While the U.S. government acted optimistically to finish its conflict with the Confederacy, by March 1864 the Confederate government fully understood the precarious state of the southern war effort. On March 5, 1864 the Davis government ordered every Confederate ship to allocate one half of its freight capacity to government shipments.
This was designed to purposely limit private profits from blockade running and to assist the government in the procurement of badly needed military and civilian supplies. In other news, the Confederate War Department announced that General John C. Breckinridge would assume overall command of the Confederate Department of Western Virginia. These actions suggest that the Davis government was not optimistic about the future; something had to happen successfully, and quickly, if the South was to prevail in the war.