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[430] but the best and ablest of the preachers of the Gospel from all accessible parts of the Confederacy, ministered in these rude army churches to the soul-hunger of Lee's reverent, and most of them God-serving officers and men.

On the 6th of February, 1864, Meade sent a division to Morton's ford, near Ewell's right, to again try the winter temper of Lee's veterans. It was met with the old spirit and driven back across the Rapidan with considerable loss. Early in March, Kilpatrick and Dahlgren crossed their Federal cavalry at Ely's ford, of the Rapidan, and raided southward, through Spottsylvania toward Richmond, following the great highways leading in that direction. Dahlgren's special object was to burn the capital of the Confederacy, capture its officials, release and arm the Federal prisoners there held, and work general havoc. He was met, not far from that city, and repulsed, losing his own life, and failure was the only result of the expedition worth mentioning.

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