nitre beds and other elaborate arrangements, which required time, and therefore accomplished little before the tide of war was fatally turned against us.
Of men willing to engage in the defence of their country Mr. Davis
himself testifies there were many more than the government could arm. There were very many out of the army who were anxious to enter it, but for whom the government had no arms.
Three hundred and sixty thousand offered their services to the government before it moved from Montgomery
, at the end of May, 1861.
In 1862 accepted regiments were encamped at Richmond
which had been awaiting their arms for several months.
The chief anxiety of General Albert Sidney Johnston
at Bowling Green
was to procure arms and men. Half of his troops were imperfectly armed, and whole brigades remained without weapons during the autumn of 1861.
Importunate cries went up to the government from the West
for the supplies which would enable patriotic citizens to defend their homes.
Here, there, everywhere, the difficulty of the Confederate
administration was the want of arms.
The first Secretary of War
, General L. P. Walker
, after vainly urging the importation of arms by the hundred thousand, resigned, because it was determined by the President
not to put into camps of instruction, for the campaign of 1862, the large number of troops on which the Secretary
2. In the procurement of a navy the Confederate
administration was not more successful.
An appropriation of ten millions of dollars in bonds, invested in cotton, would have enabled the Government
to obtain a sufficient number of first-class steamships, to prevent a blockade; and such a proposition was actually made to it. When the East India Company surrendered to the Crown its control of British India
it had for sale a fleet of swift and stout steamers, built for armament, to secure the Company
's interests in the Indian
seas, and for long voyages.
These vessels, of great size and power (then recently built) were ten in number— four first-class, and six, for our purposes, scarcely inferior.
They could have been bought in England
at less than one-half the cost, and could have been equipped, manned, armed, and put on the coast of the United States
within six months after the formation of the Confederate government 1
—that is, by August or September,