This chapter focuses on the apprehension of farmers and planters in the Confederacy amid the Civil War, especially with regard to the benefits and liabilities of the government cotton purchasing or loan program. By January 1862, southerners understood the importance of agriculture to winning the war as never before. Few doubted the agricultural power of the South and the certainty that it would help win the war. Still, hunger and privation had begun to nag at some southerners in the cities and towns across the region. Cotton producers complained that cotton prices paid by the government were too low and differed from state to state. The rest of this chapter discusses the ambivalence of planters and farmers toward planting cotton due in part to the institution of slavery; the calls for farmers and distillers to stop making corn whiskey as long as the war lasted; the problems faced by farmers, including inflation and the rise in agricultural prices; and the effect of Union soldiers on the Confederate food supply.
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