Winter poured down its snows and its sleet upon Lee's shelterless men in the trenches. Some of them burrowed into the earth. Most of them shivered over the feeble fires kept burning along the lines. Scanty and thin were the garments of these heroes. Most of them were clad in mere rags. Gaunt famine oppressed them every hour. One quarter of a pound of rancid bacon and a little meal was the daily portion assigned to each man by the rules of the war department But even this allowance failed when the railroads broke down and left the bacon and the flour and the meal piled up beside the tracks in Georgia and the Carolinas. One-sixth of this daily ration was the allotment for a considerable time, and very often the supply of bacon failed entirely. At the close of the year (1864) Grant had 110,000 men. Lee had 66,000 on his rolls, but this included men on detached duty, leaving him barely 40,000 soldiers to defend the trenches that were then stretched out 40 miles in length from the Chickahominy to Hatcher's run. With dauntless hearts these gaunt-faced men endured the almost ceaseless fire of Grant's mortar batteries. The frozen fingers of Lee's army of sharpshooters clutched the musket barrel with an aim so steady that Grant's men scarcely ever lifted their heads from their bomb proofs.On the 5th of February, Grant again sent a large force to his left to capture Lee's defenses on Hatcher's run. This was driven back by three divisions of Confederates, and the Federal line of the Fifth corps was broken by a charge of Gen. C. A. Evans' division. During this engagement, the brave Gen. John Pegram, who commanded at Rich mountain in July, 1861, was killed.
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