command desired that the affair of Arkansas Post should be thoroughly investigated by a court of inquiry, as there was much crimination and recrimination in reference to the affair, and at that time all the facts in the case could have been elicited with but little trouble, but the brigadier-general commanding said a "court of inquiry was not necessary: that the whole matter would or should be investigated by a court-martial". These troops were soon after ordered to join the Army of Tennessee, under their original organization. On arriving at Tullahoma General Churchill received orders from General Bragg, commanding Army of the Tennessee, to reorganize these troops, consolidating brigades and regiments, so as to form one brigade. In compliance with this order my regiment [Sixth Texas] and the Tenth and Fifteenth Texas Regiments were consolidated into a regiment, and an officer, my junior, assigned to command it; Brigadier-General Churchill selecting the officer to command the consolidated regiments. By what precedent or rule he was governed in making these selections I am unable to conjecture, but agreeable to all regulations, precedence, and usage I, as the senior officer, had the right to command the troops thus consolidated with my regiment. I immediately protested against this unprecedented and summary manner of being deprived of what I conceived to be my legitimate command to General Bragg as well as to the Adjutant-General of the Confederate States Army, but no action has ever been taken in the matter that I am aware of.
It was about the time of this consolidation that I first saw Brigadier-General Churchill's report of the Arkansas Post affair of which the following is an extract, viz:
The fort had now been silenced about an hour, most of the field pieces disabled, still the fire raged furiously along the entire line, and that gallant band of Texans and arkansans having nothing to rely upon now save their muskets and bayonets, still disdained to yield to the overpowering foe of 50,000 men, who were pressing upon them from almost every direction. Just at this time, to my great surprise, several white flags were displayed in the Twenty-fourth Regiment Texas Dismounted Cavalry, First Brigade, and before it could be arrested the enemy took advantage of it, crowded upon my lines, and not being prevented by the brigade commander from crossing, as was his duty, I was forced to the humiliating necessity of surrendering the balance of the command.
Immediately upon reading this report I demanded a court of inquiry, and have repeatedly urged this demand, but have been unable up to this time to obtain a hearing; and notwithstanding most of the witnesses in the case are now scattered to the four winds, and some of the most important are now numbered among the heroic dead, I am still confident of being able to prove the injustice and incorrectness of this particular portion of his report whenever a hearing can be had. I doubt if there is a parallel case on record of an officer thus being ruthlessly superseded, his standing as a soldier impaired, and thus debarred honorable promotion on the simple ipse dixit of another officer.
Had I been guilty of neglect of duty at so critical a crisis as reported it is apparent that the brigadier-general commanding could not consistently avoid preferring charges against me; and, in justice to a brother officer whose reputation was impeached, could not do otherwise than insist upon having them investigated.
Hoping that some steps may be taken immediately to redress these wrongs, I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,
R. R. GARLAND,
Colonel Sixth Texas Infantry.