Now that half a century has passed since the Civil War, we have come to a point where we can deal calmly with the philosophy of the great contest without too great disturbance of the feeling which came near to wrecking our nationality. The actualities of the struggle will be dealt with in the photographic history. Meanwhile it is not amiss in these pages to look into the causes of the South's failure to set up a nation and thus justify Gladstone's surety of Southern success in his Newcastle speech in 1862. It has been, as a rule, taken for granted that the South was worsted in a fair fight in the field. This is so in a moderate
Who shall estimate the value to the United States of the services of its navy which thus isolated the Confederacy, cut it off from communication with the outside world, and at the same time compelled it to guard every point against a raid like that which had destroyed the Capitol of the United States in 1814? Had the Confederacy instead of the United States been able to exercise dominion over the sea; had it been able to keep open its means of communication with the countries of the Old World, to send its cotton abroad and to bring back the supplies of which it stood so much in need; had it been able to blockade Portland, Boston, Newport, New York, the mouth of the Delaware, and the entrance of Chesapeake Bay; had it possessed the sea power to prevent the United States from despatching by water into Virginia its armies and their supplies, it is not too much to say that such a reversal of conditions would have reversed the outcome of the Civil War.