Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 15.djvu/20
possible. I will take steps at once to have your army supplied with rations, but I am sorry we have no forage for the animals. We have had to depend upon the country for our supply of forage. Of about how many men does your present force consist?'
"'Indeed, I am not able to say,' Lee answered, after a slight pause. 'My losses in killed and wounded have been exceedingly heavy, and, besides, there have been many stragglers and some deserters. All my reports and public papers, and, indeed, my own private letters, had to be destroyed on the march to prevent them from falling into the hands of your people. Many companies are entirely without officers, and I have not seen any returns for several days; so that I have no means of ascertaining our present strength.'
"'Suppose I send over 25,000 rations, do you think that will be a sufficient supply?' asked Grant.
"'I think it will be ample,' remarked Lee, and added, with considerable earnestness of manner, 'and it will be a great relief, I assure you.'
"General Grant now turned to his chief commissary, Colonel (afterwards General) Morgan, who was present, and directed him to arrange for issuing the rations.
"General Grant's eye now fell upon Lee's sword again, and it seemed to remind him of the absence of his own, and, by way of explanation, he said to Lee:
"'I started out from my camp several days ago without my sword, and as I have not seen my headquarters' baggage since, I have been riding about without any side-arms. I have generally worn a sword, however, as little as possible, only during the actual operations of a campaign.'
"'I am in the habit of wearing mine most of the time,' remarked Lee. 'I wear it invariably when I am among my troops, moving about through the army.'
"General Sheridan now stepped up to General Lee and said that when he discovered some of the Confederate troops in motion during the morning, which seemed to be a violation of the truce, he sent him (Lee) a couple of notes protesting against this act, and as he had not had time to copy them he would like to have them long enough to make copies. Lee took the notes out of the breast-pocket of his coat and handed them to Sheridan, with a few words expressive of regret that the circumstance had occurred, and intimating that it must have been the result of some misunderstanding."After a little general conversation had been indulged in by those