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[534] material to the mass. Over its rampart the Confederate flag defiantly floated until the city of Charleston was evacuated.

Every effort that our circumstances permitted was immediately and thenceforward made to collect troops for the defense of North Carolina. General Hood's army, the troops under command of General D. H. Hill at Augusta, General Hardee's force, a few thousand men under General Bragg, and the cavalry commands of Generals Hampton and Wheeler, constituted our entire available strength to oppose Sherman's advance. These were collected as rapidly as our broken communications and the difficulty of gathering and transporting supplies would permit.

After the fall of Columbia, General Beauregard, commanding the military department, retreated toward North Carolina. The army of Tennessee (Hoods's) was moving from the west to make a junction with the troops retiring from South Carolina. The two forces, if united with Hardee's command, then moving in the same direction, would, it was hoped, be able to make effective resistance to Sherman's advance. In any event it was needful that they should be kept in such relation to Lee's army as to make a junction with it practicable. In this state of affairs I was informed that General Beauregard, after his troops had entered North Carolina, had decided to march to the eastern part of that state. This would leave the road to Charlotte open to Sherman's pursuing column, which, interposing, would prevent the troops coming from the west from joining Beauregard, enable him to destroy our force in detail by the joint action of his own army and that of Schofield, commanding the district of Wilmington. The anxiety created by this condition of affairs caused me, after full correspondence with General Lee, to suggest to him to give his views to General Beauregard, and I sent to General Beauregard's headquarters the chief engineer, General J. F. Gilmer, he being possessed fully of my opinions and wishes. General Beauregard modified his proposed movements so as to keep his forces on the left of the enemy's line of march until the troops coming from Hood's army could make a junction. These were the veteran commands of Stevenson, Cheatham, and Stewart. Lieutenant General S. D. Lee, though he had not entirely recovered from a wound received in the Tennessee campaign, was at Augusta, Gorgia, collecting the fragments of Hood's army to follow the troops previously mentioned. They had not moved together, and the first-named division had reached Beauregard's army in South Carolina.

Though it contained an implied compliment, General Lee was not a little disturbed by occasional applications made to have troops detached

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