War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0273 Chapter XL. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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Shorter, of Alabama. The county of Henry, in Alabama, is not in this military district, though it lies on the Florida line. My troops in West Florida are limited, and I have there only one company of cavalry. It is almost impossible to render the aid and service asked for by the Governor of Alabama. Colonel Montgomery, commanding the troops of West Florida, has been ordered to give all the assistance he can. In calling your attention to this subject, I would remark that there is in that section a disloyal feeling, as indicated by Governor Shorter's letter, which should be crushed. The difficulty is, that no power exists in the military to inflict summary punishment in such cases. These men are not guilty, generally, of any overt act, and to turn them over to the civil authorities, is simply to provide for a farcical trial. What is needed to pu an end to this growing evil is prompt and severe punishment. A few examples would end the trouble. If authority can be had to hang a few of these traitors, we will soon hear no more complaints of the kind contained in the letter of Governor Shorter. I should be pleased to make the experiment, if the Government Shorter. I should be pleased to make the experiment, if the Government will grant me the power. In the meant time, the instructions given to Colonel Montgomery will be continued, and such course taken hereafter as the commanding general may direct. The complaint of Governor Shorter against the companies in my command will receive immediately attention.

I am, general, very respectfully, yours, &c.,

HOWELL COBB,

Brigadier-General, Commanding District.

[Inclosure.]

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

Montgomery, Ala., August 4, 1863.

General H. COBB,

Commanding, &c., Headquarters, Quincy, Fla.:

SIR: For some time past a band of deserters and outlying conscripts have been infesting the lower part of Henry County, upon the border of Florida, having for the place of their concealment the swamps of the Chipola River and its triburies. Their number and their threats of personal injury to the loyal citizens have inspired fear in the minds of many, and in consequence of the representations made to me in the matter, I ordered Captain Armstrong, with such force as he might think necessary, from his and Captain Chilsholm's company of State Guards to assist Lieutenant Newman, of Brigadier-General Clanton's command, in making arrests.

Some 6 or 7 men, liable to Confederate service, were captured and sent back under escort for safe-keeping, when the escort was attacked by a superior force in ambush, and the prisoners rescued and 1 f the escort seriously wounded. The impunity of these men, and the extension of the age of conscription, will tend to increase their numbers, which will become more formidable, in consequence of the additional number withdrawn from the protection which they could personally give to their own homes and property. The State militia, comprising citizens between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, is, of course, fully absorbed in the ranks of those liable to conscription, excepting the few who have furnished substitutes, or have otherwise been discharged from Confederate service, and these are now called for in the public defense. Your commanding being convenient to operate in that section, and the services of all these men being

18 R R-VOL XXVIII, PT II