[DECEMBER 31, 1862.*]
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
The crisis now pending, and the disorganized condition of this regiment, entitled the Anderson Troop, never fully organized, and on the eve of battle, require immediate action by the proper authority.
Official promises induced us to leave our school of instruction at Carlisle, under the impression, on arriving at Louisville, Ky., the regimental organization should be completed. For reasons never made public, such promise was never fulfilled, but it was again promised by our officers that each company should be provided with officers on arriving at Nashville, Tenn.
Upon arriving here the regiment was ordered on duty in the same imperfect and disorganized condition. In justice to ourselves, we consider it to be our imperious duty, under the peculiar circumstances by which we are now surrounded, to decline performing any duty until provided with a sufficient number of officers to enable us to battle with credit to our State and Government. This regiment, with but few exceptions, have laid down their arms, and have requested to be placed under arrest, that the cause of our complaints may be fully investigated. This regiment desires that they be assigned to the duty for which they were enlisted or be at once disbanded. Attached hereunto is our petition.
We, the undersigned, members of the Anderson Troop, believing that we have been enlisted into the service of the United States under false pretenses, do hereby request, in consideration of the following reasons, a proper investigation, whether or not we are now held, or can be held under any other terms than those of our enlistments:
1st. That we were enlisted for a body guard and special service at the headquarters of Major General D. C. Buell, then commanding the Army of the Ohio, and promises were made by the recruiting officer in charge that, should we not be assigned to the service for which we were enlisted, we should at once receive our discharge, and be provided with transportation to our respective homes.
2nd. Without our knowledge or consent as members, said battalion was increased to a regiment, and, even as such, we were deprived the privilege of selecting our own officers.
3rd. Orders were issued and promises made that we should be engaged in no other service than that for which we were enlisted.
4th. That we have now been in the United States service over four months, with not more than 15 commissioned officers, some companies not having even one, and with our arms, equipments, &c., in such an imperfect condition as to render the regiment partially until for service.
In pursuing this course of action, we contemplate no disturbance, but desire that the cause of our complaints be investigated. We would have it understood that while we have a due respect for our officers and a due regard for the welfare of our country in the present crisis, yet, in consideration of the foregoing and other reasons, we consider it our duty not to move until we are fully officered as a regiment, according to the army regulations, and assigned, to the duty for which we were enlisted.
*Briefed as of this date, and from W. D. H. Reeder and 535 others of the Anderson Troop.