Does anyone have any primary sources or statistics on how much Confederate supplies east of the Mississippi River came from the Trans-Mississippi?

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historicus

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Perhaps this thread belongs in the Trans-Mississippi Theater subforum instead of this Siege of Vicksburg subforum. If so, I suppose the moderators will move this thread to the Trans-Mississippi Theater subforum. I put this thread on the Siege of Vicksburg subforum for two reasons: 1# I am only interested in how much Confederate supplies came from the Trans-Mississippi region via the Mississippi River, as opposed to what supplies came from the Trans-Mississippi via the Gulf of Mexico. This has implications for the importance of the Siege of Vicksburg and 2# The Siege of Vicksburg subforum seems to get more attention than the Trans-Mississippi Theater subforum.
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The narrator of the Civil War Trust's video on Vicksburg said the following: "With most of the South's ports blockaded by Union ships, Vicksburg's connection to the Trans-Mississippi region made it critical to the Confederacy's very survival. Texas beef and Louisiana sugar, salt, and molasses fed the southern armies. Lead from Missouri filled southern rifles. And it all funneled through Vicksburg's rail lines."

Vicksburg is east of the Mississippi River. Therefore, the narrator is implying that the Texas beef and Louisiana sugar, salt, and molasses, and the lead from MO that filled southern rifles supplied Confederate armies east of the Mississippi River (as opposed to these supplies only supplying the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi).

I've never seen any primary sources or any statistics saying how much Texas beef and Louisiana sugar, salt, and molasses, and lead from MO supplies actually were received and used by Confederate armies east of the Mississippi River.

Does anyone have any primary sources or any statistics from any other sources that assert how much Texas beef and/or Louisiana sugar, salt, and molasses, or how much lead from MO was transported across the Mississippi River to Confederate armies east of the Mississippi River before the Union captured Vicksburg during the American Civil War? If so, please tell me of these primary sources or other statistics from any other sources.
 

DaveBrt

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We have had many treads on this subject. Do a search on "supplies Trans-mississippi" and you will get a dozen pages of references on CWT to check.

The answer on how much crossed the river appears to be: lots, but no documentation for almost any of it.

Large quantities of salt, sugar and molasses from southwestern LA and corn and cattle from the Red River are mentioned in many reports, but without hard numbers. Cattle swam the Mississippi in late summer, during low water, and did so in 1864, but the numbers, compared to the requirements, are not very impressive (one shipment of 4,500 head is all that is documented). The salt, sugar and molasses alone overwhelmed the railroads' capacity to move goods east. Great quantities were destroyed to prevent capture when Memphis fell.

No one has yet produced any indication that arms or supplies from Mexico made it across the river -- rather, arms were sent west to Texas from the eastern CS.
 

Championhilz

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You should read "Crucial to the Outcome: Vicksburg and the Trans-Mississippi Supply Line" in Triumph and Defeat, Volume 2, by Terry Winschel, former park historian at the Vicksburg National Military Park.
 
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archieclement

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Perhaps this thread belongs in the Trans-Mississippi Theater subforum instead of this Siege of Vicksburg subforum. If so, I suppose the moderators will move this thread to the Trans-Mississippi Theater subforum. I put this thread on the Siege of Vicksburg subforum for two reasons: 1# I am only interested in how much Confederate supplies came from the Trans-Mississippi region via the Mississippi River, as opposed to what supplies came from the Trans-Mississippi via the Gulf of Mexico. This has implications for the importance of the Siege of Vicksburg and 2# The Siege of Vicksburg subforum seems to get more attention than the Trans-Mississippi Theater subforum.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The narrator of the Civil War Trust's video on Vicksburg said the following: "With most of the South's ports blockaded by Union ships, Vicksburg's connection to the Trans-Mississippi region made it critical to the Confederacy's very survival. Texas beef and Louisiana sugar, salt, and molasses fed the southern armies. Lead from Missouri filled southern rifles. And it all funneled through Vicksburg's rail lines."

Vicksburg is east of the Mississippi River. Therefore, the narrator is implying that the Texas beef and Louisiana sugar, salt, and molasses, and the lead from MO that filled southern rifles supplied Confederate armies east of the Mississippi River (as opposed to these supplies only supplying the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi).

I've never seen any primary sources or any statistics saying how much Texas beef and Louisiana sugar, salt, and molasses, and lead from MO supplies actually were received and used by Confederate armies east of the Mississippi River.

Does anyone have any primary sources or any statistics from any other sources that assert how much Texas beef and/or Louisiana sugar, salt, and molasses, or how much lead from MO was transported across the Mississippi River to Confederate armies east of the Mississippi River before the Union captured Vicksburg during the American Civil War? If so, please tell me of these primary sources or other statistics from any other sources.
The lead from Missouri seems a stretch, It was used by local troops as in MSG when in the area, but they never really controlled it for long enough periods to substantially export any lead elsewhere...…..
 
