Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 6, 1863 (Friday): Destitution from Stafford to Culpeper Court-House

Culpeper Court-Hosue

November 6, 1863.
His Excellency JOHN LETCHER,
Governor of Virginia:
    GOVERNOR: At its late called session the legislature made an appropriation for the relief of the families of soldiers. I find that there is great suffering among the people in this region for want of the necessaries of life. The farms and gardens have been robbed, stock and hogs killed, and these outrages committed, I am sorry to say, by our own army to some extent, as well as by the Federals. I hear of like destitution in Stafford, where the Federal Army alone has been.
    Would it not be well to forward such supplies of flour and meat as can be obtained to Culpeper Court-House and Fredericksburg, with agents for its distribution to those soldiers' families in distress, so as to relieve their wants during the coming winter?
      Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

      R. E. LEE,

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 29, Part 2, Pages 823-824.

It is striking in some respects the war went on as long as it did without greater protests over the suffering it caused among the families of soldiers.  Not only was the Confederate Army often poorly provisioned, but the families of the men suffered as well.  And regions of the country most exposed to the passing of the armies suffered all the more, as seen in Lee's letter.  He notes the fact, sometimes overlooked, that some suffering among civilians came from the armies which were tasked with defending them.

No comments:

Post a Comment