To regular foraging parties must be intrusted the gathering of provisions and forage at any distance from the road travelled.”
“6. As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit; discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor and industrious, usually neutral or friendly.
Foraging parties may also take mules or horses, to replace the jaded animals of their trains or to serve as pack-mules, for the regiments or brigades.
In all foraging of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain from abusive or threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks proper, give written certificates of the facts, but no receipts; and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance.”
was among the commanders who believed most heartily in having those who provoked the conflict suffer the full measure of their crime, the above instructions seem certainly very mild and humane.
On page 182, Vol.
II., of his Memoirs, and also on pages 207-8, in a letter to Grant
, describing the march, he presents a summary of the working of the plan.
His brigade foraging parties, usually comprising about fifty men, would set out before daylight, knowing the line of march for the day, and, proceeding on foot five or six miles from the column, visit every farm and plantation in range.
Their plunder consisted of bacon, meal, turkeys, ducks, chickens, and whatever else was eatable for man or beast.
These they would load into the farmwagon or family carriage, and rejoin the column, turning over their burden to the brigade commissary.
“Often,” says Sherman
, “would I pass these foraging parties at the roadside, waiting for their wagons to come up, and was amused at their strange collections — mules, horses, even cattle packed with old saddles, and loaded with hams, bacon, bags of corn-meal
, and poultry of every description.