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[563] last council of the Confederacy. Davis, who had hitherto commanded with all the rigor of an autocrat, found himself powerless and deserted. From this day forth he was little better than a fugitive, for although his escort gave him and his wagon train nominal company and protection till be had reached the village of Washington, just within the northeastern boundary of Georgia, they had long since learned the hopelessness of further resistance, and now began to despair even of successful flight. A division of National cavalry, under Stoneman, and a brigade under Palmer, had already burst from the mountains of North Carolina, and were in hot pursuit; while rumors reached him of another mounted force, sweeping destructively through Alabama and Georgia, cutting off, by its wide extended march, the only route to the trans-Mississippi and the far Southwest.

In order that we may properly understand the difficulties which were now rapidly encompassing Davis, and which ultimately led to his capture, let us leave him at Little Washington and consider the movements of the force then marching through Alabama and Georgia. It consisted of three divisions of cavalry, each nearly five thousand strong, an aggregate of nearly fifteen thousand men, all splendidly mounted, armed, and equipped, and, what was better still, inspired by the belief that they were invincible. It will be remembered that after the capture of Selma, on April 2d (which took place at nightfall of the very Sunday that Davis fled from Richmond), and the passage of the victorious cavalry to the south side of the Alabama, their march was directed to the eastward by the way of Montgomery, Columbus, West Point, and Macon; while a detached brigade, under Croxton, moved rapidly in the same direction, by a more northern route, through Jasper, Talladega, and La Grange. The limits of this sketch forbid a detailed narrative of how these gallant troopers captured the last stronghold of the Confederacy, pausing in their march to raise the National flag over the first rebel capitol; how the astonished rebel ladies at the beautiful village of Tuskegee bedecked their horses with flowers as a reward for perfect discipline and good behavior; how they spared one printing press, claimed by a strong-mined woman, upon the condition that “she and her descendants, unto the fourth generation, should permit nothing but Bibles, Testaments, and school books to be printed upon it,” and destroyed another, which had fled from them already through four States; or how two of Iowa's most gallant soldiers, Winslow and Noble, led by the intrepid General Upton, under the cover of darkness, broken only by the incessant flash of fifty-two cannons, carried the works which covered the bridges across the Chattahoochee river

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