Page images
PDF
EPUB

Northern factories alone could not supply the armies. But finance and factories together could. The Southern soldier looked to the battlefield and the raiding of a base for supplying many of his most pressing needs in arms, equipment, clothing, and even food — for Southern transport suffered from many disabilities. Fierce wolfish cries would mingle with the rebel yell in battle when the two sides closed. “You've got to leave your rations!”

Come out of them clothes!” — “Take off them boots, Yank!” — “Come on, blue bellies, we want them blankets !”

It was the same in almost every kind of goods. The South made next to none for herself and had to import from the North or overseas. The North could buy silk for balloons. The South could not. The Southern women gave in their whole supply of silk for the big balloon that was lost during the Seven Days' Battle in the second year of the war. The Southern soldiers never forgave what they considered the ungallant trick of the Northerners who took this many-hued balloon from a steamer stranded on a bar at low tide down near the mouth of the James. Thus fell the last silk dress, a queer tribute to Northern sea-power! Northern seapower also cut off nearly everything the sick and

Bar

[ocr errors]

I

وو

[ocr errors]

wounded needed; which raised the death rate of on the Southern forces far beyond the corresponding death rate in the North. Again, preserved rations were almost unknown in the South. But they were plentiful throughout the Northern armies far too plentiful, indeed, for the taste of the men, who got “fed up” on the dessicated vegetables and concentrated milk which they rechristened “desecrated vegetables” and “consecrated milk."

There is the same tale to tell about transport and munitions. Outside the Tredegar Iron Works at Richmond the only places where Southern cannon could be made were Charlotte in North Carolina, Atlanta and Macon in Georgia, and Selma in Alabama. The North had many places, each with superior plant, besides which the oversea munition world was far more at the service of the openported North than of the close-blockaded South. - What sea-power meant in this respect may be estimated from the fact that out of the more than three-quarters of a million rifles bought by the North in the first fourteen months of the war all but a beggarly thirty thousand came from overseas.

Transport was done by road, rail, sea, and inཤ. land waters. Other things being equal, a hundred tons could be moved by water as easily as ten by

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

N

rail or one by road. Now, the North not only enjoyed enormous advantages in sea-power, both mercantile and naval, but in road, rail, canal, and river transport too. The road transport that affected both sides most was chiefly in the South, because most maneuvering took place there. **Have you been through Virginia? — Yes, in several places” is a witticism that might be applied to many another State where muddy sloughs abounded. In horses, mules, and vehicles the richer North wore out the poorer and blockaded South. Both sides sent troops, munitions, and supplies by rail whenever they could; and here, as-a glanee at the map will show, the North greatly surpassed the South in mileage, strategic disposition, and every other way.

The South had only one through line from the Atlantic to the Mississippi; and this ran across that Northern salient which threatened the South from the southwestern Alleghanies. The other rails all had the strategic defect of not being convenient for rapid concentration by land; for most of the Southern rails were laid with a view to getting surplus cotton and tobacco overseas. The strategic gap at Petersburg was due to a very different cause; for there, in order to keep its local transfers, the

« PreviousContinue »