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n region were almost essential to the support of the troops in Virginia, in view of contracted facilities for transportation; and the product of the Kanawha Salines alone — the only regular and very extensive salt works in the country — were worth a strenuous effort. This portion of Virginia, too, was a great military highway for United States troops, en route to the West; and once securely lodged in its almost impregnable fastnesses, their ejection would be practically impossible. General Garnett--an old army officer of reputation and promisewas already in that field, with a handful of troops from the Virginia army; among them a regiment from about Richmond, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Pegram. The Federals, grasping at once the full importance of this position, had sent to meet this demonstration an army under General McClellan, with Rosecrans commanding the advance. There had been no collision, but its approach could not be long delayed; and the South wanted men. In t
ch aggravated by her own peculiar loss. Some of her best men had been in the fight, and all that could be learned of them was that they were scattered, or shot. Garnett was dead; the gallant DeLagnel was shot down fighting to the last; and Pegram was a prisoner — the gallant regiment he led cut up and dispersed! Only a few dae, by the agonies of suspense as to the fate of their loved ones. It was three days after the news of the disaster reached the War Department before the death of Garnett was a certainty; and longer time still elapsed ere the minor casualties were known. When they did come, weeping sounded through many a Virginia home for its stayken and beaten, the men had fought well in the face of heavy odds; and that their officers had striven by every effort of manhood to hold them to their duty. General Garnett had exposed himself constantly, and was killed by a sharp-shooter at Carrock's Ford-over which he had brought the remnant of his army by a masterly retreat-wh
urces. Down to zero dropped the spirits of the people; down to a depth of despairing gloom, only the deeper from the height of their previous exultation. The dark cloud from Gettysburg rolled back over Richmond, darkened and made dense a hundred fold in the transit. The terrible carnage of that field was exaggerated by rumor. Pickett's gallant division was declared annihilated; it was believed that the army had lost 20,000 men; and it was known that such priceless blood as that of Garnett, Pettigrew, Armistead, Pender, Kemper, Semmes and Barksdale had sealed the dreadful defeat. It only needed what came the next day, to dash the last drop from the cup of hope the people still tried to hold to their lips; and that was the news of the fall of Vicksburg, on the 4th of July. And out of the thick darkness that settled on the souls of all, came up the groan of inquiry and blame. Why had the campaign failed? they asked. Why had General Lee been forced into battle on gro