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[513] twelve months, great concern was felt in the winter of 1861 and 1862, that steps should be taken to keep up the number in the field during the ensuing summer, and the Confederate Congress took up the subject at an early day. After much discussion, a law was passed and published to the army on the 1st of January, 1862, offering to all twelve months volunteers, who should reenlist, a furlough of thirty days at home (allowing additional time for necessary traveling), transportation going and returning, a bounty of fifty dollars, and the privilege of re-organizing and re-electing their own regimental and company officers at the expiration of the first enlistment.

The desired result was fully attained by this law, assisted by the imminent prospect, and the final passage of the Conscription Act of April 16, 1862, but the privilege of re-electing all officers was probably very little inducement to re-enlistment, and its operation was certainly very detrimental to the service. The best authorities among the Federal historians of the war, in apologizing for their mishaps in its earlier stages, ascribe a great share of their calamities to the fact that their officers were, at first, elected by the men, and were consequently often very poor selections. The tendency of such a method of appointment is, doubtless, bad, although it is perhaps the only practicable way, where an army has to be so suddenly raised from among a people with no experience in warfare; but its ill effects, bad as they may be are far less than must necessarily arise from allowing a re-election and giving long notice of it beforehand. A visible relaxation of discipline, and others and even worse forms of electioneering immediately begin, and the most unscrupulous aspirants are apt to be the most successful in military as well as in political elections.

Doubtless, in many individual cases, changes were made for the better, and many excellent officers were retained, and even promoted, in spite of being strict disciplinarians; but such cases were exceptions, which were most rare in the very officers which have most to do with the discipline of the men. There can be no doubt that in the electioneering which preceded, and the results which followed these elections, occurring as they did while the habits and customs of the army were still in process of formation, the discipline of the Confederate service received a blow from which it never entirely recovered.

There has been no subject more grossly and persistently misrepresented by Northern writers in discussions of the war than that of the discipline of the Confederate army. Wherever the Southern line of battle has breasted unflinching a storm of missiles, or won the admiration even of its foes by an irresistible charge, or in any way brought

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