James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
by proclamation.1 The response to his different calls for troops was thus described in his Fourth-of-July message: One of the greatest perplexities of the government is to avoid receiving troops faster than it can provide for them. In a word, the people will save their government if the government itself will do its part only indifferently well. Our Secretary of War (Cameron), to judge from the official correspondence during the first months of the war, appears to have been good-natured, inefficient, short-sighted,a man of narrow views. Lincoln, on the other hand, keenly alive to the situation, was repeatedly urging the War Department to accept the men who offered themselves for three years and take the chance of providing them with arms, uniforms and monthly pay; thus, in the beginning, even as in the later years of his presidency, his first thought was for the chief requirement of his side; he would have the men; the provision to be made for them could be left to the future.
The unpreparedness of the Southern people was similar to that of the Northern, but their difficulty in procuring arms and ammunition was greater. Accustomed as they had been to buy their powder from Northern factories, they were now obliged to develop this industry within their own borders. With less money and inferior credit they found it more difficult to make purchases abroad; moreover the blockade soon became a serious impediment to their commerce. On May 3, General Scott wrote, We rely greatly on the sure operation of a complete blockade of the Atlantic and Gulf ports soon to commence.2 Mrs. Chesnut, who had dined with Jefferson Davis in Richmond on July 16,
Note 1. 42,034 volunteers for three years; 22,714 for the regular army; 18,000 seamen for the navy. O. R., III, I, 145. [back]
Note 2. On April 27 the President had extended the blockade to Virginia and North Carolina. O. R., III, I, 122. [back]