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of such an expedient is more than doubtful. While it intro duced the shadow of repudiation only to weak and suspicious minds, it is yet to be regretted that even whispers on that subject were ever heard in the South. But as far as our foreign credit was concerned, there is no doubt that the empirical action of Congress, which involved, even to the smallest extent, the integrity of our obligations, was of serious prejudice. It might indeed have been logically and certainly expected that the general confidence in Europe in the military fortunes of the Confederacy would have been productive of unlimited credit to us abroad, had the faith of Europe in the management of our finances equalled that in the success of our arms.


On the subject of the financial management of the new Confederacy, one general reflection at least admits of no doubt. The attentive reader will recognize as the most remarkable circumstance of this war, that within two years the public finances of the Confederacy should have been brought to the brink of ruin. The sympathy of the people with the revolution was unbounded. The disposition of all classes towards the government was one of extreme generosity. The property of the States of the Confederacy was greater per capita than that of any community on the globe. No country in the world had export values comparable in magnitude to those of the South, and the exports of all other countries were produced at a cost in labor four times that of ours. In such circumstances it is highly improbable that the government of the Confederacy

*It is true that a small foreign loan has been negotiated in Europe; but it affords no test of our credit in present circumstances, as it was made on a pledge of cotton. It shows, however, what might have been done, if the cotton had been purchased by the government and mobilized, for the whole crop might have been secured in 1861 at seven cents a pound. But against this scheme the government had set its face as flint, and when it did become distrustful of its former conclusion, it had only the nerve to make a very limited experiment in the application of this staple to support a credit almost hopelessly abused by paper issues.

It was estimated that there remained in the States of the Confederacy at this time 3,500,000 bales of cotton, which could be exported in the event of the port being opened to trade. This estimate is made after deducting from the crop of 1861 and 1862 the quantity of cotton which had run the blockade, the amount destroyed to prevent capture by the Yankees, and the quantity used for home consumption, which, since the commencement of the war, had enormously in creased, being now fully 500,000 bales per annum.

could, within two years, have wrecked its credit with its own people, unless by the most ignorant trifling with great questions and the childish management of its treasury.

At an early period of the war it had been our boast that we had spent only fifteen millions, while the Yankees had spent ten or fifteen times that amount. But we find that the debt of the general government of the Confederate States in January last was $556,000,000, with the prospect, at the current rate of expenditure, that it would reach nine hundred millions by the close of the fiscal year on the first of July; and it is curious to observe what miscalculations were made of public debt both in the North and in the South. The newspapers of the two nations flourished the estimates of their debt in enumerations only of the obligations of the general government of each, and made complacent comparisons of these sums with the debts of European governments. But according to the estimates of Europe, and the calculations of plain reason, the true volume of the debt of each of these nations was represented not only by what was owed by the Richmond and Washington governments, but by the aggregate amount of the indebtedness of the several States composing each confederation. Here could be the only true and just measure of the national debt of either the South or the North, in comparison with the debts of other governments, to which the system of the division of powers between a central authority and State was unknown. The debt of each member of the Southern Confederacy, as well as that of a central authority, was a burden on the nation, for the problem of its payment was at last to resolve itself into a tax upon the people. It is only by a calculation of these aggregates that just comparisons could be made between our financial condition and that of the North or European nations; and although such comparisons on our side were to the disadvantage of our enemies, yet they exhibited facts which were unpleasant enough to ourselves.

The law of impressment enacted by Congress affords the evidence of the scarcity of supplies in the South. The question of food with that of finance divided the attention of the government. The grain-growing and provision-raising country, which stretches from the Potomac at Harper's Ferry to Memphis on the Tennessee, was now exhausted of its provi

sions. Much of the productive portions of North Carolina and the Gulf States had been also exhausted. The great and true source of meat, supply, the State of Kentucky, which contained more hogs and cattle, two or three to one, than were left in all the South besides, had fallen into the undivided possession of the Yankees. The general scarcity of all sorts of supplies was attested by the high prices of every thing eatable. The advance in prices induced by the scarcity of supplies, was still further enormously enhanced by the greedy commercial speculation which distressed the South, and threw a shadow of dishonor upon the moral aspects of our struggle.

It is a subject of extraordinary remark, that the struggle for our independence should have been attended by the ignoble circumstances of a commercial speculation in the South unparalleled in its heartlessness and selfish greed. War invariably excites avarice and speculation; it is the active promoter of rapid fortunes and corrupt commercial practices. But it is a matter of surprise that more than an ordinary share of this bad, avaricious spirit should have been developed in the South during a war which involved the national existence, which presented so many contrasts of heroic self-sacrifice, and which was adorned with exhibitions of moral courage and devotion such as the world had seldom seen.

