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[479] knowledge of the country, of the surrounding devoted population, of the auxiliary force to be expected under the circumstances, and our superiority in cavalry, it was not unreasonable to hope that retributive justice might overtake the ruthless invader.

My first object was to fill up the depleted ranks of the army, to bring the absentees and deserters back to the ranks, and to induce the governor and state officials to cooperate heartily and earnestly with the Confederate government in all measures that might be found necessary to give the proposed movement a reasonable prospect of success.

The avowed objection of the governor of Georgia to the acts of Congress providing for raising troops by conscription, and his persistent opposition to the authority of the Confederate executive to appoint the generals and staff officers of the volunteer organizations received from the states to form the provisional army of the Confederacy, caused him frequently to obstruct the government officials in the discharge of their duty, to withhold the assistance which he might be justly expected to render, and, in the contemplation of his own views of the duties and obligations of the executive and legislative departments of the general government, to lose sight of those important objects, the attainment of which an exalted patriotism might have told him depended on the cooperation of the state and Confederate governments. The inordinate exemption from military service as state officials of men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five (it was estimated that the number of exempts in November, 1864, amounted to fifteen thousand) was an abuse which I endeavored in vain to correct. If the majority of the men were thus exempted, and remained at home ‘that the army might be fed,’ really engaged in that important service, the end might be said to justify the means; for any less exigent demand, however, patriotism and humane consideration for the brave men at the front required that the number of these exempts should be reduced to the minimum, if, indeed, the number of those unfit for military duty was not, sufficient to perform this service. After a thorough inspection of the Army of Tennessee at Palmetto, after conference with several prominent Georgians, and notably with that pure patriot and distinguished statesman and soldier, General Howell Cobb, whose brain and heart and means and energies were all at the service of his country, I proceeded to Augusta during the first week of October, in order, with Generals Hardee and Cobb and other officers of prominence, to meet and confer with General Beauregard, whom I had just assigned to the command of the military division of the west, and to impart to him my views as to the exigencies of the

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