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[114] negro soldiers as prisoners of war. But with all their soldierly qualities, there was a touch of unmanliness about the Southerners. Unrelenting and vindictive, they were as ready as women to repine when the fortune of war went against them, and never admitted that the same measure should be meted to them which they unsparingly applied to their foes whenever they had the chance.

It is no new thing, however, for the conquered to criticize their conquerors; and, naturally enough, the severest censors of Grant were those who suffered most by his success. They could hardly be expected to admire the strategy or approve the policy which consummated their own punishment. In the same way, when the Greeks received the Roman yoke, they decried the civilization of their victors; and the Romans, in their turn, severely disapproved the proceedings of those whom, two thousand years ago, they called ‘Northern barbarians.’ But, as Sherman told the inhabitants of Atlanta, when he expelled them from their homes: ‘War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.’ It was the men who brought these evils on themselves who were responsible .for all the terrible results of their crime. The national commanders were no more answerable, than the weapons they employed, for the destruction and ruin which the rebellion entailed.

Late in October Grant determined to attack the communications of Lee. The left of Meade's entrenched line was at this time only two miles east of the Boydton plank road, which approaches Petersburg midway between the Southside and the Weldon railways. The rebels were known to have

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