But of this social and moral contradiction in our war for independence, some explanation may be offered. It may, in some measure, be found in three facts: first, that a distrust of the national currency prevailed in the country; secondly, that the initiative (for it is the first steps in speculation which are more responsible) was made by Jews and foreign adventurers who everywhere infested the Confederacy; and thirdly, that the fever of gain was greatly inflamed by the corruptions of the government, the abuse of its pecuniary patronage, and a system of secret contract, in which officials who were dishonest shared the profits, and those who were incompetent were easily overreached in the negotiation. The only serious blot which defaced our struggle for independence was, at least to some extent, the creature of circumstances; and that is lost to the eye of humane and enlightened history in the lustre of arms and virtues shed on the South in the most sublime trials of the war.


Character of Military Events of the Spring of 1863.-Repulse of the Enemy at Fort McAllister.-THE SIEGE OF VICKSBURG.-The Yazoo Pass Expedition.-Confederate Success at Fort Pemberton.-The Enemy's Canals, or "Cut-offs."-Their Failure.— BOMBARDMENT OF PORT HUDSON.-Destruction of "The Mississippi."-A Funeral Pyre. Happy Effects of our Victory.-A Review of the line of inland Hostilities.Hooker's hesitation on the. Rappahannock.—The Assignment of Confederate commands west of the Mississippi.--The Affair of Kelly's Ford.-Death of Major Pelham.--NAVAL ATTACK ON CHARLESTON.-Destruction of "The Keokuk."-Scenery of the Bombardment.-Extent of the Confederate Success.-Events in Tennessee and Kentucky.-Pegram's Reverse.-The Situation of Hostilities at the close of April, 1862.

ALTHOUGH but little is to be found of a decisive character in the military events of the Spring of 1862, there was yet a series of interesting occurrences which went far to prove the inefficiency of the most boasted naval structures of the enemy, and the progress we had made in defensive works on the lines of our harbors and the banks of our rivers.

repulse of the This fort is on Off the Georgia

The first of these may be mentioned as the enemy at Fort McAllister on the 3d of March. the outer line of the defences of Savannah. coast, and eighteen miles to the southward of the Savannah river, is Ossabaw sound. Into this sound flows the Ogechee river, a stream navigable some distance up-some thirty miles —to vessels of a larger class. On the Ogechee river, four miles above the sound, is situate Fort McAllister. The fort stands on the mainland, directly on the river bank, and commands the river for a mile and a half or two miles.

The attack of the enemy on this fort was made with three iron-clads and two mortar-boats. The result of a whole day's bombardment was, that one gun was dismounted, but the fort remained uninjured, and no loss of life was sustained on our side. The iron-clad Montauk was struck with solid shot eventy-one times, and was lifted clear out of the water by the explosion of a torpedo under her bow, but the Yankees stated that she was not seriously injured. Indeed, they de clared that the whole affair was nothing more than an experimentum crucis, to ascertain the power of their new iron-clads

to resist cannon shot, and that the result of the encounter was all that they had hoped. If the enemy was pleased with the result, the Confederates had certainly no reason to dispute his satisfaction, as long as they had the solid gratification of hav ing resisted a bombardment of eight hours, without injury to their works or the loss of a single life.

While the enemy menaced the seaboard, he had found another theatre for his naval power on the waters of the Mississippi river. His operations there were even more important than those on our sea lines, for they were an essential part of the campaign in the West. In fact, Vicksburg was for a long time the point on which depended the movements in Tennessee and the resolution of the great crisis in the West.


The siege of Vicksburg furnishes a most remarkable instance of the industry and physical perseverance of the Yankees. Ever since December, 1862, they had been busily engaged in the attempt to circumvent our defences, even to the extremity of forcing our internal navigation of swampy lagoons and obstructed creeks for a distance of four hundred and fifty miles.

The enemy's operations in other directions kept him quiet. directly in front of Vicksburg, but his purpose was all the same-the capture and occupation of the place. The enemy had three distinct projects for compassing the capture of Vicksburg: First, the canal across the isthmus opposite the city; secondly, the project of getting through the Yazoo Pass; third, the Lake Providence canal project. It had been all the time the principal aim of the Yankees to get in the rear or below Vicksburg. Their present plan, and one on which they were now at work, was to get through the Yazoo Pass, in the hope of getting in our rear and cutting off our supplies. Their idea was to flank Vicksburg, capture Jackson, cut off Grenada, and destroy all possibility of our ob taining supplies throughout that rich country, by this one bold stroke.

The route mapped out by the Yankees commences near Helena, Arkansas, where the Yazoo Pass connects the Mis

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