Jerked beef Campstone
--It is impossible to mobilize an army of any magnitude in a mountain country, if it is to adhere rigidly to the rules of military ptry, and never to hazard its communication with supplies, or to march without a long retinue of baggage-wagons and camp equipage.
Celerity and suddenness of movement are the great essentials of success in mountain warfare.
An army which can carry its provisions on its back for ten days and can march and bivouac all the time without baggage or encumbrances of any sort, cannot fail to make itself-felt in mountain campaigning.
The lamest of all excuses for a General commanding in such a region is that of had roads and steep assents.-- Soldiers on foot can get over ground without the facility of wagon roads, and can zigzag up and down mountains of any declivity so that they be not perpendicular.
Celerity of movement makes an army mach stronger than an enemy of equal force, If five thousand hostile forces are in one place, and five thousand in another, a good General, with an active army of six thousand men, can whip the ten, by pouncing upon the most accessible body of the enemy first, and attending to the other five thousand afterwards.
Vigor and rapidity of motion compensates for the want of numbers, and multiply an army's strength.
furnished admirable examples of small numbers resisting great ones in their revolution; and they were enabled to do so simply by carrying with them in their marches dried meat and provisions in sufficient quantity to last them many days at a time.
Parched corn is now recommended by some of them as an admirable substitute for bread.
Jerked beef and parched corn are light articles, and enough of them can be carried in a haversack for a week or a fortnight's supply.
This mode of campaigning, if it could be successfully employed by our Generals
, would greatly facilitate the re-conquest of North-western Virginia
The populous States of Ohio
, not to speak of Pennsylvania
, are too near to that portion of our State to permit us to cope with the Yankees
there with equal numbers.
It is necessary for us to make up by celerity of movement for our deficiency of numerical strength We must, of course, have magazines for provisions and ammunition, regular camps, and baggage wagons and tent equipage in sufficient quantity; but the movements of our troops will have to be disengaged from these encumbrances, if we would accomplish the early expulsion of the enemy, much less the carrying of the war into Africa
The old Texas
system of ‘"ranging"’ for a fortnight at a time, with no other food-than jerked beef, or dried venison, or buffalo haunch and parched corn, furnishes an admirable suggestion to our Generals
as to the mode of obviating the chief difficulty in the way of mobilizing their forces and quickening our operations in the mountain regions of our State.
Our supplies of horses for any purpose are so great, that we can mobilize any desirable number of artillery and cavalry companies to support the light infantry and rifle troops thus prepared for rapid operations With the large supply of light cannon in the hands of the Confederate Government, with the unlimited supplies of horses at their command with any number of thorough horse-man in the service, there is but one single thing needful for the completion of the most admirable force for mountain warfare that the world ever saw: and that is the procurement of such articles of food as can be carried by the men in quantities to last ten days or a fortnight at a time.
We may drive the enemy out of our mountains by regular military operations, but Western Virginia
can never be deemed secure from invasion by Yankee raids, until some system of warfare is adopted on our side which will admit of that suddenness and rapidity of military movement which is necessary to give smaller numbers an advantage over great ones.