CHAPTER XV The army, driven back into Virginia, went into winter quarters on the Rapidan—a tired, depleted army since the defeat at Gettysburg— and as the Christmas season approached, Ashley came home on furlough.
In a warm steaming rain the next day, the defeated army poured though Atlanta by thousands, exhausted by hunger and weariness, depleted by seventy-six days of battle and retreat, their horses starved scarecrows, their cannon and caissons harnessed with odds and ends of rope and strips of rawhide.
It was as if Atlanta society, scattered and wrecked by war, depleted by death, bewildered by change, had found in her an unyielding nucleus about which it could re-form.
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The poorer a country’s people are, the greater the temptation to deplete the country’s forests and fisheries.
It had become, in a very real way, a wealthy home, even though Morrie’s bank account was rapidly depleting.