face to the east, whereas he faced to the west; hence Jackson's attack upon him was in his rear, whereas Grant's attack on us is to our front. From first to last Grant has shown great skill and prudence combined withe remorseless persistency and brutality. He is a scientific Goth resembling Alaric, destroying the country as he goes, and delivering the people over to starvation. Nor does he bury his dead, but leaves them to rot on the battle-field. He has commenced again sliding his right down past his left, doubtless in order to reach Bottom's Bridge and the Long Bridge, with the intention of crossing to the Richmond side. Lee, accordingly, is throwing down his left. On both sides I apprehend the lines will be contracted and massed, and a desperate encounter take place in the course of the movement. In view of the fact, just arrived by telegraph, that the enemy in the Valley have defeated and killed General Jones and taken Staunton, and now have the Valley at their mercy--the remainder of our troops having been drawn here under Breckinridge from that quarter--it may be, and probably is, Grant's design to make across the James River to seize our communications, and thus to assure the destruction of our supplies and compel a surrender ultimately through starvation. Should he succeed in getting over the James and in forming his lines across our railroads on the south side, our situation will be at least uncomfortable, if not alarming, and I am unable to see, without the intervention of some special Providence, any assurance of a successful termination of the war on our part this year or the next. But Providence and a good cause may save us here as they seem to have saved you all in the Trans-Mississippi in despite of bad management and against every human calculation.
The game going on upon the military chessboard between Lee and Grant has been striking and grand, surpassing anything I have heretofore witnessed, and conducted on both sides with consummate mastery of the art of war. It is admitted that Lee has at last met with a foeman who watches his steel, although he may not be worthy of it. Each guards himself perfectly and gives his blow with a precise eye and cool and sanguinary nerve. In Lee's army everything is reduced down to the smallest compass, and the discipline and obedience of the officers and men is perfect. Your own headquarters establishment is more numerous and bulky. He rides with only three members of his staff and never takes with him an extra horse or servant, although he is upon the lines usually from daybreak until dark. He is almost unapproachable, and yet no man is more simple, or less ostentatious, hating all pretension. It would be impossible for an officer to be more reverenced, admired, and respected. He eats the ration of the soldier and quarters alone in his tent. Without parade, haughtiness, or assumption he is elevated in his thought and feeling, and is worthy of the cause he represents and the army he commands. And now, I wish to say I have found myself laboring under the odium of the little West Pointers in Richmond and their partisans. They oppose me in the War Office at all points in regard to any and every wish, and seek to drive me to a resignation. There is one favor I wish you to do me.
The horse that Major Monroe let me have on my receipt was taken possession of at the river by Kelso, who was with Norton when we crossed the Mississippi. He also took charge of my saddle and bridle. He returned to your command with this horse, saddle, and bridle. If I do not resign I shall rejoin you, and I wish this horse and accountermets secured by your quartermaster against my arrival, and in any event my receipt for the horse to Major Monroe be canceled,im