Imágenes de páginas

of the Treasury are of the opinion that not more than fifty per cent. of expenses actually incurred up to the end of the war have been brought to the attention of the Depart



It is presumed, then, that the actual Treasury outlay will not exceed $361,000,000. But this is only one of many expenses which may properly be charged to the war. For instance, an expense of more than $10,000,000 has been incurred by the States for the equipment and subsistence of their quotas, as presented to the Auditor of the Treasury for the War Department. These two sums represented by the national appropriations and by the State accounts are the only expenditures accurately known at the present time, and it may be seen that they are materially less than the fanciful figures of the cost of the war given in many newspapers, which have ranged as high as $1,000,000,000, a sum obviously exaggerated. To these actual known expenses there must later be added amounts which now can only be estimated. There will be a pension roll; there will be claims for property taken and used by the army and the navy; there will be interest on the war loan; and who knows but that the administration of our new possessions may not add an item which may be considered as a war expense? Aside from the Government's expenditures, assistance has been rendered by individuals and associations, such as the Red Cross, but there is no means now of accounting for the amounts expended in the work of mercy.

The Government actually paid out an average of $860,000 for each day of the SpanishAmerican War. To this must be added, however, an estimate of fifty per cent. of accounts not yet presented for settlement, which will bring the total up to approximately a million and a quarter a day. And this maximum of expense continued for several weeks after the close of the war, the subsistence of troops and their transportation remaining very much the same as if an actual state of hostility still existed. With these figures some very interesting comparisons can be made with other wars.


Accepting the statistics of Mulhall as to the National Treasury cost of our own Civil War, each day of that war cost the Federal

Government an average of $2,476,760. It will thus be seen that, unless when all accounts are rendered a much different result from that anticipated appears, the daily cost of the Spanish-American War was only about fifty per cent. of that of the Civil War. It must be remembered, however, that there were millions of men in the field during the latter struggle, where only a quarter of a million were engaged in the Spanish-American War, and if actual figures could be given of the cost of the late war based upon the number of men engaged, it would probably be found that the cost of fighting has not been reduced with the introduction of improved arms and ships. The Franco-Prussian War, of course, must be looked upon as one of the most expensive in the history of the world. Mulhall gives the total cost to both sides as £316,000,000, or $1,537,814,000. Lasting a period of 222 days, the average daily cost to both sides was, therefore, $6,927,090. The total number of men engaged was 1,713,000, of whom 1,300,000 were Germans, and an estimate as to the cost of maintaining the German and French armies would indicate that the average daily cost to the successful Germans was about $4,000,000, or very much larger in proportion than the cost of either our Civil War or the recent war.

Fortunately, the character of the present war is such that we shall escape the more serious cost which in most instances follows war. We have been the invaders, and have ourselves been safe from any invasion by the enemy. This fact alone saves the United States from loss which cannot be measured by money. Neither will our stock of raw materials be drawn upon to any great extent, nor will our fixed capital, tools, and instruments be destroyed. More than this, there has been no noticeable interruption in the expansion of industry up to this time, and the return of peace finds the country in as good condition as it was when the war began.

Another picture will serve to show the difference between our fortunate condition and one in which the devastation of war has wrought almost complete ruin. The island of Cuba is acknowledged to be one of the most fertile in the world. In many portions it is possible to raise four crops a year, and the strength of the soil is such that it seems practically inexhaustible. From the evidence furnished by the reports of United States consuls which were submitted to Congress by the President in his recent mes

and, in any event, there is a prospect that the United States will be reimbursed indirectly, if not directly, for whatever expenses it has incurred in the present war.

sage on the relations of the United States and Spain, it is apparent that little else than the soil remains; that the supplies of the ordinary articles of consumption were long since exhausted; that one element of pro- "What will be the gain?" may be asked. duction has been almost completely anni- Certainly the United States has gained in hilated-labor; that thousands of the inhab- prestige as a naval and military power. itants have starved; and that large propor- The whole world has had a demonstration of tions of the dwellings, plantation buildings, what our squadrons and armies are capable and machinery have been burned, and the of doing. We, therefore, make a gain in imlive stock driven away or killed. It is doubt-portance as a member of the family of naful, if Spain had succeeded in subduing the tions. If it should be decided to hold the insurgents, whether Cuba could have been Philippines and Porto Rico as permanent restored to even its anterior prosperity acquisitions, there will be a gain important within a generation, perhaps not in a cen- both from a strategical and commercial point tury; for the only source of rejuvenation of view. The Hawaiian Islands have been would have been from the outside, and it is annexed as an indirect result of the war, safe to say that capital, being proverbially and those should be counted as a gain. Who timid, would have sought places of greater can doubt that our financial prestige has security. Altogether, the restoration of been increased by the floating of a war loan peace on the island, without some assurance at home at three per cent., the lowest rate of a well-organized government, capable of safeguarding capital, would not have restored the destroyed industries within the lifetime of any who may read this article. On the advent of good government, however, the restoration would be speedy. The tendency in the United States at the present time to seek safe fields for the investment of capital would immediately cause the restoration of those forms of capital which are essential to productivity. From the surplus stocks of the United States would be sent provisions, materials, machinery, and, in fact, all those things which capital needs for its rehabilitation.


