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Letter to C. W. Newlon, 1862 February 2

Letter to C. W. Newlon, 1862 February 2
Letter to C. W. Newlon, 1862 February 2
Written from Brownsburg, Virginia. Letter regards the inflated prices of grain used to produce whiskey for soldiers.


  • 1862 February 2


From the Series: 20 items


Brownsburg, Rockbridge Virginia
February 2, 1862
C.W. Newlon, Esq

Dear Sir
Expecting you home in a few days. I have concluded to write to you again upon the subject of impressments and praying that something may be done, and that promptly to arrest the distillation of grain. Corn is now $1.12 and it would not surprise me if it reached $2.00 per bushel before the 1st of April. Ten barrels of whiskey were sold in this county a few days since at the almost fabulous price of three dollars per gal. If these prices are demanded and obtained for new liquor fresh from the still what is to prevent corn from being advanced before October to $5.00 per bu. Self preservation is the 1st law of nature and why should not that law apply to nations as well as to individuals. What will be our condition should the enemy push their raids so far into the interior as to destroy our railroad connections. If we expect to maintain our position, our stores of subsistence should be preserved. The North expected to starve us out when the war commenced. All that recognize a superintending providence had cause to thank the giver of daily bread last year for our unusually heavy crop of all kinds of grain. It was every where considered as an evidence that the Lord was on our side. Grant that it was so will he continue to be if we abuse his choicest favors-- if we convert ourselves into a nation of extortioners and have for our soldiers an army of drunkards. Grant as some contend that liquor is necessary for the soldiers should not a limit be placed upon the price of it . Liquor for which 3 dollars per gal is paid after running the blockade of the camp is frequently sold to the soldier at the high price of from one to five dollars per pint. If it is necessary for the soldier it should be added to his rations and handed out under proper rules and regulations and every other person detected in smuggling liquor into the camp should be summarily and severely punished. Upon the summits of the Alleghaneys Gen. Johnson does not think it necessary to the health of the soldier and has with great diligence prevented its introduction to his camp. From what I can learn he has emptied of their contents more than fifty barrels in the last few weeks. This is seizing the bull by the horns . He is not tainted with that miserable fastidious delicacy of sentiment that is fearful of hurting somebody's feelings. He is entrusted with the defense of one of the important passes into the valley of Virginia and with a moral heroism equal to his fierce courage in the hours of conflict with the enemy he does not stop to inquire whether any body is hurt. How are the people of the valley who remain at home acting towards the heroic defenders of the Alleghany but for whose indomitable courage in repulsing an overwhelming body of the enemy the valley would now be overrun by marauding hordes of black Republican soldiers. While these brave men are enduring the rigors of a climate at an elevation where snow, rain or hail is an every day occurrence these that remain at home are engaged in all kinds of speculation. Every lb of butter though produced in unusually huge quantities is retailed to the soldiers at fifty cents per lb & c.

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Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450