for one was offered and not taken.
It was natural for the citizens of Richmond
to think that monstrous prices were being extorted for food, clothing, and supplies, when in fact they'were paying no more than was reasonable.
To pay a thousand dollars for a barrel of flour was enough to strike a householder with terror, but ten dollars is not a famine price.
High prices, however, even if paid in dry leaves, are a hardship when dry leaves are not plentiful; and there was scarcity even of Confederate money in the South
At every advance of Grant
's lines a new alarm was manifested in Richmond
, the first proof of which was always a fresh rigor in enforcing the conscription laws and the arbitrary orders of the frightened authorities.
After the capture of Fort Harrison
, north of the James
, squads of guards were sent into the streets with directions to arrest every able-bodied man they met. It is said that the medical boards were ordered to exempt no one capable of bearing arms for ten days. Human nature will not endure such a strain as this, and desertion grew too common to punish.
As disaster increased, the Confederate government steadily lost ground in the confidence and respect of the Southern
and his councilors were doing their best, but they no longer got any credit for it. From every part of the Confederacy
came complaints of what was done, demands for what was impossible to do. Some of the States were in a condition near to counter-revolution.
A slow paralysis was benumbing the limbs of the insurrection, and even at the heart its vitality was plainly declining.
The Confederate Congress, which had hitherto been the mere register of the President
's will, now turned upon him. On January 19 it passed a resolution making Lee
general-in-chief of the army.
This Mr. Davis