As against whatever may be our losses and expenditures, in the end there will be certain items of reimbursement which must be considered. It is now likely that Spain will not be called upon to pay a direct indemnity, though to have exacted this would have been in accordance with custom and precedent. At the close of the Franco-German War the French were required to pay an indemnity of $1,000,000,000, and to cede provinces and fortresses. The Chinese-Japanese War resulted in the payment of an indemnity by China to Japan of $168,000,000, and the cession of the island of Formosa. The Greeks, at the close of the recent war with Turkey, were called upon to pay an indemnity of $20,000,000, and the Turkish frontier has been extended. But possibly, if a Republic of Cuba is established, it may be called upon to pay a part of the debt incurred by the United States to secure its independence;

at which any national loan in time of war has ever been negotiated? This loan was subscribed for seven times over, and here is an exhibition of financial strength which cannot fail to have its influence for good, along with the prestige gained by the navy and the army. A gain greater than all others combined is the prestige won by battling for a high moral aim for humanity and civilization.

There are two other entries on the credit side of our nation's ledger, either one of which, it is not extravagant to say, will counterbalance the money cost of this war. We have been drawn closer to our English brothers than we have been at any time since the existence of the nation. We have had a revelation of what an Anglo-American alliance may some day mean in the world's history, and the value of that picture before the minds of the people of these two nations can hardly be measured by us in such figures as we use in speaking of the cost of the war.

And more even than this new fellowship are the stronger bonds of union at home. When South and North marched forth to battle side by side; when Confederate leaders took command of enthusiastic Northern troops; when new pages of history were written, filled with deeds of valor performed by sons of the North and of the South standing shoulder to shoulder battling under the same flag, the Union was cemented stronger than it had ever been since the Declaration of Independence was first read; and who shall say the cost of the war has not been small, when measured against such gains?





N these stirring days of naval deeds and naval heroes, it may not be generally known that only two officers in the United States Navy ever wore the four silver stars of an admiral. Previous to the Civil War, the highest known rank was that of commodore. At the battle of Lake Erie Perry was not yet a captain; Paul Jones reached the rank of acting commodore; Tattnall, he of the historic" blood is thicker than water," fought side by side with the British in the Peiho as a captain, although he flew the blue flag of a rear-admiral. In 1862 the rank of rear-admiral was first bestowed. Two years later three men had grown too great for even this new honor: David Glascoe Farragut, David D. Porter, and Stephen C. Rowan were elevated to the rank of viceadmiral. At the close of the war, when a grateful people could not do enough for its heroes, Congress created the rank of admiral, and bestowed it upon Farragut and Porter. When they died the title died with them, and it has not since been revived.

Singularly enough, the two admirals were foster-brothers, and both learned the art of war under the grim tutelage of old Commodore David Porter, he who swept the English from the Pacific and destroyed so many sturdy whalers that the lights of London were dimmed for many days."

[ocr errors]

Farragut's father, a brave, generous soldier of the Revolutionary War, lived in a fisherman's cabin on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain. Commodore Porter was stationed in New Orleans as a recruiting officer. One day in 1805, while the Commodore's aged father, Sailing-Master David Porter, of the Continental Navy, was fishing in a cove not far from Farragut's cabin, he suddenly pitched forward from his boat into the water, overcome with the heat. The elder Farragut rescued him, and watched by his bed until he died. The Commodore, hurrying to his father's side, saw a lusty-looking boy, five years old, running about the house. He was then unmarried, and being fond of children, he adopted the boy, and gave him the name David Glascoe. Three years later, however, he took a wife to him,

and in 1813 a son, David D., the future admiral and companion of Farragut, was born to him.

The boy Farragut was placed in school at Washington. He proved apt and dutiful, having a deeply religious vein in his character, and he might have made a distinguished student had not the old Commodore chosen him for other work. At the age of twelve he was appointed midshipman, and assigned to the "Essex" for a cruise in the Pacific. While he was yet learning the ropes, Commodore Porter placed him in command of a British prize. It was a vessel of 500 tons burden, with a valuable cargo and an unruly crew of thirty men; but the boy, then scarcely thirteen years old, brought her into port like an old ship-master. After a year's work in the Pacific, Porter put into Valparaiso, where he was blockaded by a superior force of British ships. In an attempt to escape he was disabled and compelled to retreat into the harbor. Here, on March 28, 1814, the British, disregarding the neutrality laws, attacked the "Essex. For the number of ships engaged, it was one of the bloodiest naval battles ever fought. During an action lasting two hours the enemy was compelled to withdraw twice for repairs, and it was not until the "Essex" was on fire and three-quarters of her crew were killed or wounded that Porter surrendered. Farragut had performed the duties of captain's aide, quarter-gunner, and powder-boy, never once flinching, although it was his first battle. In such grim ways did the old Commodore give his lessons.


Up to the age of nineteen Farragut was small and delicate, but on the " Essex" he was the life of the midshipmen's mess, full of fun and as agile as a cat. He liked nothing better than to climb to the top of the mainmast and sit curl-legged, gazing out to sea.

"Where's Glascoe?" the Commodore would ask, missing him.

"Up on the mainmast top, sir," the quartermaster would say, "looking for fresh air."

Fifty years later, Farragut, then an ad

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]


The photograph is the property of R. B. Porter; it was copyrighted in 1864 by McPherson & Oliver.

« AnteriorContinuar »