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[56] at Memphis, except a sufficient garrison, down the river to commence operations, and entered earnestly into the movement which was to be under his general direction.

As McClernand's new levies arrived, they were sent to the same destination. Grant at the same time penetrated Mississippi, with the view of cooperating in the rear of Vicksburg. But his forces, though he had accomplished much, were insufficient to hold his long line of railroad communication, and still make advances. The rebels were wary, and, avoiding battle, suddenly cut his communications, and destroyed a large quantity of supplies, and he was obliged to fall back; while Sherman made an unsuccessful attack on the rebel position, on the Yazoo. But the cutting of his communications taught Grant to subsist his army on the enemy's country. The rebels were rejoicing over this disaster to the Union cause, which they exaggerated, and fancied that the national troops must either starve where they were, or retreat, demoralized and beaten, an easy prey for Forrest's active cavalry.

Some rebel women came one day to Grant's headquarters, smiling with exultation at the news they had heard. They thought to taunt him, “in a genteel way,” with his loss, and, as they supposed, his hopeless condition.

“What will you do, general,” asked one, “now that you have lost Holly Springs, and your soldiers will have nothing to eat?”

The general noticed, without appearing to, the glances exchanged by his visitors, and the taunting tone, which was but half concealed, and he quickly replied,--

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