Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy

By Albert Burton Moore | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV
THE LAST DAYS

WHEN Grant resumed his drive on Richmond and Sherman started north to meet him it was understood that a decision would soon be made in favor of independence or re-union. The tide of time and the fortunes of war were about to bring the contending forces to the decisive hour. There could be no question about results if Lee's and Johnston's armies were not enlarged and adequately equipped and provisioned. Secretary Seddon expressed the Administration's view when he wrote to General Cobb: "Soldiers are our greatest necessity"; and no duties were "of such immediate and vital importance as those which minister to the recruitment of our armies."1

The people sensed the gravity of the hour, and there was gloom and deep despondency throughout the land. Friendly patriots, who had notions as to how the Confederacy could save itself, put to a severe test the President's claim that he read all letters addressed to him; while his enemies spared no effort to ridicule and revile him. There was a tremendous hue and cry against him in the press. The editors of the Examiner and Mercury, overcome with wrath and disgust, boldly propagated the idea of overthrowing him;2 while many other papers,

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1
O. R. ser. IV, vol. III,981, 1030.
2
The Mercury said that "a more inefficient organization never dis-

-336-

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