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Chapter 13

  • Causes of failure.
  • -- Misapplication of means. -- Inefficient financial system. -- bad impressment laws. -- no want of zeal or patriotism. -- refutation of charges against Secretary Floyd. -- facts of the case. -- deficiency of small -- arms at the South.


Much has been written and much more said of the cause of the overthrow of the Confederate States in their great contest for independence. One class, and much the largest — for it includes the people who were victorious in the war, and those Europeans who watched the struggle with interest, as well as many of the Southern people-ascribes it to the superior population and greater resources of the Northern States. Another, a class of Southern people, attributes our defeat to a want of perseverance, unanimity, and even of loyalty, on our own part; and the consequent abandonment of the Government of the Confederacy in its efforts, by the people themselves. In my view, both are far wrong.

The cause of the subjugation of the Southern States was neither want of wealth and population, nor of devotion to their own cause on the part of the people of those States. That people was not guilty of the high crime of undertaking a war without the means of waging it successfully. They had ample means, which, unfortunately, were not applied

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