Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/542

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that we could not compel him to fight, Corinth was no longer tenable. Hence, not only does the retreat of General Beauregard appear to have been at the time a necessity, but also that it might have been made with propriety a month earlier."

While the Confederate army is resting at Tupelo, we will glance at some of the characteristics of the people among whom it is encamped, and their efforts in behalf of the cause. Mississippi, having seen to the establishment and maintenance of hospitals at home and abroad for her own volunteer soldiers, next looked after their families. The distribution of the State military relief tax, 1862, to destitute families, on August 1, 1863, was $198,754.19; while that under another relief act, approved January 3, 1863, amounted to $500,000.

Col. Wm. Preston Johnston, in his report above referred to, has this to say of our people: "The broad hospitality and unwavering kindness of the people of Mississippi were extended to our sick soldiers with a liberality so bountiful that the thanks of our whole people are due to them. No eulogy could do them justice." The Daily Southern Crisis, a newspaper published at Jackson, Miss., by that staunch patriot, J. W. Tucker, in its issue of March 28, 1863, says: "The wheat crop in Mississippi looks very promising—in fact it could not be better. There is a large surface of our soil in wheat, promising flour in abundance after the May harvest. If there are no more frosts this State will furnish wheat enough to supply half the Confederacy in flour for the next year; * * * but a small crop of cotton planted, which shows the good sense of our people."

On April 29, 1863, the corporate authorities of Columbus wrote to President Davis: "We beg to say that our patriotic planters had, to a large extent, anticipated your recent proclamation, and have planted their broad prairie acres in grain and other articles for the subsistence of the army. In fact, sir, our country is one vast corn-