As to discipline, I beg leave to state, first, that I commanded the first regiment of cavalry raised in Alabama, known as the First Alabama Cavalry. I raised, organized, drilled, and equipped and fought this regiment for the first twelve months-ten months-of its existence, and held the front of the Western army.
In Northern Alabama I did my first service, and I so controlled my men that not one complaint was ever made against any one of my officers or men during the time I was in command. When ordered from Northern Alabama, Judge John E. Moore, Mr. Patton, then president of the Senate of Alabama, the Huntsville Confederate, edited by a brother of Senator [Clement C.] Clay, Richard [W.] Walker, our present Senator, and other prominent citizens, at the request of the people of Northern Alabama, petitioned for me to be sent back, and have continued to petition until the present time.
The military court at Mobile assert that I arrested and forwarded to Mobile from Pollard for trial more officers and men in my brigade than any brigadier in your department.
I averaged about 60 prisoners in my guard-house for several months before I was ordered from Pollard.
Inclosed I send a copy of a certificate of the court at Mobile on the subject.
General Maury told me in Mobile, in November last, that he arrested in East Tennessee officers as well as privates for belonging to this same Peace Society, before he was assigned to duty at Mobile.
Governor Watts says that the same society existed in the Army of Tennessee long before it was heard of at Pollard. Information of the fact was forwarded to Richmond whilst he was in the Cabinet, and he advised the President to send the battalion-Hall's, of Alabama-to the front, the lieutenant-colonel asserting that the purposes of the society were not treasonable, and that he would be responsible for the conduct of his men on the field.
At Chickamagua the colors of this battalion were pierced by eighty-two balls, and President Davis promoted Lieutenant-Colonel [Bolling] Hall, jr., to colonel and the color-bearer to a lieutenancy. This society existed very generally in Hilliard's Legion, now Gracie's brigade.
The investigations in the court disclosed the fact that very few members of this society joined for any treasonable purpose. Although I sent 70 members in irons to Mobile for trial, yet not one has been shot, and nearly four months have elapsed.
Under your orders, general, my brigade has been scattered; the good and the bad enter strange commands together, and we are debarred the privilege of vindicating ourselves as a brigade, as Hall's battalion did, on the field. * * *
I am informed and believe that the Fifty-seventh, Colonel Cunningham, and the Fifty-ninth [Sixty-first], Colonel Swanson, obeyed the order to go to the front without one desertion.
I organized two batteries, Tarrant's and Clanton's-my brother's. I was deprived of one in January, and very recently of the other.
I have raised about 5,000 men during this war under the greatest difficulties, and have taxed my friends heavily for horses and arms. I think about 2,000 were not liable to conscription when they volunteered, including the Tuscaloosa Cadets. Against their wishes and those of their parents, and the sentiments of the people of this State, I have been deprived of them, and I now have only a few hundred of the original number left. I have not during this war been associated with a cavalry regiment from my State which has not applied to be placed under my