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Bragg was at this juncture ordered to the front. On the 26th, he was at Augusta, and reported that Sherman had interposed between him and Macon, so that he could rely only on the forces east of the national army. These he declared were ‘feeble in number, wanting in organization and discipline, and very deficient in equipment. No offensive movement,’ he said, ‘can be undertaken, and but a temporary defence of our scattered posts. If no more means can be had, our only policy is to make sacrifices and concentrate. The country is being utterly devastated, wherever the enemy moves.’

On the 28th, the adjutant-general at Richmond said to the commander at Charleston, now clamoring for help: ‘You must be as fully aware as the authorities here that there are no reinforcements that can be sent you.’ On the 29th, Hardee telegraphed from Savannah: ‘As railroad and telegraphic communication may soon be cut with Charleston, I desire you to know that I have, including the local troops, less than ten thousand men of all arms. General Smith is expected with twenty-five hundred, but has not yet arrived. If railroad communication is cut with Charleston, which is threatened by ten gunboats and barges, of course no reinforcements can be sent from Augusta.’ On the 30th, Beauregard's command was extended from the Mississippi to the sea-coast, and the governor of North Carolina was informed by Seddon: ‘There is urgent need for more forces to meet the advance of General Sherman's army. It would be wise as well as patriotic, on the part of North Carolina, to give all assistance possible to defeat or frustrate the designs of Sherman, while remote from her borders.’

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