Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 1.djvu/562

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CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

use, but it makes some singular military confessions. With the immense resources of the Union to draw upon even by the pending draft the excited President pinned his own hope to the sleeve of uniformed colored troops, two hundred thousand strong. With the same resources at his unquestioned requisition and with great armies East and West obedient to his sole command, the lieutenant-general allows himself to be defeated for eight months after discovering that the small force in his own front was composed of the last men that could be armed, a force whose loss could not be replaced, and daily diminishing by desertions and other causes at the rate of a regiment per day. Supposing that Lee had 50,000 men in small regiments of 500 men each, his army at this rate of desertions and other causes would all be gone in one hundred days, or reckoning as General Grant meant, 1,000 men as a regiment all would be gone in fifty days. It is very plain that the statement was grossly erroneous. All these extraordinary statements, however, serve to show not only the extremity of the South at this period, but also the masterful management by Lee of the heroic armies under his command, and as well the fortitude of a people who contributed for their defense the fruits of the cradle and the withered leaves of the grave, as well as "the flower of their chivalry."

The political campaign consentaneous with the military movement of this period, fairly opened on the last of May as heretofore mentioned, in a convention of the extreme radical part of the Republican party, held in Cleveland, Ohio, which in a brief platform declared in favor of the most ultra war measures, even to the immediate confiscation of Southern lands and a division of them among Federal soldiers. This, however, was not a new view, as confiscation had often been urged in Congress before, and as far as possible had been put in practice under the war power. Even General Sherman had written a recommendation of this measure as the surest way of