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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 26. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), William Henry Chase Whiting, Major-General C. S. Army. (search)
it was to receive a fatal blow—a wound which must endanger the life of Lee's army. It was difficult of defence—easy to attack by one or more of a number of routes. Situated twenty-five miles from the fortifications at the nearest mouth of the Cape Fear, it was yet only about six miles from points on the coast, where a landing might be effected. Assailable not only here, and at the mouth of the river, by way of Oak Island, below Caswell, and an expedition via Southport, or by march from Kingston or Newbern, the enemy's cavalry having occupied the line as far as New Hope, in Onslow; or, again, by attack upon Caswell or Fort Fisher. Its preservation was a source of deep anxiety. It was in fact, the second capital of the Confederacy. Here the wharves were lined with the swift, narrow, smoke-colored, blockade-running steamships taking away cotton and bringing supplies. Men of all nationalities were upon these, and possibly spies. The beautiful snow-white ensign of the South, wit
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 26. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.11 (search)
pushing back the victor of Gettysburg to Centreville, and defying him at Mine Run; and strove with ill-fated and shining valor to regain at Franklin what had been lost at Atlanta. In the long struggle from Dalton to Atlanta, he illustrated the stubborn valor of his race. Ragged, starved, outnumbered, barefooted, without money, in freezing storms, without hope save in the miracles of his valor and the skill of his leaders, he concentrated what he could of scant numbers, and won victory at Kingston and Bentonville, in the vain hope to save North Carolina, and repel the army which had struck at the life of Richmond from its rear. Here he struggled to the last at Blakely and Mobile, and vainly gave his blood at Selma. One of Lee's last dispatches to Richmond gives the sad picture of the suffering of the troops everywhere: Yesterday, the most inclement day of the winter, the troops had to be maintained in line of battle; having been in the same condition two previous days and n