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[601] from that of other Confederate battle-fields where a mediocre commander has trifled with success.

Gen. Early had received a stunning defeat from which his army never recovered. The battle of Cedar Creek practically closed the campaign in the Valley, and most of Early's infantry were returned to Gen. Lee's lines. Breckinridge was detached and sent to command in the Southwestern Department. The three divisions (composing what was known as the Second Army Corps) formerly commanded by Rodes, Gordon, and Ramseur, were placed under the command of Gordon, the sole survivor of the three, and sent back to Gen. Lee. Nearly the whole of the cavalry were temporarily furloughed, the Government being unable to supply them with forage. Early was left with his headquarters at Staunton, and what remained of Wharton's division constituted the Army of the Valley.

The unfortunate commander continued for some time to move uneasily up and down the Valley, with his small force; but all operations of moment had plainly ceased there; there was not forage enough for any considerable body of cavalry ; and some weeks later we shall see the last appearance of Gen. Early on the military stage, at Waynesboroa ,where his command, consisting of about a thousand infantry, was captured, and the General with two staff officers escaped to Charlottesville, the melancholy remnant of an enterprise that had been planned to relieve Richmond and turn the scales of the war.

In consequence of the disastrous campaign we have narrated, but not until a very late period of the war, Gen. Early was removed from command. Gen Lee wrote to his subordinate with characteristic generosity:

Headquarters C. S. Armies, March 30, 1865.
Lieut.-Gen. J. A. Early, Franklin C. H., Va.:
Dear sir: My telegram will have informed you that I deem a change of commanders in your department necessary, but it is due to your zealous and patriotic services that I should explain the reasons that prompted my action. The situation of affairs is such that we can neglect no means calculated to develop the resources we possess to the greatest extent, and make them as efficient as possible. To this end it is essential that we should have the cheerful and hearty support of the people and the full confidence of the soldiers, without which our efforts would be embarrassed, and our means of resistance weakened. I have reluctantly arrived at the conclusion that you cannot command the united and willing co-operation which is so essential to success. Your reverses in the Valley, of which the public and the army judge chiefly by the results, have, I fear, impaired your influence both with the people and the soldiers, and would add greatly to the difficulties which will, under any circumstances, attend our military operations in Southwestern Virginia. While my own confidence in your ability, zeal, and devotion to the cause is unimpaired, I have nevertheless felt that I could not oppose what seems to be the current of opinion without injustice to your reputation and injury to the service. I therefore felt constrained to endeavour to find a commander who would be more likely to develop the strength and resources of the country, and inspire the soldiers with confidence, and, to accomplish this purpose, thought it proper to yield my own opinion, and

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