Part XXXI

Some General Results.

       In the general statistics of this war of four years' duration, it has been computed that there were 2,500 engagements reported by names, besides many not mentioned; the United States put 2,773,304 enlisted men in their armies, and the Confederate States 800,000. Upon the supposition that these numbers represented many re-enlistments, it will be considered that deductions must be made from both amounts alike, which will still leave the disparity of about four Federal soldiers to one Confederate actually employed in the war. One million soldiers and seamen of the two armies and navies suffered death or permanent disability during actual service, and a large additional number died soon after the war ended, from wounds and diseases contracted in service. Many thousands of survivors remained sufferers from the effects of this hard warfare. The loss of commerce and of labor is estimated in only a slight degree by the immense expenses of war, which were met by taxation and government loans. Over 3,000,000 men employed in the business of destructive war were taken from productive pursuits of peace. To the expenses of the two general governments in maintaining war, add the expenditures of all the States and many municipalities. Include in the account the actual destruction of valuable property, of which no reliable data can be obtained. Taking all data into calculation, the sum total of the cost has been reasonably computed at $10,000,000,000. On the credit side of this statement, it appears that not a foot of territory was added; not one of the great number of material advantages which nations ought to gain resulted from the struggle between the sections. Yet there were some inestimable results like these: State secession ceased to be a remedy for redress of popular grievances; the statehood of the State, put in peril first by coercion and next by reconstruction, stood its trial by both adversaries, and at last triumphed at a judgment bar which recognizes the legal force and political worth of the Constitution of the United States; the Union of all States under the great instrument which formed it has been demonstrated to be better than a division of sections, and the Constitution to be worth fighting for against those who would subvert it. American military and naval skill was proved to the world's nations. The Confederacy proudly presented to fame Albert Sidney Johnston, Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, P. T. Beauregard among its generals in chief command, and Wheeler, Forrest, Stuart, Hampton as cavalry chieftains; while Stonewall Jackson led all in those rare, unique capacities of his own whose work was arrested by death. In its navy, Buchanan and Semmes made fame without resources, and the necessity which stimulates invention induced naval construction with devices for war with ships, that ushered a new era in naval warfare. The general fighting qualities of American soldiers, such as steadiness, celerity, courage and intelligent obedience to orders, were made apparent to all nations, and in a word, the power of the American Union of States was developed.

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