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[580] handed the telegram to him. Some troopers encamped in the vicinity had collected to see me; they called to the gentleman who had the dispatch in his hand to read it, no doubt supposing it to be army news. He complied with their request, and a few, only taking in the fact, but not appreciating the evil it portended, cheered, as was natural at news of the fall of one they considered their most powerful foe. The man who invented the story of my having read the dispatch with exultation, had free scope for his imagination, as he was not present, and had no chance to know whereof he bore witness, even if there had been any foundation of truth for his fiction.

For an enemy so relentless in the war for our subjugation, we could not be expected to mourn; yet, in view of its political consequences, it could not be regarded otherwise than as a great misfortune to the South. He had power over the Northern people, and was without personal malignity toward the people of the South; his successor was without power in the North, and the embodiment of malignity toward the Southern people, perhaps the more so because he had betrayed and deserted them in the hour of their need. The war had now shrunk into narrow proportions, but the important consideration remained so to conduct it that, if failing to secure our independence, we might obtain a treaty or quasi-treaty of peace which would secure to the Southern states their political rights, and to the people thereof immunity from the plunder of their private property.

I found some cavalry at Charlotte, and soon had the satisfaction to increase them to five brigades. They had been on detached service, and were much reduced in numbers. Among the troopers who assembled there was the remnant of the command which had spread terror north of the Ohio, under the command of their dauntless leader, General John Hunt Morgan. Their present chief, worthy to be the successor of that hero, was General Basil Duke. Among the atrocious, cowardly acts of vindictive malice which marked the conduct of the enemy, none did or could surpass the brutality with which the dying and dead body of Morgan was treated. Hate, the offspring of fear, they might feel for the valorous soldier while he lived, but even the ignoble passion, vengeance, might have been expected to stop when life was extinct.

On April 13, 1865, General Johnston wrote to General Sherman as follows:

The results of the recent campaign in Virginia have changed the relative military condition of the belligerents. I am therefore induced to address you, in this form, the inquiry whether, to stop the further effusion of blood and the devastation of property, you are willing to make a temporary suspension of active

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