James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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    John T. Morse, in his biography of Lincoln, which possesses somehow the authority of a contemporary document as well as the interest of an artistic study of a great man, wrote, “Historians say rhetorically that the North sprang to arms; and it really would have done so if there had been any arms to spring to; but muskets were scarce.” 1 The correspondence in Volume I, Series III of the Official Records amply confirms this statement. The governors of the several States, in their communications to the United States War Department, began by asking for muskets and cannon; soon they were begging for them. Ohio was undoubtedly a fair example of the States west of the Alleghanies. McClellan, who had been appointed major-general of her volunteers, made an inspection of the State arsenal and found, a few boxes of smooth-bore muskets, rusted and damaged; two or three smooth-bore 6-pounders which had been honey-combed by firing salutes; a confused pile of mildewed harness which had been once used for artillery horses. As he went out of the door he said half humorously, half sadly, “A fine stock of munitions on which to begin a great war.” 2 The governor of Iowa’s demand of the Secretary of War, “for God’s sake send us some arms,” exemplified the feeling of all. All the States wanted rifled-muskets, of which the government had only a small supply; and when they received old flint-lock muskets or the same percussioned, they felt that due attention was not being paid to their necessities. Morton, the governor of Indiana, reported that the arms received by his State were of “an inferior character, being old muskets rifled out; in very many instances,” he added, “the bayonets have to be driven on with a hammer and many others are so loose that they can be shaken off.” “Our boys,” wrote the governor of
Note 1. Morse, I, 252. [back]
Note 2. J. D. Cox, B. & L., I, 90. [back]