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[111] burned,1 and if the inhabitants could convey their stock and provisions north of the Potomac, he offered no objection;2 but ‘so long as the war lasts,’ he said, ‘they must be prevented from raising another crop.’

Sheridan obeyed his orders to the letter. On the 1st of October, he wrote, from Harrisonburg: ‘What we have destroyed and can destroy in this Valley is worth millions of dollars to the rebel government;’ on the 7th, he said, from Woodstock: ‘In moving back to this point, the whole country, from the Blue Ridge to the North Mountain, has been made untenable for a rebel army;’ and still later: ‘I will continue the destruction of wheat, forage, etc., down to Fisher's Hill. When this is completed, the Valley, from Winchester up to ’

1 ‘It is not desirable that buildings should be destroyed; they should rather be protected.’—Grant to Hunter, August 5.

‘I have thought on your despatch relative to an arrangement between General Lee and myself for the suppression of incendiarism by the respective armies. Experience has taught us that agreements with rebels are binding upon us, but are not observed by them longer than suits their convenience. On the whole, I think that the best that can be done is to publish a prohibitory order against burning private property, except where it is a military necessity, or in retaliation for like acts by the enemy. Where burning is done in retaliation, it must be done by order of a department or army commander, and the order for such burning to set forth the particular act it is in retaliation for.’—Grant to Lincoln, August 17, 1864.

2 ‘Do you not think it advisable to notify all citizens living east of the Blue Ridge to move north of the Potomac all their stock, grain, and provisions of every description? There is no doubt about the necessity of clearing out that country, so that it will not support Mosby's gang, and the question is whether it is not better that the people should save what they can.’—Grant to Sheridan, November 9.

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