Sunday, November 15, 2009

Supplies from Fort Scott

Trans-Mississippi soldiers, such as those in the 28th Texas, operated in a region that was, for the most part, still a frontier. Supplying armies west of the Mississippi was particularly challenging, and the diaries and letters kept by soldiers there reflect a deep and abiding interest in supplies. Union soldiers operating in the border region along the Kansas/Missouri and Indian Territory/Arkansas lines were quite dependent on supplies from Fort Scott in Kansas. Wiley Britton in Memoirs of the Rebellion on the Border: 1863 wrote from the northeastern part of the Indian Territory, “It takes from five to seven days for a train to come down from Fort Scott, the distance being about one hundred and twenty-five miles” (p. 92). In the spring of 1863, Confederate forces attempted to destroy one of the wagon trains from Fort Scott, and Britton noted “Had they succeeded in capturing or burning the train, we should have been obliged to abandon this post, as we could have issued full rations only for a day or so longer. Indeed, of some articles we have already been obliged to issue less than the full allowance. This country could afford no subsistence, except fresh beef; and all our other supplies would be exhausted before we reached the Kansas line” (p. 271).

1 comment:

  1. I know it's more than a little presumptuous for me to suggest a topic for your blog, but I am curious. What as yet unwritten books or studies on the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi would you like to see published?

    Vicki Betts