Part XXV

The Great Final Movements

       The trial year of war had arrived, the last of those four years from April, 1861, to April, 1865, in which the Confederacy was defended by armies which had fought with unexcelled courage, and by a navy of gunboats and cruisers created with a rapidity and managed with a skill that provoked astonishment and admiration.
       While little mention in this scant outline has been made of the action of the Confederate administration at Richmond during the progress of hostilities, it will be borne in mind that all departments had been thoroughly absorbed with the business of war. The President, as commander-in-chief, had often been personally in council on the field with military chieftains, and two or three times exposed in battle. The secretaries of war and the navy, the adjutant-general with his assistants, the bureaus and all chiefs of departments had little relaxation from labor. Congress in frequent and prolonged sessions prepared and passed all acts which the increasing pressure of the war demanded. Governors of States, with the officials under them, bent all their energies to the duty of meeting the demands upon them, and the people of the South were industriously working to supply the armies. The numerous Confederate dead were mourned for in thousands of homes; an army of men, disabled by wounds or disease, was scattered in all sections of the Confederacy; the widows and orphans of the fallen Southern braves were receiving the attention of legislatures in their time of need, and although the numbers of the soldiery were greatly diminished and the general resources for war had shrunken everywhere, yet the budding springtime of 1864 brought a renewal of purpose to achieve independence and a revival of the hope that it could be gained.

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GO TO PART XXVI, EVENTS, GREAT AND SMALL, WORK TOGETHER IN 1864