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[410]

During the military operations preceding the armistice, there were ample supplies of provision and forage for our forces in the railroad-depots of North Carolina. We were forming similar depots in South Carolina, then, and collecting provisions abundantly, in a district that had been thought destitute. Early in March, when the wagons of the Army of Tennessee reached Augusta, their number was so large compared with that of the troops, that the officer in charge of them was directed to employ three hundred in the gaps in the line of railroad across South Carolina; and Colonel W. E. Moore1 was desired to use one hundred in collecting provisions to form a line of depots between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Washington, Georgia. Before the 20th, Colonel Moore reported that more than seven hundred thousand rations had been collected in those depots.

The meeting between General Sherman and myself, and the armistice that followed, produced great uneasiness in the army. It was very commonly believed among the soldiers that there was to be a surrender, by which they would be prisoners of war, to which they were very averse. This apprehension caused a great number of desertions between the 19th and 24th of April--not less than four thousand in the infantry and artillery, and almost as many from the cavalry; many of them rode off artillery horses, and mules belonging to the baggage-trains.

In the afternoon of the 24th, the President of the Confederacy, then in Charlotte, communicated to me, by telegraph, his approval of the terms of the convention of the 17th and 18th, and, within an hour,

1 At his own suggestion.

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