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CHAPTER VIII.

GOVERNMENT OF GEORGIA IN RELATION TO THE WAR.

This State is necessarily conspicuous in any full and fair narrative of the achievements of Southern arms during the war with the United States; and while not feeling summoned by any charges or implications against the gallantry and heroism of her officers and soldiers, and not desiring to give them undue or unjust prominence among the forces so nobly representing other States of the Confederacy, where all achieved so much to perpetuate their fame, ample justice is attempted in other parts of our work to the noble sons of Georgia. It is perhaps impossible to set forth the number of troops the State had in the service. In the belief of its truth I have stated that she sent a larger number in proportion to white population than any State north or south. This fact, if true, is. referred to, not to cast the remotest reflection upon any Confederate State. For they all in view of the circumstances surrounding them performed their duty nobly in furnishing troops, and the conduct of their citizen soldiers. But it is a part of the means at command of repelling charges that have been made against the administration of the State, to the effect that it hindered and impeded the Confederate government in the prosecution of the war.

Such a charge or implication aimed at her Governor, and embracing her people who at the ballot box, at the home precincts, and at the voting places in the army sustained him, calls for special notice, and such is the purpose of this chapter.

As the sequel will disclose, there was conflict of judgment between Governor Brown and President Davis, as to the method of raising forces in the State for the Confederate service; some of the troops were organized, the officers commissioned, and the regiments turned over by the State to the Confederacy. The government authorized men to raise regiments, legions, battalions, etc. Aspiring men organized companies of infantry, artillery, cavalry, and with other denominations, and were received into the Confederate service. By acts of the Confederate Congress the President received many organizations, and by the enrolling and conscript officers, large numbers of troops who were distributed among the commands of this and other States. Some of the small commands were organized with troops from other States.

Even during the war the matter of Georgia troops was of such uncertainty of identification, as to their number and organizations, that the Governor, acting under the authority of the Legislature, detailed the writer of this treatise to make a roll of Georgia troops in the Confederate service. On arriving at Richmond, the demands on the war department in June, 1803, were such, in consequence of army movements at that time, as to render the mission impracticable. I was recalled and, disasters following rapidly, the matter was delayed and, on account of the downfall of the Confederacy, was never undertaken afterwards.

The regiments of the State organized before and after the war began, under the State authority, and turned over to the Confederacy, and those raised in the State by Con. federate authority, the numerous battalions and companies aggregated and conscripts raised in the State and sent to commands already in the field, and the troops employed in the State service under the command of the Governor, and used in the common defence, amounted to troops enough for about one hundred average regiments. The State had only a little upwards of 100,000 voters at a full election, and a population of 583,000 whites, and 462,000 blacks at the opening of the war. It is a truth to be noted that the regiments raised and turned over by the Governor, and those organized by Confederate authority in the State, were generally full in numbers, and of the material that compared favorably with the troops of other States. And still more noteworthy is the fact which is beyond dispute, that Georgia remained nearly to the last within Confederate lines, and her soldiers did not in large numbers retire to their homes, and that in the main her regiments were kept fuller and better recruited than those from some of the other States. It would be untrue to assume that there were not Georgia stragglers and deserters, as there were from all the States, in large numbers toward the close of the war, when the morale of the army was affected by the conquests and advances of the Union forces, the defeats and disasters of ours, and the generally failing fortunes of the Confederacy and loss of the grounds of hope for final success, and the alienation of the feelings of the people by the course of the Confederate Government and her authorities, civil and military. But it is true, in fact, that a larger proportion of her troops remained at the front, and in line, than from several other States, if not all of them.

It is not true, in fact, that the civil administration of this State obstructed the Confederacy or hindered its plans and enterprises, or its success, by any lack or with

holding of her quota of the means of war, either in soldiers, quartermaster and commissariat stores, stock, provisions, clothing, medical aid, fighting men, or ability in military officers, or in the civil departments of the Confederate government.

If it were, on the other hand, asserted that the ruling powers of the Confederacy, in the civil department, did not obstruct, hinder, delay, and finally defeat the grand purposes of the revolution, and necessitate the downfall

, of the Confederacy, in part, by the measures and policy wherein President Davis differed in judgment from Governor Brown, and about which they had controversy during the war, it would be to ask observing and thinking people to overlook and disregard the direct relation between cause and effect—the alienation of the people in part from the government; the abatement of their ardor in the cause of Southern independence by the manifest discriminations and injustice of the Confederate government, and its apparent disregard of the principles of constitutional law, and of equality of rights—for the love of which they had gone into the revolution.

On the other hand, with the advantages of a full retrospect, and a better knowledge of our own and the resources of the government at war with us, and the feelings and influences of foreign nations, it would be speculative to argue that even if the views and policy of Governor Brown had been adopted and carried out by Mr. Davis, we should have achieved independence-as many of the most discerning people believe. Hence, we address ourself to the task of faithfully and fairly presenting the facts and truths of the matter between them.

President Davis and Governor Brown had been lifelong Jeffersonian Democrats, and therefore State rights men. They had been, in all the controversies between national and local parties, growing out of the subject of slavery, ardent pro-slavery and southern rights Democrats; and both favored the measures and policy on the part of their respective parties and States which led to withdrawal, and the organization of the Confederate government, and which invited or provoked the war, as the Federals understood the question; and both carried all their talents, moral courage, energy and patriotism into the contest. After the steps had been taken, and war had resulted, both saw and comprehended its magnitude, its destructive power, and the dangers to which the South was exposed; and both realized that their own, and the fortunes and happiness of their people, depended upon the success of the revolution. One was President of the Confederate States; the other, Governor of Georgia—a very important member of the new union, in geographical position, resources in men and money, and in the morale of the government resulting from the vast influence of her public men over the people of the South. They were men of strong mind-self-confident and self-reliant, men of strong and decided convictions, and settled opinions after investigation; and both were executive in talents, and decidedly so in disposition; with this difference between Brown and Davis, and between him and all the public men of the South-his mind acted with more rapidity and precision, and he never grew tired or fagged; and while he never lacked for expedients, and his mind was ever fruitful of plans, he never adhered to or followed them after their failure was manifest; but like Davis, until convinced of mistake or error, he adhered firmly to his opinions. They are alike endowed with firmness by nature, which has been largely cultivated in practice.

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