Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

October 29, 2013

Diary of Alexander G. Downing; Company E, Eleventh Iowa Infantry

Thursday, 29th—It is quite pleasant today. The Mississippi river is slowly rising. Produce is very high here at Vicksburg and fruit and vegetables are scarce this fall because of the large armies in and around this section for more than a year. What little stuff has been grown by the farmers was confiscated by the soldiers before it was matured, so what we get is shipped down from the North, and we have to pay about four prices for it. Potatoes and onions are $4.00 a bushel, cheese (with worms) is fifty cents per pound, and butter—true, it’s only forty cents a pound, but you can tell the article in camp twenty rods away. Vicksburg being under military rule makes it difficult for the few citizens to get supplies, which they can obtain only from the small traders who continued in business after the surrender, or from the army sutlers. No farmers are allowed to come in through the lines without passes, and even then no farmer, unless he lives a long distance from Vicksburg, has anything to bring in.

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