But the main source of supply for the Western States
, where they are very generally used, for the South
, and for the government, during war time, was Kentucky
When the war broke out, efforts were made by Governor Magoffin
of that State-or rather by the Legislature, for the Governor
was in full sympathy with the Rebels
--to have that commonwealth remain neutral.
For this reason when the general government attempted to purchase mules there in 1861, they were refused; but in the course of a few weeks the neutrality nonsense was pretty thoroughly knocked out of the authorities, Kentucky
took its stand on the side of the
A six-mule team.|
Union, and the United States government began and continued its purchase of mules there in increasing numbers till the close of the war.
What were these mules used for?
Well, I have related elsewhere that, when the war broke out, thousands of soldiers came pouring into Washington
for its defence, and afterwards went by thousands into other sections of Rebeldom.
To supply these soldiers with the necessary rations, forage, and camp equipage, and keep them supplied, thousands of wagons were necessary.
Some of the regiments took these wagons with them from their native State, but most did not. Some of the wagons were drawn by mules already owned by the government, and more mules were purchased from time to time.
The great advantage possessed by these animals over horses was not at that period