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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/228

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220 Southern Historical Society Papers.

ing an army of negroes the North, no doubt, holds this thought in perspective.


We can see three great causes operating to destroy us:

1. The inferiority of our armies to those of the enemy in point of numbers.

2. The poverty of our single source of supply, in comparison with his several sources.

3. The fact that slavery, from being one of the chief sources of strength at the commencement of the war, has now become, in a military point of view, one of our chief sources of weakness.

The enemy already opposes us at every point with superior num- bers, and it is endeavoring to make the preponderance irresistible.

President Davis, in his recent message, says the enemy "has recently ordered a large conscription and made a subsequent call for volunteers, to be followed, if ineffectual, by a still further draft." In addition, the President of the United States announces that " he has already in training an army of 100,000 negroes as good as any troops," and that every fresh raid he makes and new slice of territory he wrests from us will add to this force. Every soldier in our army already knows and feels our numerical inferiority to the enemy. Want of men in the field has prevented him from reaping the fruits of his victories, and has prevented him from having the furlough he expected after the last reorganization, and when he turns from the wasting armies in the field to look at the source of supply, he finds nothing in the prospect to encourage him.

Our single source of supply is that portion of our white men fit for duty and not now in the ranks. The enemy has three sources of supply; first, his own motley population; secondly, our slaves; and, thirdly, Europeans, whose hearts are fired into a crusade against us by fictitious pictures of the atrocities of slavery, and who meet no hindrance from their governments in such enterprise, because these governments are equally antagonistic to the institution.

In touching the third cquse, the fact that slavery has become a military weakness, we may rouse prejudice and passion, but the time has come when it would be madness not to look at our danger from every point of view and to probe it to the bottom.