“ My soldiers will find plenty to eat in your barns and storehouses.”
The exultant smiles of his visitors were quickly changed to looks of astonishment and alarm.
“You would not rob us!
You would not take from non-combatants!”
“A commander's first duty is to provide for his troops,” replied the general, blandly.
“Your friends destroyed my supplies, and I must take others wherever they may be found.”
Remonstrances could not prevail, nor indignant protests, nor harmless threats, nor angry tears.
The troops must be fed, and the orders were given to seize all necessary supplies.
was now convinced, if he had not been at an earlier stage of the war, that the rebels, who wickedly began the rebellion, and prosecuted it with such obstinacy, hatred, and cruelty, should be made to feel the rigors of war, and that treacherous and malignant non-combatants — those innocents whose “sufferings” Franklin Pierce
bewailed — should not be spared.
So the country was stripped, and the army was fed. The rebels paid dearly for this raid on Grant
's communications, not only there, but throughout the South
wherever the Union
armies marched, for the lesson which he then learned was afterwards thoroughly and justly practised.
took command, he not only lacked the confidence of experienced soldiers, but he manifested insubordination, with overweening conceit criticised the orders of his superior, claimed the expedition as his own, and sought to establish his independence of Grant
His conduct was so offensive, and so