were burned between Greensport and Talladega, and the machinery of a manufactory of small-arms at this place was broken up. This was private property, and was not in operation at the time.
The enemy after leaving Talladega proceeded five miles in the direction of the bridge over Coosa River, halted, and after some delay and hesitation turned off toward Wetumpka and Montgomery, from which route they again diverged after going some twenty miles farther.
An exaggerated estimate of the defenses of the bridge and of the force collected there was, no doubt, the consideration that induced them to decline attacking it. Had they done so, however, even with the small force that I had, and without artillery, I had strong hops of being able to hold it until General Clanton could arrive and attack them in the rear.
The apathy of citizens and the inefficiency of voluntary organizations of the reserves above the age of forty-five were strikingly manifest during these events. it was scarcely possible at any time to obtain a dozen mounted men to duty as couriers or scouts, and on the morning of the enemy's entrance into Talladega, as already mentioned, I could not obtain one. The failure of the enemy' to tear up the track of the railroad, to burn the Camp of Instruction, the niter shed, and other public property, would seem to indicate an intention to occupy this section of country more permanently. I would therefore respectfully invite the attention of the lieutenant-general commanding to the necessity of strengthening this post. Besides Captain Pitt's company, which is required for duty at the bridge, there is only a squad of disabled soldiers, and a few men that may chance to be in the camp of Instruction, and who are liable to be removed at any time. this inadequate force has been called on within the last week to do duty for the protection of the railroad from Blue Mountain to Coosa River bridge, a distance of fifty miles. The lack of officers is a still more serious deficiency than that of men.
I would respectfully suggest the propriety of having a squadron of cavalry and two or three companies of infantry permanently attached to this post, and a company of artillery stationed either here or at the bridge, or divided between the two points. i would also earnestly urge the necessity for having a locomotive and a few cars kept permanently here for the purpose of removing troops and stores from one point to another in case of emergency.
The clothing, cooking utensils, and other private property left by officers and men under their hasty orders to Blue Mountain, and thence to Coosa bridge, were stolen and destroyed by negroes and other inhabitant after the enemy passed by. The damage thus done to individuals was much more serious than that inflicted upon them by the enemy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. T. WALTHALL,
Major, Commanding Post.
Major P. ELLIS, Jr.,
Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, Meridian, Miss.
62 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT III