The chief danger of the South.
The great grain producing portion of the Southern Confederacy has hitherto been Kentucky
The army supplies of the last year were principally drawn from those sources.
The enemy have now overrun most of Kentucky
and have control of a large portion of Tennessee
They are making great efforts to compel us to withdraw our forces from the productive valley of Duck river
If successful in this, it is difficult to show how our army is to be subsisted another year, unless the Southern
planters abandon for this year the cultivation of their great staples and devote their fruitful soil to the production of provisions for the people and army.
, of Georgia
, in a long and able letter lately published, has called attention to these facts, and earnestly endeavors to dissuade the planters of the South
from seeding cotton during this year.
He shows that if the cotton and tobacco States raise only grain, we shall be able to furnish the Confederate army with the necessary supply of provisions, and defy the combined Federal forces for years to come.
But if the lands and labor of the South
are to be taxed with the production of four millions of cotton bags, which we can neither eat nor exchange during the blockade for provisions to sustain life, it is the honest conviction of Gov. Brown
that we are in great danger of being conquered, not for want of arms or of men to use them, but for want of provisions.
Even if the grain crop were of little importance, instead of being, as it is, a matter of vital necessity, two cotton crops on hand, when the blockade is removed, will bring down prices to a figure that would render the profits of both little, if any, more than the single crop of 1861, which, from the scarcity of the supply, would bring all the manufacturers of the world into competition as bidders for it. Besides, if the war continues, provisions of all kinds will be so high that the grain crop will, in all probability, command more clear money to the planter than the usual cotton crop.
We are sorry that Gov. Brown
should be obliged to make such appeals as these to mercenary motives, but we are much more sorry to believe that in some cases, they are necessary, and that there are men who can only pursue the dictates of patriotism when it harmonizes with their interests.
It is, however, true, that, At this instance, principle and policy point in the same direction.
The cultivation of grain will yield a larger profit for the next year than that of cotton or tobacco, and we may therefore entertain the hope that without exception the planters of the South
will heed the counsels of Gov. Brown
and devote every inch of their soil to the production of wheat, corn, and vegetables.
If this bar done and the distillation of the fruits of the earth into whiskey be stopped, our people will be saved from famine, our armies have an abundance of supplies, and the Governments of Europe
be made to realize that their only chance of obtaining the staples of the South
is to break the blockade.
As to the intervention of Europe
under existing circumstances, and the possibility of obtaining supplies from that quarter, it is an idle drastic, till some such demonstration is furnished that the South
is as that which Governor Brown
no earnestly recommends.