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“ [142] the war than to obtain fair terms of peace; for the Southern cause must have appeared hopeless then to all intelligent and dispassionate Southern men.”

With these instructions and this natural feeling, Johnston gathered from all quarters, as near as I can estimate, from 20,000 to 25,000 men.

March 18th Slocum's wing was continuing its advance toward Bentonville. My wing the same day upon the next road to the south was doing the same thing, but from the character of the country I was obliged to deviate so much that our wings were separated more and more from each other till Logan turned northward and encamped near Alexander Benton's, about 11 miles south of Bentonville, while Blair was back near Troublefield's store. I was then with Logan's head of column and General Sherman was with Blair's.

Slocum at the same time appeared to be abreast of Logan, perhaps six miles to his left northwest of him. We had but little resistance on our front, and that from Confederate cavalry. The roads, which appeared fair, became immediately bad by use and so straggled my columns.

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