Lead: In the autumn of 1864 the Confederate Army of General Robert E. Lee faced more than Grant's forces across the breastworks at Petersburg. They were hungry.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Nearly everything was short in the rebel ranks that fall, but Lee's cavalry chief, now Wade Hampton of South Carolina after the death at Yellow Tavern of Jeb Stuart, figured a way of relieving the empty bellies. He had word from one of this scouts that five miles east of Grant's headquarters on the James River in the vicinity of Coggins Point was a sizable herd of lightly defended cattle. "Three thousand beeves," went the report. This was a perfect gambit for the fun-loving, popular Hampton. He could embarrass the Yankees, raise Southern morale, and deal with hunger in the ranks with one blow. 

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