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1 Though Meade's performance on this occasion was somewhat like that of a King of France on a certain occasion, yet he had not failed to accomplish something towards the “suppression of the rebellion.” There was a little tanyard near Locust Grove, in sight of his headquarters, which belonged to and was operated by a poor man who took in hides to tan on shares for the neighbors, but who was in no wise engaged in tanning for the government or the soldiers. The community around it was very poor, and this was the sole dependence for shoes for the women and children of that neighborhood. The tannery building and the house of the owner were burned, the leather all destroyed, and the hides in the vats taken out and cut to pieces so as to be worthless. In addition to this, all the plows and farming utensils, and wheeled vehicles, including old ox-carts and dilapidated buggies, in the neighborhood and on the road to Germana Ford were burned, and the houses of a number of citizens ransacked and the furniture destroyed. In the very few cases where there were pianos or libraries, the former were hacked to pieces with axes, and the books in the latter torn up and scattered over the ground, private papers sharing the same fate. I saw the evidences of these things myself. The women and children around Locust Grove had no new shoes that winter, and the people in all that country were deprived of the means of properly cultivating their crops next season, to say nothing of those who lost what little source of amusement, recreation or mental employment there was left to them.Can it be doubted that this was calculated to break the spirit of the “rebellion” ? Meade's expedition to Mine Run accomplished this much if no more.
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