This chapter discusses the harsh realities of the Civil War and the impact of conflict on agriculture in the Eastern Confederacy. Southern farmers and planters greeted the arrival of 1863 with guarded optimism across the Eastern Confederacy. In mid-January Georgia farmers crowded the streets in Atlanta with their wagons hauling corn, fodder, hogs, peas, potatoes, and turkeys. Prices of agricultural products such as tobacco, corn whiskey, and eggs soared as demand exceeded supply. The rest of this chapter describes the problems that hounded agriculture during the war, including the food supply problem in states such as North Carolina; President Jefferson Davis's call on farmers and planters to raise food and forage, to “abstain” from planting tobacco and cotton, and to provide an immediate supply of meat for the Confederate armies; the government's inability to raise sufficient operating money from its tax policy and its produce loan program; the beef supply for the Army of Northern Virginia; and the flight of slaves to Union lines.
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