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|History of Cambria County, V.2|
|HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY.||61|
On March 9, 1864, Mr. Lincoln made Gen. Grant the commander of all the armies, and on that day gave him his commission as lieutenant general, the highest rank then known.
Grant's plan was to move all the armies at the same time, to prevent the transferring of troops from one army to another as reinforcements. On the 18th of March he turned the command of all the western armies, comprising the Military Division of the Mississippi, to Maj.-Gen. W. T. Sherman, with the object of pursuing the Confederate army under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. He himself was to remain with the Army of the Potomac and look after Gen. Lee.
On May 4 Sherman began his march from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Atlanta, Georgia, with 98,797 men and 254 guns. Johnston's army, which the records show as having 84,328 men and 168 guns, were at Dalton, Georgia. Sherman's course was southeast for a distance of 140 miles. On the approach of Sherman's army, Johnston evacuated Dalton and took a stand at Resaca, where a battle took place, continuing from May 9 to 13, when Johnston retreated toward Calhoun. The armies met at Adairsville on the 17th and at Cassville on the 24th, and again the enemy were defeated. They fought at Tanner's Ferry on May 14, 15 and 16, and at New Hope Church from the 25th to 28th; at Big Shanty on June 3; Brush Mountain on the 20th, and Culp's Farm on the 22d; at Kennesaw Mountain on the 27th; Ruff's, July 3; Smyrna, the 4th, and at Chattahoochee on the 5th.
Gen. J. B. Hood superseded Gen. Johnston on July 18th; Sherman continued his victorious march and met Hood at Peachtree Creek, July 20; Ezra Church on the 28th, and the battle of Atlanta, on the 22d, whereupon Sherman began to place Atlanta under a siege, which continued until September, when he had a battle at Jonesboro, and on the 2d he occupied the city.
However, Hood escaped with 40,000 men and crossed the mountains to Decatur, Alabama, with the intention of invading Tennessee and Kentucky. He met Gen. Schofield at Franklin, Tennessee, on November 30, and was defeated. Hood then entrenched at Nashville, and on December 15 and 16 Gen. Thomas attacked and absolutely destroyed his army.
Sherman now proposed to join Grant and close the war. The most practical route for a march to Grant was one thousand miles. This was too great a distance for a single march, hence