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Old September 14, 2004, 09:05 PM   #13
4V50 Gary
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Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,732
Where's the beef?

Now, anybody who has done any reading on that late great unpleasantness (as some soldier wrote about the War of the Rebellion 1861-'65), the Confederates were poorly fed and their quartermaster left much to be desired. The food was there, but transport was so poor that it never reached the troops.

There was one incident when the Army of Tennessee was about to embark upon its invasion of Tennessee. Accompanying them was a herd of cattle which they knew were moving rations. However, the men weren't issued their fresh ration of beef and after several days of scarce food, they held a camp meeting.

"They made complaints to the proper authorities, but to no purpose, until finally notices of a 'bull meeting' were stuck on the trees throughout the encampment, to be held at sundown, the place of gathering to be designated by the 'bellowing.' At the appointed time bellowing began near division headquarters, and grew louder and louder as the crowd increased. When the bellowing ceased, the crowd having congregated, speaking began on the subject of short rations when it was possible for the army to be better provisioned. Among the speakers was S____ P____, a lawyer of my company, six feet five inches high. This speaker and the occasion were well suited. He loved to eat, and we accused him of never having had a good filling since his enlistment in the army. Abdominally he was not large 'in the girth,' but he was unusually long. That evening he was exceedingly hungry. No platform had been erected for the speakers, and this particular speaker was lifted up on the limb of a tree by several soldiers when he was called on to speak. He certainly 'loomed.' At the close of the meeting notice was given that unless larger rations were furnished by the commissary right away, the men would provide themselves with beef from the army pens. The beef, plus cornfield peas, came through the proper channel, and the day following S____ P____, being full (peas will swell), entertained the encampment, division headquarters and all, with a magnificient speech, aglow with patriotism, subordination, chivalry, etc..."

Nice way to call a camp meeting. Mooooo.
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