Provisioning the Rangers

Civil War

August 29, 1862, Tri-Weekly Telegraph (Houston)

Glenblythe, near Brenham,
August 25th, 1862.
Editor Telegraph—Sir: I was induced, by his letter published in the Telegraph, to open a correspondence with Mr. Z. L. Nevill, of La Grange, on the subject of sending horses and a supply of clothing to the Rangers.
Mr. N. has since then spent a night with me, and the matter was pretty fully talked over.
He fully endorses all the accounts we have had of the great value of the services rendered by the Rangers, and the incessant toil and hardships they have under gone. If the army found quiet and rest in front of the enemy, it was because the Rangers were on duty as scouts; often for days and nights together, without once unsaddling. When literally worn out by incessant toil, they and their horses, they were ordered to the rear to recruit, they had scarcely began to enjoy their rest before they were again ordered to the front, to relieve the army from the anxieties and unrest of false alarm. Again and again have they been complimented by the officers in command of the army, with the remark that, “with the Rangers on scouting duty, the army felt at east.”
The result of all this has been that the horses are so worn down as to be scarcely fit for duty; and, from one cause and another, some 80 men are without horses. The men themselves have either worn out or lost, or left behind in their rapid movements, the bulk of even the light clothes they had for summer wear; and now that winter is at hand, they must be well clothed, and have good, stout shoes or boots. They are now in a cold country, unaccustomed as they are to such a climate. If not well provided for, and that right soon, the army will be deprived of the services of this most valuable corps, or our brave boys suffer beyond conception.
Mr. Nevill returns to the regiment, and hopes to be able to induce the people of Texas to send horses enough to mount, at least, those now afoot; and which horses he proposes to take charge of, and has aid enough of servants he will carry on, and of recruits to the regiments to enable him to do so.
He thinks that each horse will cost from $25 to $30, in feed, ferriages, &c., and I proposed to him that to raise this fund those wishing to send clothing &c. through, should pay at the rate of half a dollar per pound for a package not to weigh over 30 lbs., two of which could be strapped on to each horse. Every package should be done up in a compact form, two and a half times as long as it is thick, and enveloped in a bit of oiled cloth or tarpaulin.
There are no doubt those who have sons or brothers, &c., in the regiment to whom they would be glad of such a chance of sending a fresh horse, the more as it is positively found, that a stout half or three quarter bred Texas horse, at least six or eight years old, is worth two Northern bred animals for this service. Those who thus receive a fresh horse would hand over the Government horses to those who are now on foot, and would then be entitled to extra pay, having their own animal. Mr. Nevill seems confident that in his own immediate vicinity, eight or ten will be furnished. I will exert myself, and do my best to induce others to do so in this county, to raise a like number here. I have one to send to my own boy and a 30 pound package of clothing, and will moreover pay for another like package to aid any deficiency and will be glad to correspond with any who may wish to join in the movement.
Mr. Neville will make Glenbythe a stopping place as he passes, when he will receive every assistance that can be given him in fitting out the trip.
We were so well satisfied that you would do all in your power, that we scarcely deem it necessary to ask it of you. Nor of your neighbors of the News, to whom I would also write, if I had the leisure. Will they favor the cause by copying this?
The only hope of carrying out Mr. N.’s plan is by those who may favor it, all over the State, taking the thing at once in hand, without waiting further discussion; advising Mr. Nevill at La Grange, you, or myself of what they have done, before the middle of September, as Mr. N. proposes starting before the 1st of October, which will be quite late enough.
A few pieces of strong, warm clothing, and a pair of stout shoes are all that should be sent; enough, and no more than enough, is all they can carry with them in their rapid movements.
Yours, &c.,
Thomas Affleck.