oint, at this juncture, of the strategy which enveloped a continent.
Nashville, the capital of the state, is situated on the south bank of the Cumberland river, thirty or forty miles from the Kentucky line, and midway between the eastern and western boundaries.
It is connected with the North by a single railroad, starting from Louisville, on the Ohio, two hundred miles away.
Along this road the principal reinforcements and supplies had passed for Sherman and Thomas since the beginning of April.
Southward, two lines run from Nashville to the great railway which connects Chattanooga with the Mississippi—the Memphis and Charleston road.
One of these lines runs south-east, and strikes the Chattanooga road at Stevenson; the other extends south-westerly, to Decatur.
Nashville is thus at the apex of a triangle, and was by far the most important strategic point west of the Alleghanies and north of the Tennessee.
On the road to Stevenson, the principal positions are Murfreesboroa, Tull
layed was Grant's permission of October 11th, for Sherman to make his march; so that Grant was actually preparing and arranging for Sherman's campaign, before Sherman knew that he would be allowed to start.
It was at Ship's Gap that a courier brought me the cipher message from General Halleck which instructed me that the authorities at Washington were willing I should undertake to march across Georgia.—Sherman's Memoirs, Vol.
II., page 156. Sherman was at Ship's Gap on the 16th and 17th of October.
On the 17th, Grant said to Sherman: The moment I know you have started south, stores will be shipped to Hilton Head, where there are transports ready to take them to Savannah.
In case you go south, I would not propose holding anything south of Chattanooga, certainly not south of Dalton.
Destroy in such case all military stores at Atlanta.
On the 21st, he said to Halleck: The stores intended for Sherman might now be started for Hilton Head.
But the general-in-chief was at this