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[371] eventually ruined by a systematic course of retreat and evasion on the part of the Confederate forces does not appear, as it was not carried out to a conclusion. They saw their homes given up to the possession of the enemy, with no hope that the country would ever be recovered. If the South had been abundantly supplied with all the necessaries for both peace and war, possibly the strategy of retreat might have been good policy, but in view of the destitute condition of the South, it would appear that the very greatest and most aggressive activity was necessary to meet the great superiority of force and material.

The object here is not to criticise commanders. There has never been a great soldier who was not a great strategist; but the greatest strategy in military affairs is that which has been used in gaining advantages in striking a foe rather than in evading him. Of course, rash fighting is all wrong, for it gives the advantage to the other side, but the soldiers who were able to deceive their enemies, and at the same time to deal their sudden and deadly blows when least expected, have been those who have stood highest on the rolls of fame.

Returning, however, to our first inquiry as to the reason for the South's defeat, it does not seem difficult to understand that it was for the lack of machinery and skill for manufacturing all our products, and for making all that was required for carrying on the war and for the maintenance of the people. If we had possessed these facilities, the South could have lived on its own resources and used barter in default of money. The trouble was that the South possessed the richest material resources a country could have, but for the lack of the arms and the skill for manufacturing them, these resources, rich as they were, could not be made available for the manifold uses of war and peace.

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