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[79] lest the lines of supply, or even of retreat, should be intercepted. The local reserves were in Butler's front, even to the police and the clerks of the government. The publication of the newspapers was suspended, for the printers were called out to defend the city. Offices and shops were closed; the church bells sounded the alarm for hours; and when the capture of Fort Harrison became known, the excitement was greater than ever before. Guards were sent into the streets to impress every able-bodied man they met, and even members of the government did not escape arrest. Every white male in Richmond between the ages of seventeen and fifty-five was ordered under arms.

But it was not only the inhabitants of Richmond who were alarmed. On the 4th of October, Lee himself wrote to his government in desponding terms. ‘I beg leave to inquire whether there is any prospect of my obtaining any increase to this army. If not, it will be very difficult for us to maintain ourselves. The enemy's numerical superiority enables him to hold the lines with adequate force, and extend on each flank with numbers so much greater than ours that we can only meet his corps increased by recent recruits, with a division reduced by long and arduous service.1 We cannot fight to advantage with such ’

1 The disparity in numbers was by no means so great as Lee declared. The returns of each army for the month of September show Grant's fighting force, in the armies of the Potomac and the James, to have been 76,000, and Lee's 50,000. There were besides 6,000 rebel troops in the Department of Richmond, and several thousand local reserves in the city, all of whom were sent to the front at this crisis. The national divisions had been reduced by the same ‘long and arduous service’ as Lee's, and Grant's ‘recent recruits’ had not been numerous. The above statement of the national force includes the garrisons of the various forts on the James, as well as all details. There were not more than 66,000 men engaged in the two movements of Butler and Meade, including those in the trenches.

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