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[361] their food became very indifferent. In the spring of 1863, I spent two days in the camp of a Confederate cavalry brigade, and their food was simply flour and beef, nothing else. They had not an ounce of salt, and it was not to be got for love or money. They mixed the flour with water, baked it, and roasted the beef on the end of a stick. I could but contrast their style of living with that of the well fed and splendidly equipped Federal army, with their full rations of coffee pork, beef, salt, bread, and beans, and convenient cooking vessels.

In clothing, there was no comparison. The Southern uniform was supposed to be gray, but the soldiers wore homespun of all colors. Of overcoats they had no regular supply Blankets were very scarce. Ditto woolen shirts and socks. The splendid double-thick overcoat which every Federal soldier had was usually warmer than every article of clothing that the Southern soldier had combined. I do not think that the Confederate Government attempted to issue overcoats to their men. At least I never saw any among them that bore resemblance to uniformity. But it was in cavalry equipment that the Federal soldier stood out pre-eminently superior. And over all, he had an oil-cloth blanket which fitted around the neck, keeping the whole person dry, as well as protecting arms and ammunition. Much of the Southern cavalry was ridiculously equipped. In one regiment I have seen four or five different kinds of rifles and shot-guns, all sorts of saddles, some with rope stirrups, many of the saddles without blankets; all sorts of bridles, and in fact a conglomerate get — up fairly laughable. The horses were usually fed on raw corn on the cob. Baled hay, sacked corn, and oats, such as the Union army had, was rather a rarity on the other side. I speak of what fell under my own observation. The stock of the Southern army, horses and mules, never looked as well as that of the Union army. The animals of the two armies could be distinguished even if no men were about. Animals in the Union army were not only better fed, but better attended, better groomed, and cared for. Another point of difference was the superior brightness and cleanliness of the Northern arms. The muskets and bayonets, and brass ornaments upon the ammunition boxes always looked bright and cleanly. In the Southern army there was never this care to keep the guns bright and free from dirt and rust.

The first time I visited a large camp of the Union army, I was struck with the convenience of everything as compared with Southern camps. This was afterward repeatedly verified. The Northern soldiers, although they might be in camp but a few days,

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1863 AD (1)
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