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[197] without money, in freezing storms, without hope save in the miracles of his valor and the skill of his leaders, he concentrated what he could of scant numbers, and won victory at Kingston and Bentonville, in the vain hope to save North Carolina, and repel the army which had struck at the life of Richmond from its rear. Here he struggled to the last at Blakely and Mobile, and vainly gave his blood at Selma.

One of Lee's last dispatches to Richmond gives the sad picture of the suffering of the troops everywhere:

Yesterday, the most inclement day of the winter, the troops had to be maintained in line of battle; having been in the same condition two previous days and nights. I regret to be compelled to state that, under these circumstances, heightened by the assaults and fire of the enemy, some of the men have been without meat for three days, and all are suffering from reduced rations, scant clothing, exposed to battle, cold, hail and sleet * * Their physical strength, if their courage survives, must fail under the treatment. Taking these facts, in connection with the paucity of numbers, you must not be surprised if calamity befalls us.

The land was filled with graves and mourners, the wounded and sick and despairing. It was harried by armies so that industry was vain, and women and children cried for bread. The sun seemed darkened, and the air was filled with wails. Yet there still rose above disaster, clear-cut and strong, the heroic figure of the Confederate soldier—serene, subordinate, unselfish, uncomplaining—battling with odds, assailed by the fears and wants of those at home—trusting in God, defying fate, and giving all for duty, until the fabric of the Confederacy, which he so long upheld on his bayonets, ‘fell with a crash which resounded throughout the civilized world.’

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