Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 358
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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 358
 
 
the belligerents should cease,” there was a large overland trade between the South and the North; the South exchanged her cotton for money or needed supplies and this trade was encouraged by the Washington Government. The intention was good, and if the history of these transactions were to be written from the acts of Congress, the proclamations of the President, the instructions of the Secretary of the Treasury and the orders of the Secretaries of War and Navy, it might be affirmed that a difficult problem had been frankly met and solved. Special agents were appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to collect captured and abandoned property in parts of the Confederacy occupied by our forces which should be sold for the benefit of the United States subject to the rights of ownership of loyal persons. Permits to trade in districts which had been recovered from the Confederacy were issued to “proper and loyal persons” by these agents and other officers of the Treasury Department, but all commercial intercourse beyond the lines of the National Army was strictly forbidden. The special agents were further ordered to confer with the generals commanding the respective departments and they and the authorized traders were in a measure responsible to the military authority but were under the immediate control and management of the Secretary of the Treasury, who supervised this “limited commercial intercourse licensed by the President.” No other trade was legal and all property coming into the United States through other means was ordered to be confiscated.  22
  But the feverish business conditions of 1864 and a certain relaxation in morality were felt in the commercial intercourse between the South and the North. The price of cotton in Boston at the beginning of the year was eighty-one cents per pound; it advanced steadily until the close
 

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