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[309] repeated his remark that, in his opinion, it was my duty to offer such resolutions in the Senate. He said if he were to recommend peace negotiations publicly it would be almost equivalent to surrender. I told him I was aware of this, but, if he thought the chance for success desperate, I thought he ought to say so to the President. To this he made no reply. In the whole of this conversation he never said to me he thought the chances were over; but the tone and tenor of his remarks made that impression on my mind. He spoke of a recent affair in which the Confederates had repelled very gallantly an attempt of the Federals to break his line. The next day, as he rode along the lines, one of the soldiers would thrust forth his bare foot and say, “General, I have no shoes.” Another would declare, as he passed, “I am hungry; I haven't enough to eat.” These and other circumstances betraying the utmost destitution he repeated with a melancholy air and tone which I shall never forget.

Gen. Breckenridge came to me not long after this and repeated Lee's advice in so nearly the same words that I begun almost to suspect them of concert of action. I related to him the first transaction, as I had done to General Lee, and told him I saw no hope for peace unless the President would pledge himself to co-operate, which I hardly thought he would do. In this I may have been guilty of forgetting some high-sounding asseverations for peace in his first inaugural after the establishment of the Provisional Government, but I hardly think that my recent experience with him would have justified me in considering him as a firm and longproclaimed advocate for peace.

But how came it that we were in the terrible state of destitution described by Judge Campbell in his letter to General Breckenridge, dated March 5th, 1865. “At present,” he says, “these embarrassments have become so much accumulated that the late Commissary-General pronounces the problem of the subsistence of the army of Northern Virginia, in its present position,. unsolvable; and the present Commissary-General requires the fulfilment of conditions, though not unreasonable, nearly impossible. The remarks upon the subject of subsistence are applicable to the forage, fuel, and clothing requisite for the army service, and in regard to the supply of animals for cavalry and artillery. The transportation by railroad south of this city (Richmond) is now ”

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