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Beef for the cavalry at commissary headquarters So seldom did the cavalry get a chance to enjoy the luxuries to be had at commissary headquarters that they took advantage of every opportunity. It is February, 1864, and the cavalry officer in the picture can look forward to a month or two more of fresh beef for his men. Then he will find his troop pounding by the desolate farmhouses and war-ridden fields, as the army advances on Richmond under Grant. While the infantry lay snug in winter-quarters, the troopers were busy scouring the Virginia hills for signs of the Confederates, or raiding their lines of communication and destroying their supplies. It took a large part of the time of the Northern and Southern infantry to repair the damage done by the cavalry. The cavalry often had to live by foraging, or go without food. Miles of railroad destroyed, bridges burned, telegraph wires cut, a sudden cessation of the source of supplies caused hundreds of miles of marching and counter-marching, beside the actual work of repairing by the engineering corps. It was Van Dorn's capture of Holly Springs that forced Grant to abandon his overland march against Vicksburg and return to Memphis in December, 1862.

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