War of the Rebellion: Serial 056 Page 0800 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.

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the provost-marshal at Meridian: So far as the first statement is concerned I know nothing further than his report, not being present. I rode into the street on my way to Captain Edwards' office. An officer of my brigade handed me a letter. I stopped to read it. While reading I heard some one just before me, in a loud and threatening voice, order my own and General Ector's brigade to go aboard the cars. Only about 400 men of both brigades were there. I looked in the direction and saw an officer with a guard of 12 or 15 men. At once I rode up to him and asked him what was the matter. I then discovered for the first time that there was an excitement among the troops. He told me of the fight and arrest. I then remarked to him, or rather asked him to remove his guard, and I would put the men on board the cars and there would be no further trouble. He refused and said he was in discharge of his duty and he would put them on board the cars himself, and again ordered them to go on board. I then ordered him to remove his guard, which he refused to do, still determined to come in collision with the troops that were already exasperated. I then [after he disregarded my request to remove the guard and refused to obey my orders] denounced him. The language used I do not recollect. I did call him and the guard conscripts, believing at the time they were. Of course, as they are not, the term did not apply to them. When I was here before it was a conscript guard that was in town. I directed the colonel in command of the troops to put them on board the cars, which was done promptly. I went myself, found the transportation agent, asked him to have the train moved immediately, assigning the reason; he did as I requested. I think he told me it was an hour before the regular time of leaving. If this is insubordination, then I am guilty. One other statement I will make in regard to the men's cheering. They did cheer, but from other motives than those alleged by him; those that cheered were in and about the cars and could not hear what I was saying. I hope, colonel, you will excuse this lengthy paper.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. McNAIR,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS, Near Rogersville, Tennessee, December 9, 1863. [Received 10th.]

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

I have halted here to collect rations for the command. We will probably be three or four days here. Please give me the earliest information of the instructions of the general with regard to these troops.

J. LONGSTREET,

Lieutenant-General.

ENTERPRISE, December 9, 1863.

[General J. E. JOHNSTON:]

DEAR JOE: I am sorry I can't pay my visit now. Forney is away and I am overwhelmed with signing the twenty-four-hour passes, as well as the twelve-hour ones. I am much obliged for the collar. If