James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.
|THAT war is an economic waste is a commonplace; that the man is much more valuable than the dollar a truism, for the great evil of war is the killing of men. Homer’s thought when speaking of a lusty stripling who was smitten to the death cannot fail to occur, “He repaid not his dear parents the recompense of his nurture.” 1 It is the tragedy of war that the high-spirited men are at the front and the skulkers in the rear; that the hearts of a large number of men are not in the fight. And these flee from danger, saying with Falstaff, “The better part of valor is discretion; in the which better part I have saved my life.” 2
| In the course of this story we have seen how civilians were made into soldiers to fight bloody battles which presaged still greater sacrifices and a carnage of nearly three more years. We have now to consider another factor in the situation: to wit, money, which has come to mean the sinews of war. It was indispensable that the United States should keep up its credit among nations, and this, in view of its daily expenditure having increased from $178,000 to a million and a half dollars, 3 was work requiring the highest kind of financial ability. Until December 31, 1861, the war had been carried on by the placing of loans through the coöperation of the United States Treasury and the banks and by the issue of about 25 millions of United States notes payable on demand without interest; all transactions had been on a specie basis. But the loans had exhausted