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[352] weaken which had already proven so indefatigable and irresistible; that the mind which had conceived the scheme that wrought them so much ruin, and directed and controlled its intricate and various parts, all tending to a designed and certain consummation, would preside over any future enterprises, and in any further emergencies would direct and control and conceive and execute until the end.

The rebel records that have been preserved all tell the same sad story. Hardee and Early and Bragg and Hood were unanimous. The injuries done to crops and roads and arsenals and machinery by Sherman were reported simultaneously with the breaking up of the rebel army of Tennessee. All through December, dispatches between Beauregard and his government crossed each other, announcing the same disasters; and, while the Richmond authorities were anticipating new demonstrations from Savannah in January, they received the tidings of still another advance, from still another quarter, into North Carolina.

The rank and file, as well as their superiors, understood the significance of this conjunction of calamities, and the panics among the troops of Early and Hood were the indication not of pusillanimity but of despair. Desertions during the winter became numerous among all the rebel forces, from the Mississippi to the Atlantic. A hundred men a day were often received across the lines at Petersburg, and thousands of prisoners were willing to take the oath of allegiance to the government. Lee repeatedly addressed his superiors on the subject, suggesting expedients to counteract or remedy so great an evil. It was even proposed to enlist foreigners,

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