Summary of “God and the Strongest Battalions” In the essay “God and the Strongest Battalions,” Richard Current stated that the North won because they had so much more than the South. The North had an advantage over population; near five to two. They had more wealth, manpower, manufactured goods, agriculture, transportation, finances, and the economic stability to fight and win a war. Current stated that “If wars are won by riches, there can be no question why the North eventually prevailed” (Current 15). Current then talked about the Southern advantages. If statistics were on the side of the North, history seemed to be on the side of the South” (Current 17). The South had the internal spirit because they were fighting for their freedom. The South had the advantage on the geographical side because of the rivers and swamps and because most of the fighting was done on their home front. The last and most important reason that Current wrote about was cotton. He talked about how the South could have used the cotton as a major advantage, but because of bad management and human errors, the South lost all of their hope of winning.
Instead of making the best use of the cotton, the South stopped their planting, burned some of the bales and discouraged the foreign trade associated with it. Current then brought up the point that a new light was thrown on the question of whether the Confederacy was more handicapped by human or by material shortcomings. That question was brought up again when Current wrote more about the Confederate leader’s failures when it came to the transportation, manufacturing, and finances of the South.
The North had a better economy to start with, and the South would have had to do an immense amount of work to even come close to the North’s resources. Another point that Current brought up next was that the Confederacy faced problems of politics and government along with military and naval problems. Overall, the South could not compete with the amount of materials that the North had. They lacked leadership and while the North’s economy grew, the South’s did not. The last point that Current made in his essay was “As usual, God was on the side of the heaviest battalions” (Current 32). And he was right.