Doc. 186.-an appeal to Southern matrons.
Assistant Quartermaster's office, clothing, camp, and garrison Depot, Selma, October 8, 1863.I want all the blankets and carpets that can possibly be spared. I want them, ladies of Alabama, to shield your noble defenders against an enemy more to be dreaded than the Northern foe with musket in hand — the snows of coming winter. Do you know that thousands of our heroic soldiers of the West sleep on the cold, damp ground, without tents? Perhaps not. You enjoy warm houses and comfortable beds. If the immortal matrons and maidens of heathen Rome could shear off and twist into bow strings the hair of their heads to arm their husbands and brothers in repelling the invader, will not the Christian women of the Confederacy give the carpets off their floors to protect against the chilly blasts of winter those who are fighting, with more than Roman heroism, for their lives, liberty, and more, their honor? Sufficient blankets cannot be had in time. Food and clothing failing the army, you and your children will belong to Lincoln. To get your daily bread, you will then be permitted to hire yourselves to your heartless enemies as servants, or perchance to your own slaves. Think of that! Think of your brothers, fathers, and sons drenched with the freezing rains of winter, and send in at once every blanket and carpet, old or new, you can spare. They will be held as a sacred trust. As soon as they can be gotten ready for issue, they will be sent to the Quartermaster-in-Chief of General Johnston's army for distribution. As a guarantee that a proper disposition shall be made of such as may be donated, H. H. Ware, Esq., will receive and receipt for the same at Selma. Honorable and well-known names will be announced to receive and receipt for the same at Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Demopolis, Marion, and elsewhere. We will pay a liberal price for all that may be delivered at this place, or to any bonded quartermaster in this State, upon the presentation of his certified account upon form No. 12. Honorable boards of mayor and aldermen of incorporated towns will please take such action in this regard as to them may be deemed best calculated to aid us in the premises. Ministers of the Gospel also are urgently requested to call the attention of their congregations to this matter. Every one, male or female, who can furnish a blanket may save a man to the army. Having been assigned to the duty of providing clothing and camp and garrison equipage for the army of the West, I make this appeal to the people in confidence. Your obedient servant,
W. M. Gillaspie, Captain and A. Q. M.