The size of the herd, according to one source was 2,486 head of cattle which, using the accepted Federal planning factor of 500 rations per head, is 1,243,000 individual rations (using the regulation 1¼ pounds per ration), enough beef to feed 1,000 men for 1,243 days. If the ration is reduced to one pound per man per day, the result is 1,553,750 rations, or enough beefsteaks to feed 1,000 men for 1,554 days. This same source did the arithmetic a little differently, but arrived at a similar conclusion:
“The beeves taken in Hampton‟s late expedition are judged, by a London grazier, to weigh 800 pounds net. Twenty-four hundred and eighty-six beeves at 800 pounds would make an aggregate of 1,988,800 pounds, or within a fraction of two millions of pounds. This, distributed in daily rations of a pound each, would feed 1,000 men for nearly 2,000 days, 10,000 men for 200 days, or 50,000 men for forty days, and so forth. It is a very nice addition to our commissariat, for which we are much obliged to Mr. Grant, and particularly to General Hampton and his braves.”
There is even an interesting sequel to the Beefsteak Raid:
“There was much speculation at the time, as to who was responsible for leaving the cattle-herd which invited this revel raid. It seems to have been a high officer of the army, who in all other respects has deserved well of his country, and whose name is for this reason withheld.
“Shortly after this affair, this officer dined with the commander-in-chief at the headquarters of General Kautz. In the course of conversation, he put this question: "General, how long are we going to remain here?‟
The reticent Grant smoked on a few seconds, then took the inevitable
cigar from his lips, and, while dislodging the ashes with his little finger, quietly answered: "I don‟t know General. If you keep on feeding Lee‟s army with beef, we shall have to stay a good while."
The questioner blushed, and Grant resumed his smoking.”
before the wbts around 50'ooo beeves went from Texas to the south, from Texas, n Orleans saw 10'000 by steamer the rest overland, this rose to 75'000 during the war but was curtailed by the loss of n Orleans and control of miss river to a total under 15'000 for the last 2 years. Beeves were killed and the meat salted in la, but then needed a rail line to move it or river, Try brocks book on the Texas cattle drives, or agriculture and productivity of the confederacy, policy productivity and power by Doug hurt.Straight Arrow wrote:I was rereading The Life of Johnny Reb, the chapter entitled Bad Beef and Corn Bread, an old favorite of mine, when I came across this statement.
"Finally, the cutting in two of the Confederacy by Yankee operations along the Mississippi in 1863 did incalculable damage by reducing to a mere trickle the flow of meat, sugar, molasses and other essentials produced west of the river."
What say you? Do you think this line of reasoning holds up?
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