Before reaching Appomattox on the memorable
retreat of our army from Petersburg, the half starved division of
General Bryan Grimes, of which I belonged, was halted after dark for a
short rest, and some of the *sharpshooters in the skirmish line, commanded by my brother, Lieutenant George T. Leach,
also of Company C in the 53rd NC Regiment, collected and drove to our
bivouac two or three cows with the intent of butchering them, believing,
as they certainly had reason to believe, that the poor cattle would
soon fall into the merciless hands of our pursuers.
Reaching our stopping place, for we had no encampment there, Lieutenant
Leach sent to headquarters to get permission to butcher the cows for his
Corps of Sharpshooters, stating that his men were suffering from food.
They had been constantly on the flanks and in the rear of the retreating
army since the evacuation, marching, counter marching, retreating and
fighting without food or rest. General Grimes peremptorily refused to
allow the cattle to be killed, because to allow it would violate one of
Lee's well-established rules prohibiting plundering at any cost.
Almost immediately after war commenced the New England Emigrant Aid
Company envisioned the national benefits of “transplanting friends of
the Union” in conquered States and flooding them with “Energetic, loyal,
liberty-loving colonists.” The promoters avowed that their goal was “to
aid in the political, industrial and social regeneration of the South.”
In the case of Florida, the emigrants would settle the rich soil, open
resorts for invalids, and build permanent homes for “those whose
delicate constitutions cannot endure the severe weather of the North.”
In early 1864, Salmon Chase’s presidential ambitions were assisted by
increased military invasions of Florida to occupy more land area and
establish a new State government dominated by his political appointees.
They were then expected to declare Florida’s 3 electoral votes for him