Monday, November 22, 2010

More food

Today at Brandy Station: November 22, 1863

While looking through the diaries, letters and other documents about today, rations again seem to be on peoples mind. Yesterday it was the 2nd Corps. Today the 5th Corps.

I am a little surprised. What would become the Mine Run Campaign is still four days off (actually, it was to begin on November 25, but weather postponed the beginning. Still, far be it for the army not to hurry up and wait.

A small portion of a letter from a soldier in the 146th NY: "Be ready to move at a moments notice with 8 days rations on your back is a standing order and he is a lucky man that has any writing paper or envelopes in his possession."

A circular from the 91st Pennsylvania:
Head Quarters 91. Reg. P.V Circular
In pursuance of General Order N. 50 dated Head Quarters 2nd Div. 5th Corps Nov 21/63
Hereafter the amount of subsistence required to be carried in the Knapsacks of the troops in active Campaigns will be 2 days of hard Bread, Coffee Sugar & Salt instead of Five as heretofore directed.
Three days full Rations will be carried in Haversacks & Company Commanders will see that the above amount will be in the hands of their men on the morning of the 23rd in not.

What makes this really interesting (and typical) is the mixed signal. The soldier in the 146th got the word for eights days rations, while the 91st states two days rations (vice the previous five days). But of course, we must confuse things by saying that company commanders will see that soldiers have three days full rations.

Confused? Try being there...

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