27, Confederate orders to burn all cotton on the banks of the Mississippi River
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE WEST, Memphis, Tenn., April 27, 1862.
Capt. JOHNSON, Memphis:
SIR: You will proceed in the steamer furnished for the purpose by the quartermaster along the Mississippi River. You will inform the planters on its banks that the river is now open to the enemy, and that the interests of our country demand that they shall at once destroy all of their cotton. No time is to be lost in the execution of this duty. Should any hesitate or fail to comply with your call upon them, you will yourself take possession of and burn the cotton, taking care to injure no other property.
It is made your duty to see that all of the cotton within reach of the river is destroyed at once. The proprietors will take an account of the amount destroyed, as you will of all which you may have to destroy yourself. These orders are given to you by Gen. Van Dorn under instructions from Gen. Beauregard.
In executing the above orders you will go as far up and down the Mississippi as the gunboats of the enemy will allow; and in the event of your being pursued by them, if you cannot run your boat into a place of security from them, you must, on abandoning, destroy her, to prevent the enemy from getting possession of her.
Very respectfully, yours,
DABNEY H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
(Copies to Lieut. Hill, Capt. Lyles, Capt. Clendening, Memphis.)
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. II, p. 455.
27, "A Smuggler Caught."
A doctor who rejoices in the name of Woodson, Jon C. Woodson, not being satisfied with making a living by his legitimate profession, tried the smuggling dodge, hoping thereby to make his pocketbook a little more plethoric, even if the contents was rebel scrip. To do this he purchased about 200 ounces of quinine, placed it in a secret part of his buggy, procured a pass and started on his winding way rejoicing. The detectives, however, had a sharp lookout for the gentleman, they being suspicious that all was not "on the square." After he had proceeded to within a few miles of the lines, those inquisitive gentlemen stopped his horse and asked the privilege of looking into the buggy of Dr. Woodson – They were not long is discovering the hidden treasure which was placed in the posession [sic] of the Provost Marshal for confiscation. There's a moral in the story, but the doctors says he can't see it.
Memphis Bulletin, April 27, 1863.
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