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[515] were already beginning to prevail in the army for the lack of it. Being liable at any moment to an attack by more than double his number, General Johnston forbade all furloughs shortly after the battle of Bull Run, and the order was carried out most strictly until after the promulgationof the law aforesaid. Applications based upon the most urgent grounds, such as the death of parents, wives, or of partners in business, or summons before courts in cases where large amounts of property were involved, were even returned unread, further than to see that they were “applications for leaves of absence.” Even after the promulgation of the law its operation was delayed until the wintry weather had rendered the roads impassable. At length, on the 3d of February, an order was issued allowing furloughs to twenty per cent. of the number present for duty in each regiment, and the system thus introduced was adhered to until the close of the war. One or two per cent. of the force present for duty were allowed to be absent on furlough even during the most active campaigns, and in winter-quarters the percentage was very much increased. The soldier consequently felt that should extraordinary circumstances call for his presence at home, there was always a chance of obtaining furlough, and this very consciousness relieved his anxiety and made his long absences much more cheerful.

Nothing worthy of narration broke the monotony of winter-quarters, except changes of commanders in the brigades. General Cocke, a high-minded and gallant soldier, a devoted patriot, and a gentleman of cultivation and refinement, committed suicide in January at his home while on sick leave. He and his brigade had performed excellent service at the battle of Bull Run, but his health had failed on the approach of winter, and his mind had become affected, though so slightly, that no apprehensions were entertained of such result. He was a graduate of West Point, of the class of 1832, and served for two years afterward in the Second United States Artillery. After his death his brigade was commanded by Colonel R. E. Withers, the Senior Colonel present, until the latter part of February, when General George E. Pickett1 of Virginia was assigned to it. Hunton's regiment did not rejoin the brigade from Leesburg until March. Early in February General D. R. Jones was assigned to the command of a Georgia brigade,

1 As a Captain in the Ninth United States Infantry, General Pickett bore a prominent part in the “San Juan difficulty” with England in 1859. He graduated at West Point in 1846, and served in the Eighth United States Infantry in Mexico, receiving two brevets for gallantry.

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