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[171] the enemy's line. This delay was the cause of some wonder to ourselves, until, in subsequently passing over, we observed the lean state of General Lee's defences, and how poorly our lines were lined with defenders. The ground between the two armies was covered with spent minnie balls, and it was obvious that if no more carnage had ensued it was not for the want of mutual ill — will *and attempts between the combatants. A short time brought us to the river, over which we were conducted to the boat which received us, and subsequently conducted us to the place of meeting. Here we were courteously received by General Grant and his officers, and we had abundant means to compare the resources of the respective and opposing lines. Many of the officers in General Grant's lines loudly expressed their desire for peace, wishes which we did not hesitate to reciprocate. Among them was General Meade, who told us he was near being arrested in Chicago at the commencement of the war for expressing such desires, and the opinion that the contest would result like the Kilkenney cat fight; and who now, said he, will say that such an opinion was absurd? Some of us said he had heard the conjecture that General Lee had already fought as many pitched battles as Napoleon in his Italian campaigns. General Meade said he did not doubt but he had, for many of his skirmishes, as they were called, would have ranked as battles in Napoleon's campaigns. The officers were courteous in their comments on their enemies, and many of them seemed mindful of old acquaintanceship and old ties. But soon General Grant began to receive returns to his telegrams from President Lincoln and Mr. Seward. A copy of our instructions was transmitted to President Lincoln, and now commenced our troubles. The President and his secretary answered promptly that they could not negotiate on the basis of two countries. President Lincoln said he could negotiate on no hypothesis but one of reunion. We were bound by positive instructions on our side, and could make no relaxation of those instructions on that head. As these difficulties seemed to increase by the persistency on both sides, all parties were annoyed by the hitch. Not only General Grant's officers, but we ourselves were anxious to know if there was any chance of settlement and on what terms. It was interesting to us to know whether the other party was aware of our real situation, but nothing occurred to satisfy us on that point; and yet with the system of spies and deserters on both parts, and the notoriety of our state of destitution at home, it seemed impossible to suppose

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