In April, 1863, a naval attack on Charleston was planned, but was carried no farther than a severe battering of Fort Sumter. In August, 1864, Admiral Farragut led his fleet past Forts Morgan and Gaines, that guarded the entrance of Mobile Bay, captured the Confederate fleet and took the forts. Mobile, however, was not taken till April, 1865, just as the Confederacy reached its end. Fort Fisher, which commanded the entrance to Cape Fear River, on which stood Wilmington, the great port of entry for blockade runners, fell before the attack of a combined land and naval force in January, 1865.
1. The naval operations of the war opened with the blockade of the coast of the Confederate States.
2. This was necessary in order to prevent cotton, sugar, and tobacco being sent abroad in return for materials of war.
3. As a result blockade running was carried on to a great extent.
4. In order to destroy our commerce a fleet of cruisers was built in England, purchased and manned by the Confederate government. They inflicted very serious damage.
5. But the great event of the war was the battle between the ironclads Monitor and Merrimac, which marked the advent of the iron-armored war ship.
THE COST OF THE WAR
%464. The Cost in Money.%—When Fort Sumter was fired on in 1861 and Lincoln made his call for volunteers, the national debt was $90,000,000, the annual revenue was $41,000,000, and the annual expenses of the government $68,000,000. As the expenses were vastly increased by the outbreak of war, it became necessary to get more money. To do this, Congress, when it met in July, 1861, began a financial policy which must be described if we are to understand the later history of our country.
%465. Power to raise Money.%—The Constitution gives Congress power
1. “To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises.”
2. “To borrow money on the credit of the United States.”
3. To apportion direct taxes among the several states according to their population.
%466. Raising Money by Taxation; Internal Revenue.%—Exercising these powers, Congress in 1861 increased the duties on articles imported, laid a direct tax of $20,000,000. and imposed a tax of three per cent on all incomes over $800. The returns were large, but they fell far short of the needs of the government, and in 1862 an internal revenue system was created. Taxes were now imposed on spirits and malt liquors; on manufactured tobacco; on trades, professions, and occupations; till almost everything a man ate, drank, wore, bought, sold, or owned was taxed. The revenue collected from such sources between 1862 and 1865 was $780,000,000.
%467. Raising Money “on the Credit of the United States."%—Money raised by internal revenue and the tariff was largely used to pay current expenses and the interest on the national debt. The great war expenses were met by borrowing money in two ways: