crops of this country are cultivated to maturity the people there, both black and white, will suffer for food. I had no collision
with any of the authorities except the ecclesiastical. The pastor of the Episcopal Church in his public service omitted the customary prayer for the President of the United States. I thought it my duty to Christianize him, if possible, and succeeded in convincing him of the error of his way by a communication, a copy* of which I have the honor to inclose. He prayed for the President that afternoon. I will forward you a copy of the cotton schedules as soon received from the officers directed to make them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. M. McCOOK,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, FOURTH DIVISION,
Atlanta, Ga., June 1, 1865.
Bvt. Major General JAMES H. WILSON,
Commanding Cavalry Corps, Macon, Ga.:
I beg leave to submit the following remarks concerning the distribution of provisions to the citizens of this country: Since my communication of the 31st of May I have received copy of the telegram of General Thomas. Believing that you and Major-General Thomas could not know the extent of the destruction in this section, I take the liberty of again intruding the matter upon your attention in order that some well-defined plan of procedure and issue may be adopted if any extensive or continued issues shall be ordered. I would like first to know if the matter will be under my supervision or under that of State or other civil authorities. Until some food can be raised many people must be fed by charity, and some systematic plan should be introduced and carried out, one which will do all the good possible with as little expenditure of money and as little circumstances as the circumstances will allow, while at the same time justice must be done all the parties and the different applicants. The corn and other supplies sent here to Colonel Ira R. Foster are distributed to the inferior courts of Barton, or Cass, Cobb, Paulding, Fulton, Milton, De Kalb, Campbell, Fayette, Clayton, an Henry Counties. These courts distribute to the people direct or through some minor civil authority. Women whose husbands are in our army, and who are utterly destitute of food can obtain none, while others from some similar cause are not supplied. There are destitute families in other counties than those named above also. With all respect to the civil authorities who control the distribution of supplies, I must say I think injustice is frequently done suffering persons, while the method of operating has very many defects. Some valuable information concerning the prospects for the future, the amount to be raised, the proportions of poor and well-off and the degree of suffering in the several towns and counties could be obtained while the present needs are being supplied. Of course, if any considerable amount of provisions is issued the quantity and source of supply must be known and calculations made accordingly.
I submit this paper for your information and instructions, and have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
E. F. WINSLOW,
*See McCook to Ellis, May 21, p. 862.
60 R R-VOL XLIX, PT II