Many a Rebel, including some in the 13th Regiment, had been killed or wounded at the Battle of Sharpsburg, in Maryland in mid September, 1862, and the survivors, retreating back into Virginia near Winchester had to contend with frosty temperatures in scant clothing and little food to eat.
Hence this newspaper editorial back home in Canton, east of the Delta.
“The weather among the mountains in Virginia is already cold to the men who do duty for us with only tattered, dirty and threadbare garments upon their manly limbs. Let the people, then, everywhere, and in whatever circumstances, commence the good work as soon as possible, and never leave off until one of the best and bravest armies in the world shall have been furnished with all the comforts it may be in our power to bestow.
“There are none so indigent that they cannot contribute something to the relief of such troops as ours. Let it be remembered that though destitute as they are represented to be and though many of them have gone without food for days together, and that at a time when they were making long marches and fighting bloody battles with the enemies of our country, still they are cheerful, patient and resolute as ever, and are ready now, as they have been at all times, to assert their birthright to be free. If the invader thinks differently he has only to seek them where they are, and he will soon be cured of his folly.”
—Oct. 31, 1862, American Citizen newspaper, Canton, Mississippi
(Canton today is on the state’s “blues trail” and home to a Nissan automobile plant.)