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Mo - fire wood and forage - Talbert's excerpts

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  • Jack Hultquist
    From Message 18479 Jack, your excerpts are always interesting. Another item that impresses me is that in 186x, virtually all cooking and heating was done with
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 14 2:20 PM
      From Message 18479
      Jack, your excerpts are always interesting.

      Another item that impresses me is that in 186x, virtually all cooking
      and heating was done with wood. For armies on the march the wood was
      necessarily green and smoke terribly.
      In the early days of steamboating, woodcutting parties were put
      ashore every night to replenish fuel. Every night, they'd cut the
      next days supply of fuel. As wood along the riverbanks became thinner
      the costs of steamboating rose.
      The following excerpts about wood and forage are from
      Harrison B. Talbert's letters
      Third Indiana Battery
      Otterville Missouri
      January the 22ond 1862       
             We have to go after forage [grass /
      hay] every 6 or 8 days. We get the most of our corn now at Otterville.  Hay is scarce and hard to get.  We have went as far as 15 or 20 miles after hay.  And they expect to take all the wagons and go to Georgetown after hay which is about 30 miles from here.  The teamsters [one who drives a team] has to take care of their horses extra more than the gunners has to do.  We also have to haul our wood about a mile and do our own cooking etc.
      Jefferson  City  Cole  County Mo
      Tuesday May the 20th 1862
             [.....].  There is a heap of horses here now to feed and forage is very scarce.  Our horses has been as long as four days without any corn and nothing to eat except a little about half rotten hay.  Last Saturday we took all six of the baggage wagons and went across the Mo River to get some corn.  We made the trip there and back safe.  I drove Geroge's team.  They will not ship any corn or hay from St Louis here as long as they can help it.
      Clinton Henry Co Mo
      Sept 14th 1862

             We are still here at Ashland Mound and it is a beautiful place to camp, we have a view of the [Grand River and] surrounding country from three too five miles on every side, and have the Stars and Stripes hoisted in the air right between the two guns. [.....].  Forage trains going into the country every day.  And scouts taring around over the country almost every day.  All of which pass uninterrupted.  But still there is [a] scattering [of] secesh all over the country and of late they have been making threats that they were going to capture our forage trains but they have not executed their threats yet.

      March  13 th  /  63

             To day I returned from foraging. [.....].    I wish that we could all move to where forage is more plenty.


      Springfield  Mo

      July  18th  /  63

             We get new hay now to feed our horses. The last time our teams was out after forage, they was gone fourteen days and was one hundred & fifty miles from here.  Our horses look well considering their chance.


      Camp Jackson St" Louis Mo
      Nov" 29th 1863
             We see quite easy times here.  Our forage, wood, water and rations are all delivered to us here in camp.  Wood sells for $8.00 per cord [pile 8’X4’X4’] here in the city, that alone costs Uncle Sam considerable but he is liberal and gives enough to answer our purposes.
      Union City  Tenn
      January 18 1864
             A goodly number of horses was up to their bellies in mud, water and snow.  Our horses are starving here.  We draw oats but it is fed to them in the mud where they get but little.  And the roads are so bad that we forage but little off of the country.
      From Harrison B. Talbert's dairy after the Battle at Tupelo.

      Saturday   July 16th 1864

             [.....].  Clear & hot.  No forage for horse or man & not more than 1/5 rations issued to us.


      Friday   August 12th 1864

             5 P.M. leave Memphis on the Steamer Graham, homeward bound. 

      Saturday   August 13th

             On board Steamer Graham on Miss[issippi] River between Memphis [Tenn.] & Cairo [Ill.]. Near New Madrid [Missouri load] wood and assist a boat in getting off a sand bar.  Get a fine lot of watermelons.






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