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Chapter 25:

  • Gettysburg and Vicksburg twin disasters for the Confederates.
  • -- their effect on the Confederate currency. -- the financial system of the Southern Confederacy. -- the modern system of public credits an encouragement to war. -- review of financial experiments in the modern wars of Europe. -- the three conspicuous examples of great Britain, France and Russia. -- the great financial errour in the American war. -- how a bank of exchequer would have operated in the war. -- the rule of reflux in currency. -- brief statement of financial condition of North and South at close of the war. -- suspension of the Southern banks in the first year of the war -- amount of specie in the South at the commencement of the war. -- principal measures of Confederate finance. -- how the Southern banks became involved. -- practical results of their loan to the Government. -- “making money by machinery.” -- sales of Confederate bonds. -- special occasions for this investment. -- unequal to relieve the currency. -- rates of depreciation of the Confederate money.Richmond, the centre of finance and trade. -- gold not a measure of value in the Confederacy. -- reasons for its extraordinary appreciation there. -- comparison of Confederate money with the Continental currency in the Revolution of 1776. -- two capital causes of the depreciation of the Confederate money. -- the influence of speculation. -- how the engrossers managed in Richmond. -- summary of the mismanagement of the Confederate finances


Gettysburg and Vicksburg were twin victories for the Federals-twin disasters for the Confederates. They marked the line where the war turned, and the fortunes of the Southern Confederacy declined. The disaster of Vicksburg was a shock to the whole internal economy of the South; and this period of military disaster was coincident with a distress in material resources, in which some men already thought to discover signs of the fatal decay of the Confederacy. Money has been designated as “the sinews of war ;” and when it is known that the Confederate currency declined a thousand per cent. on the news of these military disasters, it may well be comprehended what occasions of alarm and anxiety they were. The whole concern of the Confederate finances invites a studious consideration, which may well take place here at a period which affected so much

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