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[374] although still suffering from a wound received in Tennessee, had taken the field in this extremity. At least two-thirds of the arms of these troops had been lost in Tennessee.1 They had, therefore, depended on the workshops of Alabama and Georgia for muskets, and had received but a partial supply. But this supply, and the additions that the Ordnance Department had the means of making to it, left almost thirteen hundred of that veteran infantry unarmed, and they remained so until the war ended. These detachments were without artillery and baggage-wagons, and consequently were not in condition to operate far from railroads.

In acknowledging General Lee's order, I gave him the substance of the preceding statement; believing, from the terms of that order, that he was not informed of the numbers or positions of the troops with which he expected me to “drive back Sherman.” On assuming command, I found difficulties in the way of prompt movement, besides the dispersed state of the troops. They were due, apparently, to the scarcity of food in General Lee's camps. The officers of the commissariat in North Carolina, upon whom the army in Virginia depended for subsistence, were instructed by the Commissary-General, just then, to permit none of the provisions they collected in that State to be used by the troops serving in it. Similar instructions were sent to me from the War Department. Under them, I was to depend upon the wagons of the army for the collection of provisions during military operations. Such a mode of supplying an army in a thinly-peopled country, made

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S. D. Lee (2)
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