Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 22.djvu/103

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Tin Cull/, <l, TO/, .\! lf>/. 91

against a powerful enemy; crippled by a depreciated currency, throttled by a blockade, which prevented our getting material or workmen; obliged to send almost every able-bodied man into the field; unable to use slave labor, except in the most unskilled depart- ments; hampered by want of transportation, even of the commonest supplies of food; with no stock on hand, even of such articles as steel, copper, iron, or leather, with which to build up our establish- ments; against all these obstacles, and in spite of all these deficien- cies, we created, before the close of 1863, literally out of the ground, foundries and rolling mills at Richmond, Selma, Atlanta and Macon, smelting works at Petersburg, chemical works at Charlotte, a powder mill far superior to any in the United States, unsurpassed by any across the ocean, a chain of arsenals, armories and laboratories from Virginia to Alabama."


You had further difficulties still. At the organization of the Con- federate government, its treasury was not only empty, but the legis- lation and fiscal agency for taxation and collection of revenue had to be adopted and applied.

Under the most favorable auspices, time and experience were necessary to adjust a scheme of taxation to the condition of your people, and to put in running order the machinery for collection of revenue. Expenses had already begun, and demands for large sums of money, for immediate use, were urgent.

The treasury of the common country was in possession of your enemies; save the paltry sum of $500,000 in the mint at New Orleans; paltry to a nation in pressing need of millions.

The receipts of the Confederate Government from February, 7861, to August, 1862 eighteen months were $302,500,000, its expendi- tures, $347,300,000, and of this vast sum, but fourteen and a half millions were appropriated to the building and equipment of a navy.

You had officers sufficient, many of them already of national fame, of large experience and great abilities, but no ships, no seamen. Can you create an army without men and without muskets ? The task of the Israelites in Egypt pales in the contrast; the labors of Sisyphus were not more hopeless.

What could these men do? What did they do? Taking as their guide the wisdom of Scripture, " Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might," they sought service in all available lines,