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leftyhunter

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Perhaps this thread belongs in the Trans-Mississippi Theater subforum instead of this Siege of Vicksburg subforum. If so, I suppose the moderators will move this thread to the Trans-Mississippi Theater subforum. I put this thread on the Siege of Vicksburg subforum for two reasons: 1# I am only interested in how much Confederate supplies came from the Trans-Mississippi region via the Mississippi River, as opposed to what supplies came from the Trans-Mississippi via the Gulf of Mexico. This has implications for the importance of the Siege of Vicksburg and 2# The Siege of Vicksburg subforum seems to get more attention than the Trans-Mississippi Theater subforum.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The narrator of the Civil War Trust's video on Vicksburg said the following: "With most of the South's ports blockaded by Union ships, Vicksburg's connection to the Trans-Mississippi region made it critical to the Confederacy's very survival. Texas beef and Louisiana sugar, salt, and molasses fed the southern armies. Lead from Missouri filled southern rifles. And it all funneled through Vicksburg's rail lines."

Vicksburg is east of the Mississippi River. Therefore, the narrator is implying that the Texas beef and Louisiana sugar, salt, and molasses, and the lead from MO that filled southern rifles supplied Confederate armies east of the Mississippi River (as opposed to these supplies only supplying the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi).

I've never seen any primary sources or any statistics saying how much Texas beef and Louisiana sugar, salt, and molasses, and lead from MO supplies actually were received and used by Confederate armies east of the Mississippi River.

Does anyone have any primary sources or any statistics from any other sources that assert how much Texas beef and/or Louisiana sugar, salt, and molasses, or how much lead from MO was transported across the Mississippi River to Confederate armies east of the Mississippi River before the Union captured Vicksburg during the American Civil War? If so, please tell me of these primary sources or other statistics from any other sources.
If you're interested I have a thread about military supplies that were shipped from Western Europe to Baghdad, Mexico then to Montomoros,Mexico to Brownsville, Texas then to the rest of the Confederacy prior to the Union seizure of Brownsville then if course the seizure of Vicksburg.I can bump it up if you like.
Leftyhunter
 
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historicus

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We have had many treads on this subject. Do a search on "supplies Trans-mississippi" and you will get a dozen pages of references on CWT to check.

Large quantities of salt, sugar and molasses from southwestern LA and corn and cattle from the Red River are mentioned in many reports, but without hard numbers. Cattle swam the Mississippi in late summer, during low water, and did so in 1864, but the numbers, compared to the requirements, are not very impressive (one shipment of 4,500 head is all that is documented).
Where can I find documentation for one shipment of 4,500 head of cattle crossing the Mississippi in late summer 1864?

You used the word "swam" to describe the cattle's crossing the Mississippi River, but then you said that the cattle crossed during low water. Was the water level low enough that the cattle walked across the Mississippi River, or did the cattle actually swim across the Mississippi River? I didn't know cattle could swim.

The salt, sugar and molasses alone overwhelmed the railroads' capacity to move goods east.
What is your source for this?

By the way, I don't think that sugar and molasses would be much of a critical supply. Sugar and molasses seem like a luxury item to me, rather than a necessity. But the cattle would make good beef to eat. And salt would preserve the beef.
 

archieclement

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I didn't know cattle could swim.
Of course cattle can swim, so can horses...I used to love crossing rivers with my horse, they will pull you right across


Plus one should remember many paddle wheel riverboats were designed to only draw one to five feet of water of loaded. Before levees and swamps being drained in places the rivers were very shallow. The Mississippi river where I live is about a mile wide, yet early accounts say one could walk across it in places.

Edit replaced video with longer river crossing
 
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alan polk

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As @archieclement stated, cattle can swim. It’s also important that folks not conjure up images of today’s Mississippi River when discussing the river during the Civi War.

Before the Corp of Engineers got a hold of the river in the 20th Century, the Mississippi was much wider and meandered much more within its vast alluvial plain. Nowadays, it is narrowed by engineering, runs faster and does not meander about as it once did.

Back then, especially during low water, the river flowed less, resembled more of a lake than a river. Thus cattle could swim it during times of low water without being swept too far down stream.
 

1stMS-Arty

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Found this on Fold3 in Confederate Citizen papers...this is a man named George White who was a subsistence agent...
Fold3_Page_77.jpg
 
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DaveBrt

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DaveBrt

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I have Entrepot in my to-read stack (1st edition). The author has 75 large pages completely covering the Trans-Mississippi importation question -- over the Rio Grande, blockade running into Texas and Louisiana, and across the Mississippi. The results of his scholarship are clear -- 100 bales of cloth made it into Vicksburg in late 1862 from the Rio Grande. ALL other imports from the sea or from Mexico were consumed by the Trans-M. forces. In fact, arms were shipped West on many occasions, starting with a shipment from Beauregard from Corinth in early 1862.

Of interest to me are two items: The long line of cotton bales frequently mentioned belonged to speculators. The Government was continually short of cotton to pay for what was waiting on the Mexican shore. Also, northern Mexico produced large quantities of lead, powder and food that were sold into Texas
 
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