War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0552 W.FLA.,S.ALA.,S.MISS.,LA.,TEX.,N.MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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made up of men exempt from military duty, and who could only be induced to enter the army under him, and with certain privileges which he would guarantee to them. Their first agreement was for six months' service within the State of Alabama. General Clanton informs me that his legion subsequently agreed to serve for the war and go anywhere. He procured a further authority from the War Department to increase his force, and to enroll certain conscripts in it, with assurance that when he would enroll as many as forty companies he should be appointed a brigadier-general. The result has been the enrollment of a large brigade of men who have entered the army very reluctantly. Some of them are conscripts, some substitutes. Unusual influences and inducements have been used to recruit them and to keep them. They have been kept near their homes, have received many indulgences, and have never been in real field service. It is now developed that they have many of them bound themselves to each other by solemn oaths never to fight against the enemy; to desert the service of the Confederacy; to encourage and protect deserters, and to do all other things in their power to end the war and break down the Government and the "so-called Southern Confederacy." In all of this they are more or less encouraged and assisted by people of their own section of country, many of whom are said to be members of the secret organization. The origin of the association is attributed to the enemy, and is said to have first entered our army at Cumberland Gap. But for the timely dispersion of Clanton's regiments, there is good reason to believe a more serious emeute would have occurred at Pollard on the 6th instant.

I believe the whole plot has been developed; the secret signs, grips, pass-words, and obligations of the conspirators are in our possession, and probably many of the leading men will be discovered, and I hope will receive justice. It is improbable that the organization can do us any more harm hereafter than the other manifestations of cowardice and unpatriotic opposition to the war with which from the outset we have had to contend. It seems to me desirable to place General Clanton and his brigade in active field service, far away from their homes, and distribute his regiments among other troops.

Very respectfully and truly,


Major-General, Commanding.

(Copy to Lieutenant-General Polk.)

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]


January 6, 1864.


Chief of Staff:

Sixty out of 300 of a detachment at Gonzales mutinied yesterday, and said they would do no more service. Captain Talbot acted with decision, and arrested the entire party. They will be here in the morning. I have just had the forces here out; made them a speech, and arrested and ironed those who were ringleaders in the contemplated rebellion-the "Peace Society," as it is called-and have secured the names, oaths, pass-words, and grips of the concern. On an invitation from me, 100 or more men laid down their arms, and acknowledged themselves members, and say they were deceived into it, and ask pardon. They confess everything, and seem badly whipped.