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

by John Beauchamp Jones

            JANUARY 6TH.—Yesterday Mr. Moffitt, Lieut.-Col. Ruffin’s agent (commissary), was in the market buying beef for Gen. Lee’s army! And this same Moffitt was in September selling beef to the same butchers (as they say) at from 40 to 50 cts. gross, the impressing price in the country being 20 cts.

            On the 2d inst. Gen. Lee wrote the President that he had just heard of two droves of cattle from the West, destined for his army, being ordered to Richmond. [He does not say by whom, or for what purpose. He knew not.] He says he has but one day’s meat rations, and he fears he will not be able to retain the army in the field. The President sent a copy of this to the Commissary-General, with a few mild remarks, suggesting that he shall get such orders from the Secretary of War as are necessary in such an emergency. In response to this the Commissary-General makes a chronological list of his letters to Gen. Lee and others, pretending that if certain things were not done, the army, some day, would come to want, and taking great credit for his foresight, etc. This table of contents he ran first to the department with, but not finding the Secretary, he carried it to the President, who returned it without comment to Col. N. yesterday, and to-day the Secretary got it, not having seen it before. Well, if Col. N. had contracted with Capt. Montgomery for the 1,000,000 pounds of salt beef, it would have been delivered ere this. But the Secretary never saw Capt. M.’s offer at all!

Previous post:

Next post: