Florida supplied the Confederacy with thousands of head of cattle during the Civil War. Beef provided an important food source for soldiers in the lower South. Beef kept the Army of Tennessee from starving during the winters of 1863 and 1864, and meat sustained the defenders of Charleston while under Union seige. The Confederate Commissary Bureau had little difficulty supplying their armies with beef during the first year of the war, but by the beginning of 1862, it became increasingly hard to procure. To increase the number of available cattle, the Bureau awarded contracts to civilian agents to locate and bring in beef. A contractor system seemed natural for the wilderness that was Florida, where large cattle herds were known to exist. The state was expected to supply 25,000 head to the military by the beginning of 1863.
Taylor, Robert A.
"Rebel Beef: Florida Cattle and the Confederate Army, 1862-1864,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 67:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol67/iss1/4