Today in History:

1349 Series I Volume XLII-III Serial 89 - Richmond-Fort Fisher Part III


Major S. R. Chisman, of the quartermaster's department, on behalf of the Confederate States, will seize and impress such road, with all of its depots, cars, locomotives, running-stock, machinery, and implements, and turn the same over to the Quartermaster-General, who is invested with all the powers and will perform all the duties provided for by the act of Congress, approved May 1, 1863, entitled "An act to facilitate transportation for the Government."

XXXIII. The following schedule of prices for articles named therein, adopted by commissioners appointed pursuant to law for the State of Virginia, are published for the information of all concerned, and the special attention of officers and agents of the Government is directed thereto:

RICHMOND, VA., December 3, 1864.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON:

SIR: Upon consultation, we have concluded to readopt for December and January our last schedules for October and November, thus continuing the same rates, with a few exceptions, relative to the prices to be paid for hired negro laborers. These changes will be found in Schedule B. The policy you proposed for impressing from producers only one-half of their surplus productions is eminently proper, and all impressing officers should scrupulously observe the rule, and never go beyond it. If this rule is strictly adhered to by impressing officers it would greatly benefit the non-producers and tend to reconcile the producing classes to whatever appeared harsh in our system of impressments, for they would have one-half of their surplus productions to dispose of at neighborhood market rates.

As requested by your Department, we conferred with commissioners of North Carolina, and had the good fortune to adjust prices upon a basis calculated to harmonize the leading interest of both States. The just and enlightened views entertained by the North Carolina commissioners were practically illustrated by the liberal spirit and wise terms upon which they agreed to co-operate with us. In this revolutionary crisis we should all agree to aid each other and the Government. To rescue the country and save the people from the dangers that environs both is clearly the duty of all. Our honor, rights, and independence are at stake. Let us bend all our energies to defend and secure them. To attain this invaluable end the people must be fed and clothed. Our producers, manufacturers, and tradesmen certainly can afford to work for moderate compensation while our gallant soldiers dare to confront our savage adversaries in their defense. Certainly if our brave men throw their protecting arms around our family altars and gallantly defend their country for a sum too insignificant to mention, those who remain at home enjoying the benefit of their valor can afford to feed them and their families on the most moderate terms. The question should be, how little will you ask or take for your productions? Fidelity to all the best interests of our country points to the observance of this maxim as the best test of our charity and patriotism. Let the watchword be everything for our country and away with money-making. In this final and desperate struggle for liberty beware lest in hoarding up money and neglecting the cause of the people you exchange your birthright for a mess of pottage. Believing that our cause appeals to all parties and interests alike, we trust the people will unite and act in concert in achieving our independence. What we will to do we can accomplish. United we are invincible - triumphant, what a glorious destiny opens to our view; conquered, how abject and forlorn our condition! Who, under existing circumstances, is not willing to sacrifice a few paper dollars to gain the most enviable victory that civilization ever witnessed?

Entertaining the conviction that the popular mind is favorable to every effort calculated to advance the success of our cause, we venture to place before you the annexed schedules of prices for the months of December and January, which, though imperfect, because there are so many and such varied views and interests to harmonize, yet we indulge the hope may be properly received by the people.

The following prices are to be the maximum rates to be paid for the articles impressed in all cities and the usual place of sale, and when impressed on the farms or elsewhere the same prices are to be paid.

Under existing circumstances we deem it not only just, but most likely to favor increased production, that producers in future should not be required to transport their surplus productions when impressed, but that the agents of the Government should impress or employ the neighborhood or county wagons and teams to haul such articles and so divide the work between the owners of wagons and teams as to be least prejudicial to those successfully engaged in agriculture.