Grant, in his Wilderness Campaign, foiled at every point, in his direct road to Richmond, sat down before Petersburg, his right wing in touch with the navy on the James, and that he be not shorn of this assistance, obstructed the river against the descent of your gunboats.
The brief career of the Merrimac in Hampton Roads, delayed the advance of McClellan on the Peninsula—gave you the much needed time to put the defences of Richmond in order—evoked the memorable telegram to Fox, assistant secretary of navy: Can I rely upon the Monitor to keep the Merrimac in check, so that I can make Fort Monroe a base of operations, and as late as the 12th of March, 1862, the lamentation of General Barnard, his chief of engineers: The possibility of the Merrimac appearing again, paralyzes the movement of this army by whatsoever route is adopted.
Zzzimportance of Blockades.
The rigid blockade of your ports from the Chesapeake Bay to the Rio Grande, cut off the Confederacy f
nd experience were necessary to adjust a scheme of taxation to the condition of your people, and to put in running order the machinery for collection of revenue.
Expenses had already begun, and demands for large sums of money, for immediate use, were urgent.
The treasury of the common country was in possession of your enemies; save the paltry sum of $500,000 in the mint at New Orleans; paltry to a nation in pressing need of millions.
The receipts of the Confederate Government from February, 1861, to August, 1862—eighteen months—were $302,500,000, its expenditures, $347,300,000, and of this vast sum, but fourteen and a half millions were appropriated to the building and equipment of a navy.
You had officers sufficient, many of them already of national fame, of large experience and great abilities, but no ships, no seamen.
Can you create an army without men and without muskets?
The task of the Israelites in Egypt pales in the contrast; the labors of Sisyphus were not more hop