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[573] disregard of the wants of our worn and hard-pressed defenders, been ordered to proceed immediately to Richmond, thus leaving them to starvation, and the necessity to surrender, in order to enable the executive department to escape; as I had no personal knowledge of the matter, however, it was necessary to quote those whose functions brought them into closer communication with the subject to which the calumny related.

On the night of the 2d, the same on which General Ewell evacuated the defenses of the capital and General Lee withdrew from Petersburg, I left Richmond and reached Danville the next morning.

Neither the president of the railroad, who was traveling with me, nor I knew that there was anything which required attention at Amelia Court House or any other station on the route. Had General Lee's letter to me, written on the afternoon of the 2d, been received at Richmond, which I think it was not, the fact that he proposed to march to Amelia Court House would have been known; it would have been unjust to the officers of the commissary department, however, to doubt that any requisition made or to be made for supplies had received or would receive the most prompt and efficient attention. If however, I had known that General Lee wanted supplies placed at Amelia Court House, I would certainly have inquired as to the time of reaching that station, and have asked to have the train stopped so as to enable me to learn whether or not the supplies were in depot. The unfounded calumny, after perhaps having been given more consideration than it was worth, is now dismissed.

Though the occupation of Danville was not expected to be permanent, immediately after arriving there rooms were obtained, and the different departments resumed their routine labors. Nothing could have exceeded the kindness and hospitality of the patriotic citizens. They cordially gave us an ‘Old Virginia welcome,’ and with one heart contributed in every practicable manner to cheer and aid us in the work in which we were engaged.

The town was surrounded by an entrenchment as faulty in location as in construction. I promptly proceeded to correct the one and improve the other, while energetic efforts were being made to collect supplies of various kinds for General Lee's army.

The design, as previously arranged with General Lee, was that, if he should be compelled to evacuate Petersburg, he would proceed to Danville, make a new defensive line of the Dan and Roanoke rivers, unite his army with the troops in North Carolina, and make a combined

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