HDQRS. DIST. OF TEX., N., MEX., AND ARIZ., Numbers 355.
Houston, December 27, 1863.
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XIII. Each regiment of Green's division of cavalry, will upon its arrival in Houston, proceed directly on to Perry's Landing, Brazoria County, via Sandy-Point, Columbia, and Brazoria, where supplies will be readiness for them. Immediately on arriving at Brazoria the commanding officer of each, regiment will report to Brigadier-General Bee, at Bryan's plantation, for instructions.
By command of Major-General Magruder:
STEPHEN D. YANCEY.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
December 28, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
MY DEAR SIR: On the 23rd instant I received information of the existence of a serious feeling of disaffection among the troops of Clanton's command, which is reported to have extended to other regiments here; that Christmas day had been fixed as the time for laying down arms and going home; that the soldiers from the low and poorer classes regard this as the only means of ending the war, of which they are so tired that they will accept peace on any terms. I have taken such measures as I can to guard against the threatened trouble, and to inform myself definitely as to the extent and real existence of any plot of the nature indicated. General Clanton informed one on Christmas day that he and his officers "have been aware of this thing for more than a month." He gives me no satisfactory explanation of his failure to communicate it to me. I have caused him to require an investigation and report to be made as to the feeling of the brigade at Pollard, and I transmit herewith the reports of the regimental commanders.*
Colonel Swanson's letter seems confirmatory of the reported disaffection, and briefly indicates the cause. As I have before heard of the existence in our army of a disloyal association, and as these recent rumors came at a time when Lincoln's proclamation and the proposed measures of Congress for increasing our armies may tend to weaken the purpose of our poorer people, I deem it my duty to inform you and the President about them. General Clanton's troops are much under home influences; they were brought into service at a late period of the war, when the more patriotic classes had been long in the field. Many of them were reluctantly drawn from their homes. They are generally from the rural districts of Alabama, and from the poorer classes of people. Pending the action of Congress on measures calculated to relieve the pressure of the war on the lower classes of our people, I suggest the transfer of the troops of this department, when practicable to more active fields of service, as the natural remedy for the discontent supposed to exist, and to replace them here, when necessary, by troops from remote portions of the Confederacy. Nearly all of the regiments in the department are from Alabama; none of them have been under fire since the battle of Shiloh; some of them have never been in action
*On December 26, General Clanton forwarded to General Johnston copies of the papers transmitted by General Maury.