New Orleans Committee of Subsistence. | Tulane University Special Collections
Name: New Orleans Committee of Subsistence.
Historical Note: The New Orleans Committee of Subsistence was formed in May, 1862 when Federal troops occupied New Orleans. Even before the capture of New Orleans, food was scarce and costly because of the Union's blockade of Southern ports, the supply demand of the Confederate army, and the diminishing value of Confederate currency. The severity of the city's plight was most exemplified by the fact that by 1862 April 13, there was probably a fifteen day supply of corn and rice, and meat to last a week. The population itself compounded the problem of the food shortage by fleeing the city with supplies as news of the Union army's approach was forewarned. When General Benjamin Butler arrived 1862 May 1, he acted immediately to alleviate the problem by issuing orders to guarantee the safe passage of food supplies and by appointing agents to secure subsistence for the city. The Committee was an attempt by the martial law government of General Butler and the local Council to deal with the resulting subsistence dislocations forced upon the city's populace.
Sources: Manuscripts Collection 627
Note Author: LAC Group