Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 206
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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 206
 
 
Fredericksburg, to the excellent reorganization of the Army of the Potomac and to the known confidence of the President and his Cabinet in ultimate success.  43
  When Congress had assembled in December, the nation’s finances were at a low ebb. Many of the soldiers had not been paid for five months, and to them all the paymaster was at least three months in arrears, so that by January 7, 1863, the amount due the army and navy had probably reached the sum of sixty millions. The bonds of the government were not selling. Now all was changed. The Secretary of the Treasury had devised a plan for offering the five-twenty bonds to popular subscription through the employment of a competent and energetic general agent, who, by a system of sub-agencies, wide advertising, and other business methods, appealed to the mingled motives of patriotism and self-interest and induced the people to lend large sums of money to the Government. An impetus was given to this process by the general character of the financial legislation of Congress, and in particular by the clause in the nine hundred million dollar loan act which limited to July 1 the privilege of exchanging legal-tender notes for five-twenty bonds. Immediately after the adjournment of Congress the confidence of the people began to show itself through the purchase of these securities. By the end of March, Chase told Sumner that he was satisfied with the condition of the finances, and ere three more months had passed, he could see that his popular loan was an assured success. The subscriptions averaged over three million dollars a day. The Germans were likewise buying our bonds. On April 26, Sumner wrote to the Duchess of Argyll: “The Secretary of War told me yesterday that our rolls showed eight hundred thousand men under arms—all of them paid to February 28, better clothed and better
 

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