One hundred and fifty years ago, news regarding various aspects of the Confederate Army started making its way into the mainstream media as Arkansawyers took more and more interest in the Civil War. Among the various items of interest was the fact that the Winter was well on its way by mid-September and this posed quite the quandary for the troops stationed so far from their homes.
In response to this logistical situation, Confederate commanders took the inititive to remedy the lack of supplies and provisions for their troops. Among them was Colonel Albert Rust of the Third Arkansas Infantry Regiment. An order was sent down from the upper command of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to have an officer from each regiment travel back to where that unit enrolled for service to “receive and convey to them such clothing and other articles as may be required during the winter, and may be furnished by their families, neighbors and friends, I have detailed Lieutenant J. M. D. Sturges for that purpose. Under the army regulations of the Confederate States, the government pays each soldier forty-two dollars per annum in lieu of clothes which are to be supplied by the soldiers themselves.”
It is important for the reader to understand that the Confederate Army in 1861 was unlike its Northern counterpart, whose army was much better supplied and had been a functioning army since the American Revolution. The Confederates were left to their own devices to supply themselves. The following passage given an account of needed items for the Arkansas soldiers operating in the mountains of Virginia in September, 1861:
“Justly appreciating the patriotism and devotedness of the people of Arkansas, which seems only to increase with the new demands their country is compelled to make upon them, I deem it only necessary to tell them that the soldiers under my command are operating in the mountains of Virginia, where more and warmer clothing is necessary to their comfort and health, than any where else in the Confederate States, to insure a liberal supply of flannel shirts, drawers, yarn socks, heavy pants, a warm coat for each, and two pairs of heavy shoes.”
Even in lieu of the demands put onto each soldier in the Confederate Army, the Rebels’ spirits remained high.