98 Southern Historical Society Papers.
Saxon as a conqueror wherever he has come. A race before whose achievements the deeds of the Macedonian and the Roman pale. A race that has fought more battles, stood more killing, won more vic- tories, and turned more defeats into victories than any other race of God-created men.
THE CONTEST WAS UNEQUAL.
But while in courage, hardihood, and other high qualities of the soldier, the antagonists were not too unequally matched ; not so in numbers, organization, equipment, financial resources, all those fac- tors that control so powerfully the fortunes of war. On the one hand stood twenty millions of people, with all the machinery of an organized government of seventy -two years standing, in full control of the army and navy, and in possession of the depots and manufac- tories of arms and munitions of war. On the other was arrayed a population of less than six millions, under a government not sev- enty-two days old, with an empty treasury and no navy, with an improvised army of brave volunteers, but scarcely antiquated arms sufficient to place in their hands, and not cartridges enough to fig^ht one great battle.
So great was the Confederate need of the latter, that the early battle- fields of the war were closely gleaned of their leaden death messen- gers which were soon to become as current as " the coin of the realm." And in the seven days' battles around this very city, it is a fact within my own experience, that entire regiments followed, unarmed, in the wake of the fighting columns, trusting to the chances of battle to supply themselves with arms that might be captured from the enemy or dropped from the hands of their fallen comrades. Was ever more unequal battle joined ?
This gravest of the problems of the war, how to equip its armies in the field, met the Confederacy as it issued from its cradle. Let us see how it was solved. ** We began in April, 1861,*' says General Gorgas, Confederate Chief of Ordnance, " without an arsenal, labo- ratory, or powder-mill of any capacity, and no foundry or rolling-mill except in Richmond, and in a little over two years we supplied them. During the harassments of war, crippled by a depreciated currency, throttled by a blockade that deprived us of nearly all the means of getting material or workmen, with no stock on hand, even of articles such as steel, copper, leather, iron, which we must have to build up our establishments, against all these obstacles, in spite of all these