missioned officer, were recaptured from the enemy and came to our camp destitute of clothing, together with their watches, knives, money, and even pocket-combs, all of which were taken from them by Colonel Russell, of the Fourth Alabama Cavalry, now commanding brigade.
You at once gave me instructions to take from them all Government clothing, together with such articles as had been taken by them from our wagon train, as retaliation for the manner in which our men had been treated by Colonel Russell.
The knives, keys, &c., which the immortal major so enlarges upon were never taken. As far as falling into line is concerned, the major is quite right with this exception, that he was so stupidly intoxicated at the time that he could scarcely see a line, all from the effects of our sutler's bad liquor. If General Orders, Numbers 16, Department Headquarters, had been more strictly complied with the major would have still greater reason for complaint, as he, like the rest, was partially clothed in our uniform, while our own men at that time were suffering for the want of clothing.
I am, colonel, your very obedient servant,
E. A. HANCOCK,
Captain and Provost-Marshal, First Cavalry Division.