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Office Sub Asst Com. B P. F & A.L.
Demopolis Ala Feb 3/68".

Maj. Geo. H. Shorkley:
A.A.A. Genl:
Montgomery Ala.

Your letter of January 28 inst. relative to the establishment of a soup house at this point received. In reply I would submit the following: In a city where there are always many poor it would be advisable to establish such an institution; but I would not advise it here: from the fact that 1st: This is a city of only about 12 or 13 hundred inhabitants, chiefly and in fact entirely dependent upon the surrounding country for support. No manufactures of any kind and no surplus inhabitants, save enough to transact the business incident to the Country around. 2nd: An establishment of such an institution would have a tendency to encourage the indolent of other places & counties in the district to come here, and thereby create more active suffering than it would relieve. 

We have some cases of charity for which I would respectfully request that you send us some Dessicated Meats &c for distribution.- 

Very respectfully, 
Your obd't Sv't
A.J. Bennett
1st Lieut 15th Infantry &
Sub Asst Comr.

Transcription Notes:
Dessicated meat - having had all moisture removed; dried out. Maybe like beef jerky?