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 the State could not have met as it did the summons to the three months service; but its general officers were often an embarrassment. It must also be remembered that the Northern mind, generally shrinking from all belief in a coming war, had delayed serious action long after active preparations had begun at the South. Young men coming from that region were amazed, during the winter of 1860-61, to find their Northern acquaintances employing or amusing themselves as usual, while at the South everybody was drilling. All the events in Kansas had not really opened men's eyes. Both sides, moreover, strangely underrated their opponents. At the South, relying on their own more active outdoor habits, men believed that one Southerner was a match for three Yankees; while at the North the reasoning, though proceeding from a different point, reached the same conclusion. ‘Modern war,’ we reasoned, ‘is a matter not of individual hand-to-hand contest, but of machinery, of organization, of inventive skill, of capital, of material resources.’ In all these things we felt that we had the advantage. We did not allow for the effect of necessity in creating these very resources, nor for the fact that adversity was to call out in the South more important inventions and more triumphs of organizing skill than its years of prosperity had ever claimed. The institution of slavery itself, by giving immense supplies of crude labor for fortifications, by supporting families and by educating the habit of command, was doubtless a power in the hands of the South, until we turned it against them by arming the blacks. And, again, Northern men overlooked the enormous difference between offensive and defensive war, especially in a contest spreading over so vast an extent of rough and sparsely settled country. There was thus a general impulse, born partly of desire, to make light of the extent and difficulty of the contest.1 It is remembered that a very able man in Boston, Dr. Samuel Cabot, who had aided largely in sending rifles to Kansas, said once, in speaking of a possible war between the Northern and
1 See Comte de Paris, Civil War in America (Translation, 1, 160): ‘Would it be a military promenade, or a war of conquest? No one was able to predict; but in the North as well as in the South the impression was universal that the war would not be of long duration, and that the first encounters would settle the question; nobody believed that the volunteers summoned by Mr. Lincoln to serve for three years, or during the war, would see their terms of enlistment expire amid the din of battle; neither party had as yet formed an idea of the sacrifices its opponent was capable of making.’ For the over-confidence of the Confederates, see De Leon, Four Years in Rebel Capitals, p. 135. ‘Not one in three looked facts in the face.’ （De Leon, p. 32.) The war was ‘only a campaign, and not to last six months.’ （De Leon, 27, 175.) See the similar opinions expressed by Coombs and Benjamin, in 1861, in Century Magazine (October, 1889, p. 950). But Gen. J. E. B. Stuart held a different opinion. （Eggleston's A Rebel's Recollections.)
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