War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0195 Chapter XXXV. AFFAIR WITH GUNBOATS NEAR FLORENCE, ALA.

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ton's battery, when we discovered two of the gunboats ascending near Tuscumbia Landing. I immediately ordered Major [Jeffrey E.] Forrest, with five companies and one piece of Morton's artillery, back to our works at Florence, and with three companies and the other gun, under Lieutenant [T. S.] Sale, reached the river below the gunboats, when we opened fire upon them with small arms and shell. As soon as they discovered our artillery was below them, they turned down stream and left in great haste.

It is proper to state that General [S. A. M.] Wood, with Colonel [M. W.] Hannon's regiment, was pouring volley after volley into the boats from the opposite side. We continued to scout and picket without serious difficulty until we received orders to return to the command on March 26, 1863.

It affords me great pleasure to add to this report the proceedings of a public meeting held in Florence by the leading citizens of the place, testifying to our good conduct while stationed at that place, when they learned we had been ordered away, to wit:

At a meeting of the citizens of Florence, Ala., held at the court-house on the 27th day of March, 1863, Honorable R. M. Patton was called to the chair, and W. J. Tapp appointed secretary.

On motion of R. W. Walker, a committee of five was appointed to report suitable resolutions expressing the sense of this meeting. The chair appointed the following gentlemen-Honorable R. W. Walker, Colonel T. L. Chisholm, Honorable B. F. Foster, B. F. Kaisure, esq., and Captain J. L. Sloss-on said committee, who made the following report:Whereas we have learned that the cavalry regiment under command of Colonel G. G. Dibrell, which has been stationed at this point for several weeks past, has been ordered to report for duty elsewhere; and whereas we, the citizens of Florence, are desirous of testifying in some form to the officers and men of said regiment the favorable impression they have made upon this community, and our high sense of their unexceptionable deportment and uniform good conduct during their stay among us: Therefore,

Resolved, That this community has heard with sincere regret that orders have been issued for the removal from this place of the Eighth [Thirteenth] Tennessee Cavalry, under command of Colonel G. G. Dibrell, now stationed here.

Resolved, That the admirable discipline enforced by the officers of said regiment, the orderly deportment of the men, their freedom from dissipation and violence, and strict respect for the rights and feelings of private citizens, furnish a complete refutation of the slander that the Confederate cavalry are always disorderly and licentious; and we feel that we express the universal sentiment of our community when we say that no equal number of troops in the Confederate Army could have given more general satisfaction to our people or have inspired greater confidence in this community.

Resolved, That for their marked propriety of conduct, their uniform good order, and gentlemanly bearing while stationed in our town, the members of said regiment are fairly entitled to, and we hereby tender them, the special and grateful thanks of this community; and we beg to assure both the officers and men of the regiment that we shall see them leave our town with the sincerest regret, and that wherever the fortunes of war may carry them hereafter they will always be kindly remembered by this community, and our best wishes for their health, safety, and success will always accompany them.

Resolved, That the chairman of this meeting communicate a copy of these resolutions to Colonel Dibrell, with the request that he have them read to his regiment.

The foregoing resolutions were unanimously adopted, and the meeting adjourned.

R. M. PATTON,

Chairman.

W. J. TAPP, Secretary.

We did not leave Florence until the 10th instant, and arrived yesterday.

I am, major, yours, respectfully,

G. G. DIBRELL,

Colonel Eighth [Thirteenth] Tennessee Cavalry.

Major J. P. STRANGE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.