Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 13.djvu/263
262 Southern Historical Society Papers.
soldier would have submitted to any just and reasonable discipline imposed by honest and intelligent officers.
But too many of these officers were looking for political preferment after the war to permit a uniform system of government to become practical and possible. We needed, too, what our enemies had, an old army, a body of veterans, as a model of obedience, and as a nucleus for the formation of other troops like unto themselves. We needed the camps of instruction which our enemies had, the drill masters, and the months given to training and discipline of their recruits, while ours had of necessity to be hurried to the front. The South had rushed into the war absolutely destitute of everything, save the courage of its people, which makes a military nation. We had no foundries, no machine shops, no factories, no powder mills, no roller mills, no paper mills, no means of making tents and camp equipage. The paper upon which the ordinances of secession of the respective States were written came from the North ; the ink and pens with which they were written came from the North. We had no iron works for casting cannon, no gun factories for small arms, no establishments to manufacture powder, none in which to make caps for muskets and rifles. Even after the battle of Manas- sas the question of returning to the old flint-lock was seriously dis- cussed. The spinningwheel and the handloom were the chief dependence for furnishing clothing to the troops. The country tan- yard and the country cobbler could alone furnish them with shoes. There was not in all the South a factory for making blankets for the soldiers, who had to endure the bitter rigors of the winter in the border States. We had no ships upon the ocean to draw supplies from abroad, while our enemies could recruit their armies and their war material from the continents of the whole globe and from the far off isles of the sea. From first to last, ours was the worst equip- ped, the worst fed, the worst clothed, and the worst organized army in the world ; that of our enemy was the best equipped, the best organized, the best cared for, and the most pampered army of the nineteenth century. It is the grandest tribute that mortal man can pay to our soldiery to say that they knew of the tremendous differ- ence between their condition and that of their foes, and that they were contemptuous of it. They believed that their courage, their fortitude, their patience and their devotion to duty, would more than make up for all deficiencies in organization, equipment, material and numbers. I will give some examples of these grand characteristics. On the 3ist May, 1862, my division attacked the Federal division of General