Page:Boissonnas, Un Vaincu, English, 1875.djvu/74

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isolate the eastern states from their allies in the west.

Lastly, another army, commanded by General McClellan and supported by numerous detached army elements, was going up the River James at that very moment, and was threatening Richmond. The Congress of the South realized the peril. At the time, it had, through an exaggerated respect of legality, sent home the soldiers engaged for three months.

It′s under those circumstances that General Lee was called to Richmond to serve as military adviser to President Jefferson Davis. Time was running out. There was not a single army to oppose to the invaders. The danger, so obvious, helped Lee to obtain energetic measures, and conscription was established.

Men then arrived, but resources to arm and equip the recruits were lacking. The strong Northern Navy blocked the coasts vigorously ; and the South, congested with cotton, tobacco, sugar, could not exchange its products against the arms, the metals -- the food even -- that it lacked. The City of Richmond, the first to be threatened, did not have a single gun on its walls ; and when it received a provision of powder, the Federals were only a few miles away.