War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0554 W.FLA.,S.ALA.,S.MISS.,LA.,TEX.,N.MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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Accompanying I send you some letters from Governor Watts and General Goldhwaite.

I am, general, your obedient servant,



[Sub-Inclosure Numbers 1.]


Montgomery, January 30, 1864.

Lieutenant General LEONIDAS POLK:

DEAR SIR: I learn that General J. H. Clanton, who has been recently at Pollard, Ala., has been ordered, with a portion of his command, to report to you. He is now here with two regiments of his command and one company of artillery. The balance of his command, consisting of twenty-four companies of cavalry, are separated from him. It may be that this separation is only temporary. He has not been informed.

It may not be known to you that his command was raised by himself, under authority from the War Department, and was received as a brigade. If, by the order thus separating his command, it is intended to transfer a portion of it to other commands, it would manifest great injustice. I cannot suppose, however, that this separation of his command is intended as a permanent matter.

General Clanton's qualifications and character as an officer may not be known to you. As the commander of First Alabama Cavalry Regiment, he gained the most enviable fame as a dashing, gallant officer, before, after, and at the battle of Shiloh. On account of some disagreement between him and General Bragg, he resigned his office, and afterward raised his present brigade. Hi is well acquainted with Northern Alabama, and especially with the Tennessee Valley. There is now great need there for just such an officer as I know him to be.

I learn from Honorable David P. Lewis, of Moulton, Lawrence County, Alabama, that General Roddey's command has been removed from Tuscumbia to Smithfield, Miss., and that the people of Northern Alabama are much depressed in spirit, apprehending raids south of the Tennessee River.

General, I presume not to dictate to you, but I suggest whether the public interests do not require that General Clanton and his whole command should not be sent to Northern Alabama.

General Clanton visits you himself, and I send this letter by him. I know of no cavalry officer in the Confederate States who could make a higher mark if an opportunity is afforded. He and his command are sensitive at present, on account of the mutiny in his command at Pollard, of which you have doubtless had information, and they are anxious to be placed in some field where they can wipe out, by gallant deeds, the stain which has been placed on the command by a few worthless tories and traitors. I hope you will afford them the opportunity.

I am, general, with the highest respect and esteem, your obedient servant,


Governor of Alabama.


Lieutenant-General POLK:

I cordially concur in the opinion expressed by Governor Watts as to the high qualifications of General Clanton as a cavalry officer, and earnestly second the suggestion that, if considered compatible with the