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 Observe here the conduct of Grant in contrast with that of Lee as exhibited in the memorable struggle in the Wilderness. When it became necessary to recapture a certain line which had been seized by Hancock, General Lee, with that promptness, characteristic of the great soldier, started forward to lead the troops, which of course our soldiers, officers as well as privates, would not permit. Whereas Grant, after butchering his men here at Cold Harbor, and they being unwilling again to face our works, never showed any disposition to lead them himself, but remained quietly behind his own works. But that was one thing the Confederacy could with very great satisfaction boast of. Her army was certainly well officered with bold, intelligent, and courageous men, always ready to lead. The world never saw their superiors. We were now on nearly the same ground on which the seven days battles were fought, the Federal army at that time being in command of General George B. McClellan. But oh, what changes! Then our uniforms were bright and everything pointed, as I then thought, to certain victory; but now the thin, emaciated form of the Confederate soldier told in language too plain the sufferings he was then undergoing for the want of proper sustenance. And now let me say that Grant had certainly played the last card known in the art of warfare, attrition, for all it was worth. For he confessed to a loss before reaching the south side of the James of more than the Army of Northern Virginia had in the field. After pontooning the James the army of Grant was now where it might have been at any time without the loss of a single man. But here he is near Bermuda Hundred and is soon to lay siege to Petersburg, it having been proven to his satisfaction that the ‘Cockade City’ could not be captured by an attack in front, and that our southern connections were safe at least for the present. The summer and fall of 1864 will ever be remembered by the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia as one of unusual activity on the part of this army, as also one of great privations on the part of the Confederate soldiers, whose rations at this time were not sufficient in quantity or very elegant in quality—namely, corn meal of almost all colors, with Nassau pork, which was indeed the most unpalatable meat that one ever ate, with occasionally a few peas—red peas. And then the condition of those peas—well, I will not attempt to describe it. Think of cooking three days rations of this yellow meal and carrying it in your haversack with the pork, and you can imagine our condition. The meal would of course become sour, and
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