New Era Newspaper
Fort Smith, Sebastian County
November 14, 1863
Prospect Of The Farmers: Bush-Whacking
The town is full of refugees from the country, of whom a large number is supported by the Government. This is deplorable, not so much on the expense of feeding them, as from the injury to the community at large is receiving by the almost total suspension of farming operations. The cause of all this is bush-whacking.
No family, known to entertain Union feelings, is safe out
of the reach of U S Troops. The recent advance of the rebels encouraged this abominable, fiendish set of men to extend their operations nearer to town than ever.
Since the hasty flight of the rebels these fiends have also
become less bold in the immediate vicinity of this place. But there is still so great a feeling of insecurity among the country people, that they are very little disposed to work in good earnest and prepare another yearsí crop.
Many families also had their houses burnt, after having been robbed of everything, and have come to town in most pitiable circumstances. The inauguration of the guerrilla warfare, is one of the deepest stains of infamy to be charged to this hellish Confederacy; for, while it decides nothing eventually, it inflicts infinitely more suffering, and especially on the helpless, than an open and regular system of warfare.
Good judges estimated the amount of grain raised this year in Arkansas sufficient to bread the people for two years. Owing to the presence of large forces in the State, and the great waste and destruction caused by the rebels, we may consider ourselves fortunate if the supply holds out till next harvest. But, if we donít sow now, we can have no harvest next year, when there will be ten times more applications for rations than now, and the suffering among the people must necessarily be great.
The only remedy is, to clean out the bush whackers, and give them no mercy wherever and whenever found; and then, and not until then, may we look for a revival of prosperity.