War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0555 Chapter XXXVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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public interests, he and his command should be sent to the Tennessee Valley, in Northern Alabama. I was in Northern Alabama during the period of General Clanton's service in that part of the State, and had ample opportunities of becoming acquainted with his merits as an officer. Speaking from my observation at that time, as well as from my former knowledge of his character and all that I have since heard, I have no hesitation in expressing a confident opinion that General Clanton possesses in an unusual degree the qualities necessary to constitute an energetic and efficient commander of cavalry.

Very respectfully,


[Sub-Inclosure Numbers 2.]


January 30, 1864.

Lieutenant General LEONIDAS POLK, Meridian:

GENERAL: I have read the letter of Governor Watts and the addenda of Judge Walker. I beg leave to state upon my own personal knowledge that General Clanton raised his command under difficulties which no other man in the State could have surmounted, and that his success is to attributed mainly to his indefatigable perseverance and the high confidence entertained in his ability as a leader. I have known him long and well, and unhesitatingly say that a more brave, chivalric, and indefatigable officer is not to be found in our army. With these qualities he possesses a prudence and caution rarely found in combination with them, and has the love and confidence of his men to high degree.

He has had but little experience in the infantry arm of the service, but as a cavalry officer I know of no one who could be made more useful, or, if the opportunity was afforded him, would acquire more distinction.

As a friend to General Clanton, and an old acquaintance of yourself, I have taken the liberty of writing you these lines unofficially. He will give you his own views, and you can rely upon his statements with the most implicit confidence.

Very truly and respectfully,



May 9, 1864.

Lieutenant-General POLK:

In the interview granted me at Meridian in January last, you did me and the brigade which I had been commanding great injustice in saying that the mutiny which was threatened at Pollard was the result of a want of discipline, and in contradicting the assertion which I made that the Peace Society, as it was called, originated in General Bragg's army. If I believed you capable of doing me or my brigade any intentional injustice, I would not trouble myself to obtain or seek your good opinion.

It is the good feeling and high opinion which I have for you that prompts the feeble and hurried effort to place myself right in leaving, against my will, your department, where I had hoped to remain during the war, and where I felt more secure from the persecution of General Bragg than anywhere else, for you know him better than any general in our army.