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History in Our Backyard Chapter 12: Beef on the Hoof

Both Napoleon and Frederick the Great have been credited with the saying “An army marches on its stomach.”  Provisioning an army, especially one that numbered over 125,000 – the size of the Army of the Potomac at the beginning of General U.S. Grant’s Overland Campaign in May 1864 – would prove to be a monumental logistical challenge.

Fresh beef – 1¼ pounds daily according to the US War Department Army Regulations – was an important component of the Federal Civil War soldier’s ration.  The most practical way to furnish beef to campaigning soldiers was to have herds of cattle march with the army.

Exhibit 16 Cattle Crossing the Rapidan River

So how much beef was needed?  An estimate given by Lt. Colonel C. W. Tolles in 1864 stated “A bullock will furnish about 450 rations, so that an army of 100,000 men needs over two hundred beef cattle for its supply.”  Based on 450 rations per head of beef, an army of 125,000 men consumed 278 head of beef daily.

At least 6,000 head crossed the Rapidan River with the Army of the Potomac in early May of 1864.  These 6,000 documented head produced approximately 2.7 million rations, enough to supply an army of 125,000 for 21½ days.

The 6,000 head were gathered from holding pens in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C.  How did 6,000 head of cattle get to the Army of the Potomac for the Overland Campaign?

An excerpt from Feeding a Great Army ” in the United States Service Magazine in February 1880 by Brevet Brigadier General Thomas Wilson tells how:

“…to carry out my orders of supply, it would be necessary to have sent up to the front from Alexandria, some 50 miles distant, about 6,000 head of beef cattle, with the forage, corn in the ear, and hay necessary to subsist them until the march began, and this feat had to be accomplished between one Friday morning and the next Tuesday night; or, in other words… an average of 1,200 head of beef cattle had to be sent daily by me for five days, with the necessary forage for their maintenance.

The existing capacity of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad in cattle cars was, at this time, for only 300 head daily…

The sudden call and the subsequent remarkable feat of shipping 6,000 cattle over this road of a single track, in the time required and with its limited resources was accomplished by the authorities seizing all the flat cars within reach and placing fences around them…  In this manner, 1,800 head were sent up in one day of twenty-four hours.  At one time during the shipment an endless train of cattle cars was in transit, most of the railroad sidings being filled with them…  We received all the cattle asked for before the time needed.

Three hundred men were kept constantly employed in unloading the cattle cars on their arrival at the front, so that the emptied cars might be sent back without delay.”

The herds and animals that we see today in the rural parts of Spotsylvania and Orange Counties are insignificant when compared to those that travelled with General Grant.  The Army of the Potomac had more than 50,000 horses and mules and at least 6,000 head of beef.  Big armies meant big numbers.

Author: Rod Lackey
Date: July 2018

Read Previous Chapter 11: the Unfinished Railroad in the Battle of the Wilderness

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

wine

Adult Wine & Cheese Pool Social at the LOW Clubhouse Pool!

The LOWA Pools Committee is hosting the Adult Wine & Cheese Pool Social on Saturday, July 13th from 7PM – 9PM.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the newly constructed pool, this is a great time – kids free! Entry fee will be $10 per person and will include 2 glasses of wine and food. ($5 for each additional glass of wine, if you wish). You pay at the door and it will be cash only.

Be sure to RSVP with Vassa Olson at: vassaathelake@gmail.com and include your preference of red, white, or rose wine. You must register by July 10th. Should the weather not participate, the rain date will be: July 27th.

Lifeguards will be on duty! This event is sponsored by FLOW (Friends of Lake of the Woods).

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

103 Monument Rd

103 Monument Single Family Home For Sale in Lake of the Woods Virginia 22508 NOW SOLD!

Have you always dreamed of lake living? Dream no more, the perfect property is now available for you to make it your reality. This home sits on a quiet side street, with inviting curb appeal and sought after fine features, both inside and outside. Boasting an upgraded kitchen just off of the family room, this house is sure to be a perfect fit for family dinners and entertaining friends. Spend your evenings relaxing on the screened porch, the sun room or extensive patio while watching the birds.

Feel like venturing out for the day? You will be pleased with all the community has to offer. A private, gated, secured community, Lake of the Woods offers anything and everything you could possibly want. Home to two lakes (the 550 acre main lake and a 35 acre “fishing lake”), a golf course, an equestrian center, a fire and rescue department, and a church all within the gates, Lake of the Woods simply has it all. Whether your passion is boating, waterskiing, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, or simply taking in the breathtaking views from the clubhouse while enjoying a fabulous meal, from your own deck or yard, or from one of the beaches, you won’t be disappointed! Perhaps you’d like a game of bridge or volunteering your time and talents…Lake of the Woods offers more than 60 clubs and/or organizations from which you may choose to become involved. Located in Orange County, we are fortunate to enjoy low real estate taxes. Coupled with home prices ranging from $100,000 to over $2,000,000, Lake of the Woods is the perfect community for both full-time residents, as well as weekenders. But don’t take my word for it, please come see for yourself! I will gladly give you a tour of Lake of the Woods by boat and by car so that you may experience why I love Lake of the Woods!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

107 nugget

Home w/Backyard Oasis For Sale in Lake of the Woods Virginia 22508 NOW SOLD!!!! By Pat Licata!

107 Nugget, Lake of the Woods VA 22508

While there are too many fine features to mention, you will immediately fall in love with this home boasting approximately 3300 square feet and will want to bask in the tranquility! You will be impressed by the gorgeous walnut floors, the spa-like bathrooms, a dream kitchen, and an outdoor living oasis that you will have to see to believe. There are so many recent upgrades, you’ll think you are in a brand new home, meticulously maintained and obviously well loved.

If you feel like venturing out, however, the community amenities are sure to please as well. A private, gated, secured community, Lake of the Woods offers anything and everything you could possibly want. Home to two lakes (the 550 acre main lake and a 35 acre “fishing lake”), a golf course, an equestrian center, a fire and rescue department, and a church all within the gates, Lake of the Woods simply has it all. Whether your passion is boating, waterskiing, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, or simply taking in the breathtaking views from the clubhouse while enjoying a fabulous meal, from your own deck or yard, or from one of the beaches, you won’t be disappointed! Perhaps you’d like a game of bridge or volunteering your time and talents…Lake of the Woods offers more than 60 clubs and/or organizations from which you may choose to become involved. Located in Orange County, we are fortunate to enjoy low real estate taxes. Coupled with home prices ranging from the mid-$100,000s to over $2,000,000, Lake of the Woods is the perfect community for both full-time residents, as well as weekenders. But don’t take my word for it, please come see for yourself! I will gladly give you a tour of Lake of the Woods by boat and by car so that you may experience why I love Lake of the Woods!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.