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[97] myself are at your service, and willing to work night and day. I am held responsible by my command for these things. My only alternative is to apply to you. I do not wish to oppose you, but to assist you in every way in my power.

Easton acted quickly and well. I felt in the outset in view of the Carolina campaign that it was to be the most trying of any which we had hitherto undertaken. Our enemies would increase as we advanced northward. Food and forage would be destroyed before us, the swamps would be worse than in Georgia, and other troubles would multiply. And, surely, it was hard to commence a sea voyage with only vessels enough at best to take over to Beaufort a tenth of my army at a trip.

About this time I received the following letter from my friend, the distinguished Rev. E. B. Webb, D. D., of Boston, written the day before Christmas:

How glad we were when your scout (Captain Duncan) arrived down the river and communicated with the fleet We followed you daily with our prayers, and yet we can hardly say “followed,” for we did not know for a long time where you were going. Our generals and our Government seemed to have found out the secret of keeping their own secrets.

You just moved off beyond the circle of our horizon into the unknown, and left us to wonder, to doubt, to believe, to guess, but-God be praised-you are out of the woods, in the sense that we . . . hear from you almost every day.

Officers and men were fearless and resolute. They had come to be robust in health-had well developed muscular force in themselves. What Sherman ordered they were ready to undertake, not only without opposition, but with hearty good will. The vessels furnished us were too few and the water delays

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