to see him at the White House
in the summer of 1862, and feeling a parental solicitude about the safety of his sons and their chances of success, asked Mr. Lincoln
how many men he thought Jeff. Davis
had in the field.
responded that ‘Jeff. Davis
had 3,000,000 men in the field.’
This startled the old man. After regaining his composure he asked Mr. Lincoln
how he knew this fact.
replied by saying, ‘I have 1,000,000 of men in the field, and whenever one of my generals gets whipped down in Virginia
he always says that the Rebels
had three men to his one.
Yes, sir, I have 1,000,000 in the field and Jeff. Davis
We have said that no correct history of the civil war has yet been written.
Most of the histories now before the public were written before all the official facts from both sides had been published.
The histories of the civil war up to this time have been written with pens dipped in the battle-blood of the fierce conflict, and at the high tide of personal and national prejudice.
The Roman Empire found no historian till Gibbon
arose and gave his immortal history 1,383 years after its fall.
Some Plutarch or Gibbon
will yet arise who will evolve the truth from the tomes of contradictory evidence now published, and give us a history which shall honor alike victor and vanquished.
In order to properly discuss the question, ‘Did the Federals
fight against superior numbers?’
it is necessary to compare the resources of the two governments.
The seceding States in 1861 had, in round numbers, a population of 8,000,000, about 4,000,000 of which were slaves.
The non-seceding States had a population of 24,000,000.
This gave the Union
side about three to one of the aggregate population.
The Confederate States
had a seaboard from the Potomac
to the mouth of the Rio Grande
, and, having no navy, was exposed as much to naval attacks as those by land.
They were, in fact, a beleaguered fortress, girdled on one side by a line of battleships, and on the other by a line of bayonets.
In fact, the morning drum-beat of the Federal
navy was heard in an unbroken strain from Fortress Monroe
to where the Mexic sea
kisses the Mexic shore.
During the war six hundred vessels stood sentinel along the Confederate
The South having been cut off from the outside world by the blockade, and being an agricultural country, had neither navy-yards nor shops for the manufacture of cannon and small arms, and in the first battles her soldiers were often armed with shot-guns till they could capture better arms from the enemy.