Thursday, August 11, 2011

August 11 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

11, Major-General W.T. Sherman on gold as contraband and dispersion of Jews

MEMPHIS, August 11, 1862.
Hon. S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury:
SIR: Your letter just received, at same time an order from Hdqrs. of the Army at Washington to encourage the purchase of cotton, even by the payment of gold, silver, and Treasury notes.
I may of course be mistaken, but gold and money are as much contraband of war as arms and ammunition, because they are convertible terms, for you know money will buy anything for sale at Saint Louis and Cincinnati, and I declare it impossible to keep such articles, be they salt, power, lead, or anything, from reaching the South. Also, gold will purchase arms and ammunition at Nassau, in the Bahamas, and you know that one vessel out of three can run the blockade. The flock of Jews had disappeared, but will again overrun us. I had so arranged that cotton could be had for currency, Tennessee and other bank notes good here but not elsewhere. The whole South is now up, and all they want is arms and provisions. Salt at Grenada is worth $100 a barrel, and if trade be opened Memphis is better to our enemy than before it was taken.
W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. III, Vol. 2, p. 349


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