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[726] in Texas. With the surrender of Gen. Smith the war ended, and from the Potomac to the Rio Grande there was no longer an armed soldier to resist the authority of the United States.

Most of the wars memorable in history have terminated with some momentous and splendid crisis of arms. Generally some large decisive battle closes the contest; a grand catastrophe mounts the stage; a great scene illuminates the last act of the tragedy. It was not so with the war of the Confederates. And yet there had been every reason to anticipate a dramatic termination of the contest. A war had been fought for four years; its scale of magnitude was unprecedented in modern times; its operations had extended from the silver thread of the Potomac to the black boundaries of the western deserts; its track of blood reached four thousands of miles; the ground of Virginia had been kneaded with human flesh; its monuments of carnage, its spectacles of desolation, its altars of sacrifice stood from the wheat-fields of Pennsylvania to the vales of New Mexico. It is true that the armies of the Confederacy had been dreadfully depleted by desertions; but in the winter of 1864-5, the belligerent republic had yet more than a hundred thousand men in arms east of the Mississippi River. It was generally supposed in Richmond that if the Confederate cause was ever lost it would be only when this force had been massed, and a decisive field fixed for a grand, multitudinous battle. This idea had run through the whole period of the war; it was impossible in Richmond to imagine the close of the contest without an imposing and splendid catastrophe. In the very commencement of the war, when troops were gaily marching to the first line of battle in Virginia, President Davis had made an address in the camps at Rockett's, declaring that whatever misfortunes might befall the Confederate arms, they would rally for a final and desperate contest, to pluck victory at last. He said to the famous Hampton Legion: “When the last line of bayonets is levelled, I will be with you.”

How far fell the facts below these dramatic anticipations! The contest decisive of the tenure of Richmond and the fate of the Confederacy was scarcely more than what may be termed an “affair,” with reference to the extent of its casualties, and at other periods of the war its list of killed and wounded would not have come up to the dignity of a battle in the estimation of the newspapers. Gen. Lee's entire loss in killed and wounded, in the series of engagements that uncovered Richmond and put him on his final retreat, did not exceed two thousand men. The loss of two thousand men decided the fate of the Southern Confederacy! The sequence was surrender from the Potomac to the Rio Grande. The whole fabric of Confederate defence tumbled down at a stroke of arms that did

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