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[372] him. He also gave me a copy of a dispatch that he had addressed to General Lee the day before, in which the same feeling was expressed. I therefore accepted the command, confident of the same loyal and cordial support from that distinguished officer, in the final operations of the war, that he had given me at it; commencement. This was done with a full consciousness on my part, however, that we could have no other object, in continuing the war, than to obtain fair terms of peace; for the Southern cause must have appeared hopeless then, to all intelligent and dispassionate Southern men. I therefore resumed the duties of my military grade with no hope beyond that of contributing to obtain peace on such conditions as, under the circumstances, ought to satisfy the Southern people and their Government.

The “available forces” were about five thousand men of the Army of Tennessee, and the troops of the department, amounting to about eleven thousand. Two thousand of the former, commanded by Major-General Stevenson, were near Charlotte. A thousand, under Lieutenant-General Stewart, were near Newberry, approaching Charlotte; and two thousand, under command of Major-General Cheatham, were between Newberry and Augusta, also marching toward Charlotte. The troops of the department, under Lieutenant-General Hardee's command, were moving from Charleston to Cheraw; eleven hundred of them were South Carolina militia and reserves, not expected to leave the State. Major-General Sherman had seventy thousand men in his four corps, and about five thousand cavalry in Kilpatrick's division.

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