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Why the Confederacy lost

How the Confederacy handled conscription was one of the most important reasons for losing the war. (according to Emory Upton)

I found interesting that General Emory Upton commented and believed that....

"A still graver fault was, however, committed. Wholly abandoning the principle of voluntary enlistments, the date of this law, February 17 [1864], was such that with proper foresight and statesmanship the new organizations could speedily have been formed into an army of the second line, which, opportunely brought to the support of the hard-pressed troops in the field, might possibly have insured the triumph of the Confederate arms. But, since the days of the Declaration of Independence, American statesmen, North and South, have never comprehended the necessity or advantages of military reserves.

The sixth section of this law [The Final Confederate Conscription Act] shows that more than two months before the opening of the great campaign of 1864, which was destined to destroy the last hope of the Rebellion, the same Confederate Congress that adopted the principle of conscription in April, 1862, and had successively extended it till every white man between the ages of 17 and 50 was declared to be "in the military service of the Confederate States for the war," was capable, while organizing the last reserves, of voluntarily enacting that " in no event should they " be required to perform service out of the State " in which they might reside. This mistake of legislation, which, fortunately for the Union, destroyed the last chance of reenforcement and concentration, doomed the Confederate armies in the field to waste away by death, disease, and desertion until, overwhelmed by numbers, they were finally compelled to surrender."

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David Upton

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