Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/383
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Imini; .111 orijaiii/rd - \ eminent, an oryani/* d army and navy, with ai'M-nals, dock yards and machine simps, and having free intercourse with tin- world, from whirh to iM-t supplies and men, while e\-ry port was M Mlcd against help from the outride world to the Confed- eracy, which had to organ i/e it> government and improvise every- thing for the nne(|ual struggle from an agricultural population.
With an army of 600,000 men and no navy, except a few river -i< .imers and privateers, opposed by an army outnumbering it by 2,000,000 of soldiers, by a navy of 700 vessels of war, manned by 105,0001111-11; with a fleet of transports, steamers, barges, and coal tloat> almost innumerable, which in 1862, on the Mississippi river and its tributaries alone, numbered over 2,200 vessels. (It is not known what was the number of vessels chartered on the Atlantic and (iulf coasts in moving the large armies.) The navy in its help was as decisive in results as the great armies in the field in block- ading ports, in cutting up the Confederacy by her rivers, in establish- ing many depots and points of departure from the rivers and along the coast for armies to invade and overrun new territory, and in transporting armies around territory they could not cross, and in saving armies when defeated, as it Shiloh, on the Tennessee, and on the James river, near Richmond.
When we look back now at the mighty contest, we wonder how we ever held out so long how we could have succeeded in driving the American merchantmen from the seas, and how we won so many signal victories, as many almost as were won by our enemies.
The record of Southern valor and manhood, where a people fought so long against such odds and resources, displayed such for- titude, and endured such sacrifices, will be a bright page in American history; and will show what the Anglo-Saxon race can and will do under a republican form of government in defence of a constitutional principle.
As President Mr. Davis may have made mistakes. He was a constitutional ruler, not a revolutionary chief. He could not work miracles. He summoned to his council the genius of a Benjamin, the profundity of Hunter, the intellect of Toombs. He placed at the head of his troops Lee, Jackson, Albert Sidney Johnston, Beau- regard, Joseph E. Johnston, and other leaders, not surpassed in any army since the marshals of the Empire. And when the night of defeat was darkening, and the dismantled ship of the Confederacy was sinking beneath the waters, he stood at the helm to the last. There is something indescribably pathetic in the sight, when a brave