W. B. B. Cross, Major and Quartermaster at Richmond, Virginia, to Capt. R. B. Winder,
Assistant Quartermaster at Americus, Georgia
This letter is interesting in that it
refers to a cargo of shoemaker's tools brought in aboard Denbigh; since that
vessel had only arrived at Mobile, Alabama the day before, it indicates that her arrival
and cargo manifest was reported to Confederate headquarters in Richmond by
telegraph. The reference to "rumors of exchange" suggests that
Federal prisoners were being put to work in the new shoe factory. Americus, Georgia
was also the home of the most infamous prison camp of the entire war: Andersonville.
April 15, 1864
Capt. R. B. WINDER
Assistant Quartermaster, Americus, Ga.:
Sir:: I hope you are making some
progress in establishing a shoe shop at Americus, Ga. Major Dillard has reported
that he will supply you with leather; Major Cunningham, at Atlanta, that he will send to
you an experienced man to aid in the organization of the shop, and Major Hillyer, at
Selma, that he has forwarded a lot of shoemakers' tools, &c. The steamer Denbigh
has fortunately just arrived at Mobile with a large lot of shoemakers' tools and findings,
and Major Barnewall, the depot officer at that point, has been instructed to send you all
you may require.
These arrangements, it is hoped,
will make quite a productive establishment at Americus. It is of the greatest importance
that the production of army shoes should be increased, so you must spare no effort to
attain success. Do not be discouraged by rumors of exchange. Nothing is ever certain on
that point, and it may be that inducements can be held out that will content the competent
shoemakers to remain. Should ever a general exchange be resumed you can compensate them
fairly for their services and in such a form as may prove most acceptable, and I have been
assured that the unclaimed packages forwarded from the other side will in time be devoted
to such as may elect to remain for a while and continue their labor. Report progress.
By order of Quartermaster-General:
W. B. B. CROSS,
Major and Quartermaster.