“The Responsibilities of a Community at War”: County and State Government Aid to Hoosier Soldiers’ Families during the Civil War

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Anita Morgan

Abstract

The history of the Indiana Civil War home front has always included a story or two about Wayne County farmers supplying firewood to soldiers’ families. On February 28, 1863, farmers who lived east of Rich-mond along the National Road brought 92 cords of wood into town. A few days later, farmers who lived west of town along the National Road also delivered wood. Not to be outdone, another group led by the farm-ers of Middleborough provided 128 cords in March. Much later in the year, in October, fifty men spent several days sawing and splitting 60 cords for distribution. That Thanksgiving, eastern farmers returned to action and brought in 100 cords. These acts of kindness continued over the next year and led to a December 23, 1864, contest to see which “delegation” of farmers could supply the most fuel. Prizes included a banner, money, and buffalo robes. Once again, eastern farmers proved their resourcefulness and won with 111 cords of firewood, followed by western farmers with 70 cords, farmers along the Liberty and Boston turnpikes with 33 cords, and farmers from the Hillsborough and Newport turnpikes with 28 cords. The Indianapolis Daily Journal reported that one specially made wagon, drawn by 10 horses, hauled 18 cords, 20 feet of wood. Unfortunately, the wheels broke at the edge of town and the load had to be dragged the rest of the way.

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How to Cite
Morgan, A. (2019). “The Responsibilities of a Community at War”: County and State Government Aid to Hoosier Soldiers’ Families during the Civil War. Indiana Magazine of History, 113(1), 48-77. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/imh/article/view/27370
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