46 Southern llixturiail Nor/r/// J'/IJHTS.
moralization among the ranks. While the commissary was supplied during the early spring of 1865 fairly well with coarse food, the sol- diers were poorly clad, at least those who could not depend on shoes and homespun clothes sent them from their homes. The blue uniforms taken from the captured trains of General Banks during the spring of 1864 were threadbare, and the Confederate gray issued by the Quartermaster Department to the private soldiers was indeed scant; yet at this time there was being conducted under the auspices of government officials a large trade with Mexico, in the course of which wagon trains of cotton, then worth 50 cents a pound in gold, were constantly carried across the Rio Grande and train loads of army supplies brought back. The soldiers could not see why so small a proportion of the proceeds of this trade was devoted to their necessities. Although by the conscript laws every ablebodied man (excepting civil officials) between the ages of 18 and 45 was required to be an enlisted soldier, and those between 17 and 18 and 45 and 50 were in the reserve corps doing provost and guard duty, there was an alleged system of detailing favorites on all kinds of imaginary service at posts and about headquarters "bomb-proof" positions, as they were called.
DISSATISFACTION WITH MAGRUDER.
There was also dissatisfaction among the men regarding some of their superiors, extending even to the general officers. General Ma- gruder's headquarters were at Houston, and for many months before the final scenes of the war were enacted he was said to be living in a style not of strict Spartan simplicity. Ably seconded by his favorite subordinates, he was a leader of fashion and the central figure of a gay society. The soldiers believed, whether justly or otherwise, that the " blue beef" and corn pones the daily fare of the private soldier were not the rations issued at headquarters, and grumbled accordingly, for they were accustomed to see the Confederate com- manders share all the hardships and privations with their men.
General Magruder was popular with most of the officers and with some of the private soldiers, but at the close of the war he did not enjoy that unbounded confidence which a military leader must have in order to inspire enthusiasm or command unquestioned obedience in a crisis like that at hand ; and it is not a matter of surprise that the private soldiers were unresponsive to his appeal to continue the struggle in Texas after all was lost in the Cis-Mississippi Department.