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[690] but the classes from which these recruitments could be made were so restricted that the measures produced but insignificant results.

The law of April 16th, applied to a population of about five million whites, should, according to calculations based upon the last census, have furnished seven hundred and fifty-two thousand three hundred and forty-two drafted men; and adding to it the exempts who had enlisted as volunteers, the forces of the Confederacy ought to have numbered eight hundred thousand men. This figure was never reached, and it is difficult to form an estimate of the real resources which this law placed at the disposal of Mr. Davis; it is to be supposed, however, that it gave him from four to five hundred thousand effective combatants. This law had, therefore, at the most critical moment, in the spring of 1862, filled the cadres of the armies of the rebellion, and enabled their generals to undertake the long and sanguinary campaigns we have related. But these campaigns caused gaps in the Confederate ranks which could not be filled except by ordering a new levy in the Southern States. Responding to the wishes expressed by Mr. Davis in his message of August 18th, Congress passed a law on the 27th of September extending the limit of compulsory service in regard to age by ten years. All the whites residing in the South, from thirty-five to forty-five years of age, were, in their turn, subjected to compulsory service, the draft being thus made to comprise twenty-six classes; the term of their service was likewise fixed at three years. Finally, the conscription law was made to include all young men who had completed their seventeenth year since the 16th of April. It was under the operation of these new measures, affecting the whole able-bodied population of the Confederacy, that the armies were reorganized and prepared for the sanguinary campaigns of Murfreesborough and Vicksburg in the West, and of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg in the East. It may be said that these campaigns mark the greatest effort made by the Confederates in defence of the cause which they upheld with so much vigor. The troops enrolled at that period, in fact, formed the principal nucleus of their armies until the close of the war; the laws which were subsequently passed, extending still further

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