-  communicates with Grant -- Hardee crosses Sherman's front to join Beauregard -- Sherman starts for Goldsboro -- Johnston supersedes Beauregard -- battle of Averysboro -- retreat of rebels -- battle of Bentonsville -- attack by Johnston -- repulse of Slocum -- arrival of Howard -- position of Johnston -- attack by Mower -- opportunity of Sherman -- he prefers to wait arrival of Schofield -- retreat of Johnston -- Sherman arrives at Goldsboro -- character and results of march through Carolinas -- operations of Schofield prior to joining Sherman -- success of Grant's combinations -- orders to all his generals -- meeting of Lincoln and Sherman at Grant's headquarters -- self-reliance of Grant.
At last the signs of the approaching end were visible. The mighty edifice which had withstood so many shocks was tottering. When Sherman had reached the sea, and Thomas had annihilated Hood; when the supplies from foreign sympathizers and traders were for ever stopped, and no large organized rebel force remained outside of Virginia, it was impossible to be blind to the inevitable catastrophe. The dismay that had been struck to the heart of the South all along the route through Georgia was renewed and repeated at Nashville, and before men became used to the portentous news from the West, they were startled by the sound of Porter's bombardment on the sea. The rebellion reeled and staggered, like a wounded gladiator, under these repeated blows, and a feeling came over its adherents like that which oppressed the heroes of Homer when they contended against the gods. For it was not one defeat nor one disappointment that overwhelmed them; not the invasion of Georgia, nor the devastation in the Shenandoah, nor the capture of Fort Fisher, nor the repulse on the Cumberland, nor the losses at Richmond, but the aggregation and combination and succession of all of these; the hopelessness of rescue, the certainty that the grasp would not relax, nor the will relent, nor the energy