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[108] at the river, urging him to come on with his command with all possible speed.

Arriving at Washington, the President was hospitably received and entertained at the house of a private citizen, and preparations were made to resist the expected attack as effectually as possible with the small force at his disposal. Hie soon ascertained, however, from the reports of scouts sent out into the surrounding country, that there were none but small and scattered squads of Federal soldiers in the neighborhood.

Meantime, advices were received from General Breckinridge, to the effect that, in the demoralized condition of his troops, it was almost impossible to hold them together. They were demanding money, and he asked that the Secretary of the Treasury should send some specie, to make a partial payment to the troops, hoping by this means to prevent a disintegration of the command. The specie was sent, but the troops did not come forward.

Under these circumstances the President determined to abandon the design of taking the troops with him, and to endeavor to make his own way, with only a small party, by a detour to the southward of the parts of the country occupied by the enemy, across the Chattahoochee. It was believed that Generals Taylor and Forrest were yet holding the field in Alabama and Mississippi, and that many soldiers who had not been surrendered and paroled in Virginia or North Carolina, would join those commands and might constitute a formidable force. In the event, however, of finding the position in those States untenable, it was then his purpose to cross the Mississippi river, in the hope of continuing the struggle with the forces yet free to operate in the “Transmississippi Department,” until the Government of the United States should agree to such terms of peace as would secure to the States of the Confederacy at least those rights which it had declared there was no intention to invade.

Calling for Captain Campbell, the President announced his purpose, and asked for ten volunteers of that officer's company, if they were to be had, with the understanding that they were to incur any danger, or endure any hardship, that might be necessary; to obey any order, and to ask no questions. The whole company promptly volunteered when the call was made, but ten trusty men

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