Discussion ECW: Stout hearts - attempting to feed both civilians and soldiers

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Feb 5, 2017

Stout Hearts: Attempting to Feed Both Civilians and Soldiers
by ECW Guest Post
ECW welcomes Katie Brown to share Part 2 of her research. (Find Part 1 here)

“The provision blockade is nothing; we shall have wheat, corn, and beef beyond measure…,” Sergeant S.R. Cockrill of Tennessee assured a friend in June 1861, “Fear nothing, success is certain.” [1]

Despite what we know today about hunger’s prevalence in the Civil War, there was initially some disagreement over the dangers of famine and starvation. “The South can never sustain this contest for any length of time,” The Vermont Phoenix reported in April 1861, directly contradicting Cockrill’s opinion. “Their enemies are not Northern troops alone; but the harder hearted foes, hunger, want of money, and slaves watching for an opportunity to apply the torch to Southern homes.”[2]

Despite some Southerner’s optimism, hunger soon became a recognized problem among leadership on both sides of the conflict. The Confederate government faced a problem in balancing the hunger of civilians versus soldiers. Despite their different situation occupying enemy territory, Northern leaders faced similar questions in Union-held areas.Read more of this post