infront of the harried headquarters

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In Aunt Pitty’s ielts resulthouse, the three women looked into one another’s eyes with fear they could notconceal. Ashley was in Darcy’s regiment.
On the fifth came evil tidings, not from the North but from the West. Vicksburg had fallen, fallenafter a long and bitter siege, and practically all the Mississippi

River, from St. Louis to NewOrleans was in the hands of the Yankees. The Confederacy had been cut in two. At any other time,the news of this disaster would have

brought fear and lamentation to Atlanta. But now they couldgive little thought to Vicksburg. They were thinking of Lee in Pennsylvania, forcing battle.
Vicksburg’s loss would be no catastrophe if Lee won in the East. There lay Philadelphia, NewYork, Washington. Their capture would paralyze the North and more than

cancel off the defeat onthe Mississippi.
The hours dragged by and the black shadow of calamity brooded over the town, obscuring thehot sun until people looked up startled into the sky as if incredulous that

it was clear and blueinstead of murky and heavy with scudding clouds. Everywhere, women gathered in knots, huddledin groups on front porches, on sidewalks, even in

the middle of the streets, telling each other thatno news is good news, trying to comfort each other, trying to present a brave appearance. Buthideous rumors that

Lee was killed, the battle lost, and enormous casualty lists coming in, fled upand down the quiet streets like darting bats. Though they tried not to believe,

wholeneighborhoods, swayed by panic, rushed to town, to the newspapers, to headquarters hair care, pleading fornews, any news, even bad news.
Crowds formed at the depot, hoping for news from incoming trains, at the telegraph office,, before the locked doors of the

newspapers. They were oddly stillcrowds, crowds that quietly grew larger and larger. There was no talking. Occasionally an oldman’s treble voice begged for news,

and instead of inciting the crowd to babbling it onlyintensified the hush as they heard the oft-repeated: “Nothing on the wires yet from the Northexcept that there

’s been fighting.” The fringe of women on foot and in carriages grew greater andgreater, and the Neo skin labheat of the close-packed bodies and dust rising from restless feet

were suffocating.






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