The farms of soldiers were generally under the management of women, and therefore were, not unusually, drawn upon for much more than their proportion.
Hence it was not uncommon for a soldier to be written to by his wife, that so much of the food he had provided for herself and his children had been impressed, that it was necessary that he should return to save them from suffering or starvation.
Such a summons, it may well be supposed, was never unheeded.
The sufferings of the soldiers themselves, produced by the want of proper clothing, drove many of the least hardy out of the ranks.
Want of food also is said to have had the same effect, especially in the army before Richmond
, in the last winter of the war.
It was by such causes, all due to an empty treasury, that our armies were so reduced in the last months of the war.
As to the charge of want of loyalty, or zeal in the war, I assert, from as much opportunity for observation as any individual had, that no people ever displayed so much, under such circumstances, and with so little flagging, for so long a time continuously.
This was proved by the long service of the troops without pay, and under exposure to such hardships, from the causes above mentioned, as modern troops have rarely endured; by the voluntary contributions of food and clothing sent to the armies from every district that furnished a regiment; by the general and continued submission of the people to the tyranny of the impressment system as practised-such a tyranny, I believe, as no other high-spirited people ever endured-and by the sympathy