's disorganized army and transport them to the East
; the evacuation of Richmond
was discussed and prepared for; orders were given and arrangements made for the removal of the public archives and stores; and Lee
revolved the possibilities of a campaign in South
, or in that region where the boundaries of Tennessee
and North Carolina
are the same.
was thoroughly aware of these various phases of feeling, as well as of the actual circumstances existing within the rebel lines.
On the 19th of December, he said to Sherman
: ‘Jefferson Davis
is said to be very sick; in fact, deserters report his death.
The people had a rumor that he took poison in a fit of despondency over the military situation.
I credit no part of this except that Davis
is very sick, and do not suppose his reflections on military matters soothe him any.’
The same day he telegraphed to Stanton
: ‘Rebel congress is now in secret session, and it is believed they are maturing a negro conscription act. These people will all come to us, if they can, but they may be so guarded as to find it difficult to do so.’
But the knowledge of the wreck towards which the rebellion was now rapidly tending gave him no disposition to relax his efforts.
On the contrary, he said to Stanton
: ‘It is to be hoped that we will have no use for more men than we have now, but the number must be kept up.’
And as his plans approached their consummation, he renewed his instructions, and varied or developed his combinations to suit the new emergencies, and insure the accomplishment of the purpose at which he had been aiming for a year.