previous next

[322] the highest character for their State, and won imperishable honors for themselves. These brave men are now suffering for want of food. Not only the men from Florida, but the whole army of the South are in this condition. Our honor as a people demands that we do our duty to them. They must be fed. The following extracts from official letters in my possession do but partially represent the present condition of the armies of General Bragg and Beauregard, and their gloomy prospect for future supplies:

Major J. F. Cumming, who supplies General Bragg's army, writes, “It is absolutely and vitally important that all the cattle that can possibly be brought here shall be brought as promptly as possible;” and again, on the fifth of October, he says: “I cannot too strongly urge upon you the necessity, yes, the urgent necessity, of sending forward cattle promptly. It appears that all other resources are exhausted, and that we are now dependent upon your State for beef for the very large army of General Bragg. I know you will leave no stone unturned, and I must say all is now dependent on your exertions, so far as beef is concerned. In regard to bacon, the stock is about exhausted-hence beef is our only hope. I know the prospect is very discouraging, and it only remains with those of us having charge of this most important work to do all we can to exhaust our resources; and when we have done this, our country cannot complain of us. If we fail to do all that can be done, and our cause shall fail, upon us will rest the responsibility; therefore let us employ every means at our command.” Again, on the sixth, he says: “Major A. can explain to you the great and absolute necessity for prompt action in the matter; for, Major, I assure you, that nearly all now depends on you.” And on the nineteenth of October, he says: “Captain Townsend, A. C.S., having a leave of absence for thirty days from the army of Tennessee, I have prevailed on him to see you and explain to you my straitened condition, and the imminent danger of our army suffering for the want of beef.” And on the twentieth October, he wrote: “The army to-day is on half-rations of beef, and I fear within a few days will have nothing but bread to eat. This is truly a dark hour with us, and I cannot see what is to be done. All that is left for us to do is to do all we can, and then we will have a clear conscience, no matter what the world may say.”

Major Locke, Chief Commissary of Georgia, wrote: “I pray you, Major, to put every agency in motion that you can to send cattle without a moment's delay toward the Georgia borders. The troops in Charleston are in great extremity. We look alone to you for cattle; those in Georgia are exhausted.”

Major Guerin, Chief Commissary of South-Carolina, wrote: “We are almost entirely dependent on Florida, and it is of the last importance, at this time, that the troops here should be subsisted.” Again, he says: “As it is, our situation is full of danger, from want of meat, and extraordinary efforts are required to prevent disaster.” And on the ninth of October, he says: “We have now forty thousand troops and laborers to subsist. The supply of bacon on hand in the city is twenty thousand pounds, and the cattle furnished by this State is not one tenth of what is required. My anxieties, and apprehensions, as you may suppose, are greatly excited.”

Major Millen, of Savannah, on the tenth of October, says: “I assure you, Major, that the stock of bacon and beef for the armies of the confederate States is now exhausted, and we must depend entirely upon what we may gather weekly. Starvation stares the army in the face — the handwriting is on the wall.” On the twenty-sixth of October, he says: “From the best information I have, the resources of food (meat) of both the Tennessee and Virginia armies are exhausted. The remark now applies with equal force to South-Carolina and Georgia, and the army must henceforth depend upon the energy of the purchasing commissaries, through their daily or weekly collections. I have exhausted the beef cattle, and am now obliged to kill stock cattle.”

From these you perceive that there is too much cause for the deep solicitude manifested by the writers. They should excite the fears and apprehensions of every lover of his country. Truly the responsibility upon us is great, when we are expected to feed these vast armies, whether the producers will sell to us or not. The slightest reflection would teach any one that it is impossible to provide for such armies by impressments alone. The people must cheerfully yield their supplies, or make up their minds to surrender their cause. It is their cause. It is not the cause of the government. The government is theirs. The army, the government, you and I, and every one, and every thing we have, are staked upon this contest. To fail, is total and irretrievable ruin, universal confiscation of every thing, and abject and ignominious submission and slavery to the most despicable and infamous race on earth. Whoever has any other thought but to fight on, at any cost of life and property, until we achieve our independence, or all perish in the struggle, deserves to be the slave of such an enemy. But, under the guidance of Providence, our cause is safe in the hands of our army, provided we do our duty at home. But Providence will not help a people who will not help themselves. Our enemies have no hope of conquering us by arms. Their only hope is, that we will be untrue to ourselves, and in the blind pursuit of gain, lose sight of our country, and thus suffer our army, and with it our cause, to perish. How stands the case? You know the resources of Tennessee are lost to us; the hog cholera and other causes have cat short the prospect in Georgia and other States. It is ascertained that the last year's crop of bacon is about exhausted, and it is certain that tile crop of this will be much shorter than that of last year. Now two large armies look almost solely to Florida to supply one entire article of subsistence. The entire surplus of this year's crop of

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
C. P. Bragg (3)
E. D. Townsend (1)
Millen (1)
Locke (1)
Guerin (1)
J. F. Cumming (1)
G. T. Beauregard (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
October 26th (1)
October 20th (1)
October 19th (1)
October 10th (1)
October 9th (1)
October 5th (1)
6th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: