previous next

[370] facts it is seen that the Confederate cause was placed at a disadvantage for the lack of material supplies which were necessary for the conduct of the war and the comfort of the people that was vastly more serious than was the disparity in numbers.

Then there was a great disadvantage of geographical position and condition. The entire Southern section was divided from north to south by a great navigable river, the Mississippi. This enabled the Federal naval fleets to cut the Confederacy in two, and divorce its western from its eastern section. Its northern boundary was made by the Ohio and Potomac rivers, navigable for boats and largely used by war vessels and military transports. The Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the Southern country were beset by vessels of the blockading fleets.

But so far as the fighting was concerned, it all went well in that part of the Confederacy east of the Alleghany mountain. Army after army, each time under a new commander, was dispatched by the authorities for the capture of Richmond, where the Confederate capital had been set up, and each of those armies in turn had been hurled back, broken, defeated and dreadfully punished. In the meantime the victorious forces of Lee and Jackson had swept the enemy time and again from the celebrated valley of the Shenandoah, the granary of Virginia, while thrice they had fought the foe on his own territory in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

When the Confederate army which operated in Virginia retreated from the northern part of the State, it was only a strategic movement, for it always went back and occupied its old position. When the people saw Lee and Jackson leaving them for a southward march, they had full confidence that the troops would return as they always did. In some other parts of the Confederacy this was not the case. Some of the most noted commanders in the West retreated, never to revisit the positions which they had abandoned, and the people came to understand that this abandonment was final.

This constant retreating was not always necessitated by attacks and defeat at the hands of a superior force of the enemy, but was in obedience to a fixed plan of strategy named from the Roman general, Fabius Maximus, who in his campaigns against Hannibal made it a rule to avoid battle and always to retreat. Hannibal defeated all the troops he ever met, but Fabius, by eluding battle with the great Carthaginian, succeeded in a campaign that lasted thirteen years in wearing out his enemy, which could get no recruits or reinforcements from Carthage across the Mediterranean.

Whether the great Federal armies could have been worn out and

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Shenandoah Valley (Ohio, United States) (1)
Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (1)
Cornfield Point (Maryland, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Robert Lee (2)
Thomas J. Jackson (2)
Hannibal (2)
Fabius Maximus (1)
Fabius (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: