20 well men and three times as many sick. I waited for orders till the next morning, when I called in my pickets and fell back to Princeton, where we had some 300 sick, where we impressed wagons to carry the sickest, and went to Arkadelphia. On September 15, I received an order from General Price placing me in command of a convalescent camp, comprised of this regiment, McKie's and Morgan's squadrons, and 200 infantry, the camp to be under the direction of Dr. C. M. Taylor, medical director (marked D).* He first instructed me to move on slowly in the direction of Washington, and somewhere in that vicinity establish a permanent camp; but afterward told me to camp at Cold Springs, 15 miles from Arkadelphia, until he came out, which would be in a day or two, and he would give me further instructions. On September 18, we drew rations for the sick till the end of the month, at the expiration of which time the doctor informed us we would be at Washington. On the 20th, I received an order, a copy of which is herewith sent (marked A).* Under that order I sent on and had the camps selected. The next day Dr. Norris, out chief surgeon, received a communication from Dr. Taylor, telling him that he had learned that the camp we occupied was a very unhealthy location-that the water was unhealthy-and to move the camp on toward Washington. On the 22nd, I moved the camp 10 miles toward Washington, not only because of the doctor's instructions, but on account of forage. At this camp, on the 24th, I wrote to the general asking for written instructions. My letter was returned with the indorsement that "this matter is subject to the direction of Surg. C. M. Taylor, inspector of hospitals." A copy of the letter and indorsement is sent (marked B).* I move don then, after seeing Dr. Taylor, and received his instructions to move on toward Washington, at my discretion, stopping wherever I found water and forage, and remained at each camp as long as we could obtain forage, and arrived at or near Washington on the last day of the month, the day on which our requisitions for rations expired. On that day Major [C. L.] Morgan was placed in command of the camp, and I received instructions from him to remain where I was until he saw me, when he located the present encampment.
If any blame is attachable to any of these troops for coming here, it belongs solely to myself, and if I did not have the authority to act as i did, I at least thought I had, and I was influenced nighter by a desire to get away from the enemy nor to get to Texas, but solely by the desire to render the suffering soldiers of my command as comfortable as possible. And no brave and generous man who knows the privations and hardships to which this regiment has been subjected, the incredible amount of sickness they have endured, would suspect them of anything unworthy brave and chivalrous soldiers. True, there is many a poor, sick fellow who is pining to see his home and family, but, in proof that they would do nothing dishonorable to get there, you have but to compare the record of desertions with that of the other regiments of this command of General Holmes. They came to this State with plenty of transportation and a quantity of commissary stores. At their first introduction they were robbed of both; for months at a time they have been entirely without transportation, and without a cooking utensil in the world or a bag in which to draw their rations. They have had to pay out the last dollar they had for the cooking of their bread, and, when their money was gone, to cook their pittance of meal in the ashes, without sifting. They have been kept in the swamps until their systems have become poisoned with miasma and malaria, and have borne all without