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CHAPTER XVII.

GRANT TAKES COMMAND OF THE ARMIES OF THE REPUBLIC.-HIS ADDRESS TO HIS SOLDIERS. HIS LETTER TO HON. E. B. WASHBURNE.-JEFFERSON DAVIS STILL HOPEFUL OF SUCCESS.-A. H. STEPHENS' VIEWS OF PEACE.GEN. SHERMAN'S FIELD ORDER NO. 68. - HIS LETTER TO GEN. BURBRIDGE.-MAKES PRESIDENT LINCOLN A CHRISTMAS GIFT OF SAVANNAH, -HIS LETTER TO MAJ. R. M. SAWYER.-MASSACRE AT FORT PILLOW.SHERIDAN'S VICTORY AT WINCHESTER,-HAVOC OF THE WAR IN 1864.— ENGLAND SUPPLIES THE REBELS WITH SHIPS.-EFFECTS OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1864.-TREASONABLE ORGANIZATIONS OF THE DEMOCRATS OF THE FREE STATES.-" KNIGHTS OF THE GOLDEN CIRCLE." -THEIR PLANS.

THE year 1863 ended with the armics in strong force upon either side, and 1864 found them pitching their tents for the winter. With the opening of spring came increased activity. A new impetus had been lent to the whole forces of the Union. Congress had, by Act of March 3d, created U. S. Grant Lieutenant-General of the Armies of the United States. He was sum

moned from the field to the Capital, where he received his commission, relieving Major-General H. W. Halleck, a faithful soldier and true patriot, who received the thanks and congratulations of the President on his leaving the head of the army. On the second day after his appointment, the Lieutenant-General left for the battle field, announcing that the head-quarters of the Armies of the United States would be at Washington and at his head-quarters in the field. And from the day that Grant assumed command, the faith of the whole country was that the end of the Rebellion, by a victory of the Union Armies and complete Federal authority, was certain.

The President and Congress left the entire directory

of the operations in the field to Grant, who fully understood that to, carry the war with a vigorous hand into the extreme Southern States, cut off communication by land and water, and destroy the fountains of supply, was the surest policy of success, which course was pursued. The several calls for soldiers during the year 1864 amounted to 1,500,000, which were as follows: February 1st, 500,000; March 14th, 200,000; July 18th, 500,000; December 20th, 300,000.

The destruction of life and property during the summer of 1864 and spring of 1865, was perhaps never equaled in the history of any war. The leaders on both sides were determined upon victory. The North knew its strength, and the South knew its own weakness. The people of the South cried for peace-peace on any terms. The leaders said there could be no peace without the independence of the South; and the people of the Free States, the Congress and the President, declared that no terms looking to a cessation of the war could be entertained unless they were accompanied with the conditions of submission to Federal authority. But this was spurned by the South, the leaders of which resorted to all devices to rally the drooping spirits of the people, and the sorely depleted ranks of the

army.

The following address of General Grant to his soldiers at the close of the year 1863, (December 10th,) will show how hopeful prospects were of further operations of the Union Army:

"HEAD-QUARTERS MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, IN THE FIELD, }

"Chattanooga, Tennessee, Dec. 10th, 1863.

"The General Commanding takes this opportunity of returning his sincere thanks and congratulations to the brave Armies of the Cumberland, the Ohio, the Tennessee, and their comrades

from the Potomac, for the recent splendid and decisive successes achieved over the enemy. In a short time you have recovered from him the control of the Tennessee River, from Bridgeport to Knoxville. You dislodged him from his great stronghold upon Lookout Mountain, drove him from Chattanooga Valley, wrested from his determined grasp the possession of Missionary Ridge, repelled with heavy loss to him his repeated assaults upon Knoxville, forcing him to raise the siege there, driving him at all points, utterly routed and discomfited, beyond the limits of the State. By your noble heroism and determined courage, you have effectually defeated the plans of the enemy for regaining possession of the States of Kentucky and Tennessee. You have secured positions from which no rebellious power can drive or dislodge you. For all this the General Commanding thanks you collectively and individually. The loyal people of the United States thank and bless you. Their hopes and prayers for your success against this unholy Rebellion are with you daily. Their faith in you will not be in vain. Their hopes will not be blasted. Their prayers to Almighty God will be answered. You will yet go to other fields of strife, and with the invincible bravery and unflinching loyalty to justice and right which have characterized you in the past, you will prove that no enemy can withstand you, and that no defenses, however formidable, can check your onward march.

