letter by General Sherman to the editor, printed in that periodical for July, 1887. the figures in the text are from Phisterer's Statistical record. (Charles Scribner's Sons.) by William T. Sherman, General, U. S. A. On the 4th day of March, 1864, General U. S. Grant was summoned to Washington from Nashville to receive his commission of lieutenant-general, the highest rank then known in the United States, and the same that was conferred on Washington in 1798. He reached the capital on the 7th, had an interview for the first time with Mr. Lincoln, and on the 9th received his commission at the hands of the President, who made a short address, to which Grant made a suitable reply. He was informed that it was desirable that he should come east to command all the armies of the United St
April 4th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 5.35
the Union forces had resolved themselves by reason of preceding events, and in due time with wonderful precision laid out the work which each one should undertake. His written instructions to me at Nashville were embraced in the two letters of April 4th and April 19th, 1864, both in his own handwriting, which I still possess, and which, in my judgment, are as complete as any of those of the Duke of Wellington contained in the twelve volumes of his published letters and correspondence. With ersburg. I now turn with a feeling of extreme delicacy to the conduct of that other campaign from Chattanooga to Atlanta, Savannah, and Raleigh, which with liberal discretion was committed to me by General Grant in his minute instructions of April 4th and April 19th, 1864. To all military students these letters must be familiar, because they have been published again and again, and there never was and never can be raised a question of rivalry or claim between us as to the relative merits of
April 19th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 5.35
had resolved themselves by reason of preceding events, and in due time with wonderful precision laid out the work which each one should undertake. His written instructions to me at Nashville were embraced in the two letters of April 4th and April 19th, 1864, both in his own handwriting, which I still possess, and which, in my judgment, are as complete as any of those of the Duke of Wellington contained in the twelve volumes of his published letters and correspondence. With the month of May c turn with a feeling of extreme delicacy to the conduct of that other campaign from Chattanooga to Atlanta, Savannah, and Raleigh, which with liberal discretion was committed to me by General Grant in his minute instructions of April 4th and April 19th, 1864. To all military students these letters must be familiar, because they have been published again and again, and there never was and never can be raised a question of rivalry or claim between us as to the relative merits of the manner in whi
May 4th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 5.35
intrenched behind the Rapidan, and I to attack Joe Johnston and push him to and beyond Atlanta. This was as far as human foresight could penetrate. Though Meade commanded the Army of the Potomac, Grant virtually controlled it, and on the 4th of May, 1864, he crossed the Rapidan, and at noon of the 5th attacked Lee. He knew that a certain amount of fighting, killing, had to be done to accomplish his end, and also to pay the penalty of former failures. In the wilderness there was no room for common assertion that we of the North won the war by brute force, and not by courage and skill. From the Mountain campaigns in Georgia; or, War scenes on the W. & A. published by the Western & Atlantic R. R. Co. On the historic 4th day of May, 1864, the Confederate army at my front lay at Dalton, Georgia, composed, according to the best authority, of about 45,000 men [see also p. 281], commanded by Joseph E. Johnston, who was equal in all the elements of generalship to Lee, and who w
September 2nd, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 5.35
y his line of supplies, because soldiers, like other mortals, must have food. Our extension to the right brought on numerous conflicts, but nothing worthy of note, till about the end of August I resolved to leave one corps to protect our communications to the rear, and move with the other five to a point (Jonesboro‘) on the railroad twenty-six miles below Atlanta, not fortified. This movement was perfectly strategic, was successful, and resulted in our occupation of Atlanta, on the 2d of September, 1864. The result had a large effect on the whole country at the time, for solid and political reasons. I claim no special merit to myself, save that I believe I followed the teachings of the best masters of the science of war of which I had knowledge; and, better still, I had pleased Mr. Lincoln, who wanted success very much. But I had not accomplished all, for Hood's army, the chief objective, had escaped. Then began the real trouble. We were in possession of Atlanta, and Hood rem
October, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 5.35
eaking out of the war, a lawyer in good practice, an intense thinker, and a man of vehement expression; a soldier by force of circumstances rather than of education or practice, yet of infinite use to his chief throughout the war and up to the hour of his death as Secretary of War, in 1869. General Rawlins was enthusiastically devoted to his friends in the Western army, with which he had been associated from Cairo to Vicksburg and Chattanooga, and doubtless, like many others at the time (October, 1864) feared that I was about to lead his comrades in a wild-goose chase, not fully comprehending the objects aimed at, or that I on the spot had better means of accurate knowledge than he in the distance. He did not possess the magnificent equipoise of General Grant, nor the confidence in my military sagacity which his chief did, and. I am not at all surprised to learn that he went to Washington from City Point to obtain an order from the President or Secretary of War to compel me, with an
November 30th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 5.35
e were all aiming at — victory and peace from Virginia to Texas. He was one of the many referred to by Mr. Lincoln who sat in darkness, but after the event saw a great light. He never revealed to me the doubts he had had.--W. T. S. Meantime Hood, whom I had left at and near Florence, 317 miles to my rear, having completely reorganized and resupplied his army, advanced against Thomas at Nashville, who had also made every preparation. Hood first encountered Schofield at Franklin, November 30th, 1864, attacked him boldly behind his intrenchments, and sustained a positive check, losing 6252 of his best men, including Generals Cleburne and Adams, who were Ration-day at Chattanooga in 1864. from a War-time sketch. killed on the very parapets, to Schofield's loss of 2326. Nevertheless he pushed on to Nashville, which he invested. Thomas, one of the grand characters of our civil war, nothing dismayed by danger in front or rear, made all his preparations with cool and calm delibe
December 21st, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 5.35
cupy Atlanta first, and had driven Hood off to a divergent line of operations far to the west, it was good strategy to leave him to a subordinate force, and with my main army to join Grant at Richmond. The most practicable route to Richmond was nearly a thousand miles in distance, too long for a single march; hence the necessity to reach the sea-coast for a new base. Savannah, distant three hundred miles, was the nearest point, and this distance we accomplished from November 12th to December 21st, 1864. The army reached the vicinity of Savannah, December 10th, but did not get possession of the city until the 21st.--editors. According to the Duke of Wellington, an army moves upon its belly, not upon its legs; and no army dependent on wagons can operate more than a hundred miles from its base, because the teams going and returning consume the contents of their wagons, leaving little or nothing for the maintenance of the men and animals at the front, who are fully employed in fighti
December 26th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 5.35
esults. Alone I never measured it as now my eulogists do, but coupled with Thomas's acts about Nashville, and those about Richmond directed in person by General Grant, the March to the sea, with its necessary corollary, the march northward to Raleigh, became vastly important, if not actually conclusive of the war. Mr. Lincoln was the wisest man of our day, and more truly and kindly gave voice to my secret thoughts and feeling when he wrote me at Savannah from Washington under date of December 26th, 1864: When you were about leaving Atlanta for the Atlantic coast I was anxious, if not fearful; but feeling that you were the better judge, and remembering nothing risked, nothing gained, I did not interfere. Now the undertaking being a success, the honor is all yours; for I believe none of us went further than to acquiesce; and taking the work of General Thomas into account, as it should be taken, it is indeed a great success. Not only does it afford the obvious and immediate milit
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