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“ [96] best we could.” He assured me that General Foster's quartermaster would give me all the water transports which he could command, and that Admiral Dahlgren would carry over all the men and material which he could handily take on and off his naval vessels.

That same day I went to call on General Blair, and happened on a New Year's festival. It was a jolly table that I found with Blair that day, he doing the honors of the occasion. My coming seemed to surprise the party; suddenly all arose before me in a stiff and dignified style, as cadets at command in a mess hall after a meal.

I apologized for the interruption, called Blair aside, explained the coming orders and the contemplated movements, and bowed myself out. It was in this informal way that Sherman often set on foot the most important projects.

I find in my record that very day, January 1, 1865, a letter from myself to General Easton, Sherman's chief quartermaster. Easton was an old officer, and inclined to be formal and dignified with my chief quartermaster. At least it was so reported to me with complaint, hence the letter:

General: I regret exceedingly to trouble you, but I wish you to know the exact state of things. It is reported to me by Major General Osterhaus that his artillery horses are dying at the picket rope of actual starvation, and other officers report that public and private horses of the command are without forage. Must this be allowed when forage is within six miles of us? Is there no expedient we can resort to in order to get a supply? Are there no inlets where we can land forage? Are there no flats or small boats in which we can bring grain ashore? Be assured, general, that my officers and men and

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Montgomery Blair (3)
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