War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0939 Chapter XXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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Galveston, January 9, 1863.

I. Lieutenant-Colonel Hardeman, commanding the Arizona Brigade, will proceed with his command, dismounted, to Virginia Point, reporting his arrival there to these headquarters.

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[By command of Major-General Magruder;


Assistant Adjutant-General.]

SIR: The enemy recently came in considerable force up the Choctawhatchie River, and made a raid into Coffee County, Alabama. He recently dispersed a company of Alabamians from that section of the State, engaged in the manufacture of salt on the Gulf, and destroyed most of their implements. The southeastern part of this State, including the locality of the enemy's late operations, is peculiarly exposed and liable to hostile incursions from Pensacola.

When informed of the recent raid, I appointed Col. James H. Clanton, a gallant, experienced, and efficient officer, my special aide-de-camp, and dispatched him in that direction, with instructions to raise and muster into the service of the State for thirty days a force adequate to drive out the enemy and protect for the present that part of the State. I ventured also to order him to include in his enlistment men liable to conscription, residing in Coffee, Covington, Dale, Henry, Pike, and Barbour Counties, which compose the southeastern angle of the State. That order was made for reasons which I proceed to state. By including those within the age of conscription I could greatly hasten the formation of the corps and the emergency seemed to admit of no delay. Furthermore, it seemed to me, after the most careful reflection, the most effective, if not the only, means of securing an execution of the conscript law in that region. Reluctance to leave their unprotected families while there is an immediate prospect of invasion is an excuse of some speciousness, which they make and accompany with a profession of readiness to take up arms for the purpose of local defense. While some of them are disloyal, many of them have, on account of their unprotected families, availed themselves of the facilities, availed themselves of the facilities which their territory, generally poor and sparsely populated, affords for escape and concealment. I have no doubt that many, perhaps most, of those who are thus evading conscription will promptly enlist in the State service for thirty days. At the expiration of that time they can be by aid of the military organization enrolled as conscripts and transferred to the service of the Confederate States if Your Excellency should require it. An object will thus be accomplished which is doubtful and difficult of attainment by any other means. Nor will any increased delay result. The prevalence of small-pox in the camp of instruction has suspended the gathering of the conscripts, and there is no probability that those whom I may enlist would be summoned to the camp within thirty days, even if a willing obedience to the mandate of the law were yielded.

Convinced that the order which I gave to Colonel Clanton was essen-