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‘ [395] to the point of danger. With proper alacrity in this respect, I would have no objection to seeing the enemy get through.’ On the 25th, he said: ‘Deserters from the rebel lines north of the James say it is reported among them that Hill's corps has left, or is leaving, to join Beauregard. . . . If such a movement is discovered, we must endeavor to break a hole some place.’

This expectation of Grant was not without foundation. The rebels were contemplating every contingency, and consulting about every remedy. Their distraction and desperation were now at their height. Lee had been made general-in-chief, and Breckenridge secretary of war, in the vain hope that a change of counsellors or a concentration of authority might avail to stay the approaching catastrophe. On the 19th of February, Lee wrote to the Richmond government: ‘The accounts received to-day from South and North Carolina are unfavorable. General Beauregard reports from Charlotte that four corps of the enemy are advancing on that place, tearing up the railroad, and that they will probably reach Charlotte . . . before he can concentrate his troops there. He states General Sherman will doubtless . . . unite with General Schofield at Raleigh or Weldon. General Bragg reports that General Schofield is now preparing to advance from Newbern to Goldsboro. . . . He says that little or no assistance can be received from the state of North Carolina. . . . Sherman seems to be having everything his own way, which is calculated to cause apprehension. General Beauregard does not say what he proposes or what he can do I do not know where his troops are, or on what lines they are moving. . . . General J. E. Johnston

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