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

by John Beauchamp Jones

            OCTOBER 4TH.—The major-quartermasters and the acting quartermaster-generals (during the illness or absence of Gen. Lawton) are buffeting the project some of us set on foot to obtain wood at cost, $8, instead of paying the extortioners $40 per cord. All the wagons and teams of Longstreet’s corps are here idle, while the corps itself is with Bragg—and the horses are fed by the government of course. These wagons and teams might bring into the city thousands of cords of wood. The quartermasters at first said there were no drivers; but I pointed out the free Yankee negroes in the prisons, who beg employment. Now Col. Cole, the quartermaster in charge of transportation, says there is a prospect of getting teamsters—but that hauling should be done exclusively for the army—and the quartermaster-general (acting) indorses on the paper that if the Secretary will designate the class of clerks to be benefited, some little wood might be delivered them. This concession was obtained, because the Secretary himself sent my second paper to the quartermaster-general—the first never having been seen by him, having passed from the hands of the Assistant Secretary to the file-tomb.

            Another paper I addressed to the President, suggesting the opening of government stores for the sale of perishable tithes,—being a blow at the extortioners, and a measure of relief to the non-producers, and calculated to prevent a riot in the city,—was referred by him yesterday to the Secretary of War, for his special notice, and for conference, which may result in good, if they adopt the plan submitted. That paper the Assistant Secretary cannot withhold, having the President’s mark on it.

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