"By order of Major-General U. S. GRANT.

"T. S. BOWERS, A. A. G.”

The following letter from the Commanding General of the Union Armies, will indicate the faith entertained of success, and the depleted condition of the Confederate forces:

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HEAD-QUARTERS, ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
City Point, Va., August 16th, 1864.

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"To HON. E. B. WASHBURNE:

"Dear Sir-I state to all citizens who visit me that all we want now to insure an early restoration of the Union is a determined unity of sentiment North. The Rebels have now in their ranks their last man. The little boys and old men are guarding pris oners, guarding railroad bridges, and forming a good part o their garrisons for entrenched positions. A man lost by then

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cannot be replaced. They have robbed the cradle and the grave equally to get their present force. Besides what they lose in frequent skirmishes and battles, they are now losing from desertions and other causes at least one regiment per day.

"With this drain upon them the end is not far distant, if we will only be true to ourselves. Their only hope now is in a divided North. This might give them reinforcements from Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri, while it would weaken us. With the draft quickly enforced, the enemy would become despondent, and would make but little resistance. I have no doubt but the enemy are exceedingly anxious to hold . out until after the Presidential election. They have many hopes from its effects.

"They hope a counter revolution; they hope the election of the Peace candidate. In fact, like 'Micawber,' they hope for something to turn up.' Our peace friends, if they expect peace from separation, are much mistaken. It would be but the beginning of war with thousands of Northern men joining the South because of our disgrace in allowing separation. To have 'peace on any terms,' the South would demand the restoration of their slaves already freed; they would demand indemnity for losses sustained, and they would demand a treaty which would make the North slave hunters for the South. They would demand pay for the restoration of every slave escaping to the North. "Yours, truly,

"U. S. GRANT."

In strong contrast with these views, are the following from the President and Vice-President of the Confederate States; and this, although Sherman's army had entered the heart of Georgia, the granary of the South, and made it a barren waste wherever his army passed.

In October, 1864, at Augusta, Jefferson Davis spoke as follows:

"Those who see no hope now, who have lost confidence, are to me like those of whose distorted vision it is said they behold spots upon the sun. Such are the croakers who seem to forget the battles that have been won, and the men who have fought;

who forget that in the magnitude of those battles, and the heroism of those men, this struggle exceeds all that history records. We commenced the fight without an army, without a navy, without arsenals, without mechanics, without money, and without credit. Four years we have stemmed the tide of invasion, and to-day are stronger than when the war began-better able now than ever to repulse the vandal who is seeking our overthrow. Once we imported the commonest articles of daily use, and brought in from beyond our borders even bread and meat. Now the State of Georgia alone produces food enough not only for her own people and the army within it, but feeds, too, the Army of Virginia. Once we had no arms, and could receive no soldiers but those who came to us armed. Now we have arms for all, and are begging men to bear them. This city of Augusta alone produces more powder than the army can burn. All things are fair, and this Confederacy is not yet, in the familiar parlance of the croaker, 'played out,' as those declare who spread their own despondency over the whole body politic.

"We are fighting for Constitutional liberty; upon us depends its last hope. The Yankees, in endeavoring to coerce the States, have lost that heir-loom of their fathers, and the men of the South alone must sustain it.

"Ours is not a revolution. We are a free and independent people ir States that had the right to make a better Government when they saw fit. They sought to infringe upon the rights we had, and we only instituted a new Government on the basis of these rights.

"We are not engaged in a Quixotic fight for the rights of man; our struggle is for inherent rights, and who would surrender them? Let every paper guarantee possible be given, and who would submit? From the grave of many a fallen hero the slain would cry out against such a peace with the murderers. The women of the land driven from their homes; the children lacking food; old age hobbling from the scenes of its youth; the fugitives, forced to give way to the Yankee oppressor-all proclaim a sea of blood that freemen cannot afford to bridge. There is but one thing to which we can accede-separate State independence. Some there are who speak of reconstruction with Slavery maintained; but are there any who would thus measure rights by property? God forbid. Would you see that boy, with a peach bloom on his cheek, grow up a serf-never to tread the

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