to the object of equipping great armies, and bringing them into the field.
A full treasury was necessary to defray the expenses of a great war. The South had the means of making one, in its cotton alone.
But its Government rejected those means, and limited its financial efforts to printing bank-notes, with which the country was soon flooded.
The necessity of actual money in the treasury, and the mode of raising it, were generally understood in the country.
It was that the Government
should take the cotton from the owners and send it to Europe
as fast as possible, to be sold there.
This was easily practicable; for the owners were ready to accept any terms the Government
might fix; and sending to Europe
was easy in all the first year of the Confederacy
Its Government went into operation early in February.
The blockade of the Southern
ports was proclaimed in May, but not at all effective until the end of the following winter; so that there was a period of about twelve months for the operation of converting four or five million bales of cotton into money.
The sum raised in that way would have enabled the War Department to procure at once arms enough for half a million of men, and after that expenditure the Confederate
treasury would have been much richer than that of the United States
By applying the first money obtained in this way, to the purchase of arms and military accoutrements, or using for the purpose the credit which such an amount of property would have given, the War Department would have been able to equip troops as fast as they could be assembled and organized.
And, as the Southern