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[68] Mobile bay, capturing Fort Morgan, etc., and the Federals held Pensacola, but had made no movements into the interior.

Major General Maury commanded the Confederate forces garrisoning Mobile and adjacent works, with Commodore Farrand, Confederate Navy, in charge of several armed vessels. Small bodies of troops were stationed at different points through the department, and Major General Forrest, with his division of cavalry, was in the Northeast Mississippi. Directing this latter officer to move his command across the Tennessee river, and use every effort to interrupt Sherman's communications south of Nashville, I proceeded to Mobile to inspect the fortifications; thence to Montgomery, to meet President Davis. The interview extended over many hours, and the military situation was freely discussed. Our next meeting was at Fortress Monroe, where, during his confinement, I obtained permission to visit him. The closing scenes of the great drama succeeded each other with startling rapidity. Sherman marched, unopposed, to the sea. Hood was driven from Nashville across the Tennessee, and asked to be relieved. Assigned to this duty I met him near Tupelo, North Mississippi, and witnessed the melancholy spectacle presented by a retreating army. Guns, small-arms and accoutrements lost, men without shoes or blankets, and this in a winter of unusual severity for that latitude. Making every effort to re-equip this force, I suggested to General Lee, then commanding all the armies of the Confederacy, that it should be moved to the Carolinas, to interpose between Sherman's advance and his (Lee's) lines of supply, and, in the last necessity, of retreat. The suggestion was adopted, and this force so moved. General Wilson, with a well-appointed and ably-led command of Federal cavalry, moved rapidly through North Alabama, seized Selma, and, turning east to Montgomery, continued into Georgia.

General Canby, commanding the Union armies in the Southwest, advanced up the eastern shore of Mobile bay and invested Spanish Fort and Blakely, important Confederate works in that quarter. After repulsing an assault, General Maury, in accordance with instructions, withdrew his garrisons, in the night, to Mobile, and then evacuated the city, falling back to Meridian, on the line of the Mobile and Ohio Railway. General Forrest was drawn in to the same point, and the little army, less than eight thousand of all arms, held in readiness to discharge such duties as the waning fortunes of the “cause” and the honor of its arms might demand.

Intelligence of Lee's surrender reached us. Staff officers from Johnston and Sherman came across the country to inform Canby

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