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[423] people were full of enthusiasm, five hundred thousand men could have been ready and in the field had such a course been pursued, at the time when the first battle was actually fought — the 21st of July, 1861. Such a force placed on the Northern borders of the Confederacy before the United States had brought a fourth of the number into the field, would probably have prevented the very idea of “coercion.” Such a disposition of such an army, and the possession of financial means of carrying on war for years, would have secured the success of the Confederacy.

The timely adoption of such a financial system would have secured to us the means of success, even without an extraordinary importation of arms, and the immediate organization of large armies. It would have given the Confederacy a treasury richer than that of the United States. We should thus have had, to the end of the war, the means of paying our soldiers; and that would have enabled such of them as belonged to the laboring class to remain in the ranks. This class, in the Confederacy as in all other countries, formed the body of the army. In all the earlier part of the war, when the Confederate money was not much below that of the United States in value, our troops were paid with some regularity, and the soldiers of the laboring class who had families, fed and clothed them with their pay, as they had formerly done with the wages of their labor. And so long as that state of things continued, the strength of the Confederate armies was little impaired; and those armies were maintained on such a footing as to justify the hope, which was general in the South until the fall of 1864, that we were to win

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