Item Description: Letter, dated 27 November 1864, from Maj. R.S. Gage (commissary officer in Clingman’s Brigade) to Col. Hector McKeithan. In the letter, Gage explains that he has distributed extra vegetables (“one and a half pounds of turnips and about one fourth pounds of cabbage”) to the troops, but makes clear that this additional food distribution has nothing to do with the “late mutiny,” nor is it meant to boost morale.
Office T.L. Clingman Brigade
November 27th 1864
I have to day issued to each man of your Brigade, one and a half pounds of turnips and about one fourth pounds of cabbage.
This extra issue of vegetable coming at this particular time may lead the troops to believe that it was made in consequence of the late mutiny, but I have had the purchase in progress for some days, and had made arrangements previously to issue them today. I had no way of keeping the vegetables on hand, or I should have done so, for a few days in order to have dissipated any idea of the kind entertained by the troops.
I would therefore respectfully suggest that you let the troops know that this is not intended as a peace offering; but it is only such as I would be glad to give them oftener if I could – by so doing you will probably destroy the seed of any similar riot that may be brewing.
I am, Col., very respectfully
Your obdt. servt.
Maj. & CS