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Letter from 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. 


Richmond [Virginia]
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:

Major and Quartermaster.


Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series II, Vol. 7


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Credits & Thank-Yous

J. Barto Arnold et al. 1998-2000, The Denbigh Project, World Wide Web,
Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Texas A&M University, E-mail: (  
Monday, July 03, 2000 Revision.

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