War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 0576 KY.,S. W. VA.,TENN.,N. & C. GA.,MISS.,ALA., & W. FLA.

Search Civil War Official Records

HDQRS. U. S. FORCES IN NORTHERN ALABAMA,

Montgomery, Ala., May 2, 1865.

Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Army and Division of West Mississippi:

COLONEL: General A. J. Smith manifests a spirit of insubordination which I fear will compel me to arrest him. On my arrival here I asked him if he would make a detail to assist in unloading the subsistence stores, the greater part of which were for his corps. He objected to furnish the detail and said that he would have them stores. He claimed that all the stores were for his command. I did not wish to have any difficulty with him, and as I had not assumed command over him the detail was made from General Hawkins' command to unload the stores. As General Hawkins had two regiments escorting supply boats, I requested him to detail a regiment to go down with the boats remaining here. He objected to it, and the detail was again made from Hawkins' division. On the earnest request of General Smith, the White Cloud was detained here until this morning. Yesterday evening I assumed command, pursuant to Special Field Orders, Numbers 35, from your headquarter, and made a detail from his command to escort the White Cloud and Polar Star to Mobile. General Smith positively refused to make the detail, on the ground that he was not under my command. I still forbear with him, and have just sent him an official copy of Orders, No, 35, above alluded to. The detail for the boats hands again been made from Hawkins' division. I shall prevent this conduct on the part of General Smith, if I can do so consistently, without resorting to an arrest. I refer you to General Hawkins for confirmation of the facts above stated.

Very respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,

F. STEELE,

Major-General, Commanding.

POST OF DEMOPOLIS, ALA., May 2, 1865.

Major-General STEELE,

Commanding Post, Selma, Ala.:

GENERAL: Information has been received that a portion of cavalry under your command struck the railroad yesterday morning at Harrell's Cross-Roads, burned the depot with some freight, and tore up some of the rails. This was said by them to be in retaliation for some of your transports having been fired into on the Alabama River the day or night previous. In either case it was a violation of the armistice agreed upon between Generals Canby and Taylor, a copy of which I send you by Lieutenant Robertson, adjutant of this post, who will also hand you this communication and receive your reply. I beg to assure you, general, that if any firing was done by any portion of our troops on the Alabama River or elsewhere, it was without the consent and against the orders of Lieutenant-General Taylor, who has taken the promptest measures to have all the troops of his command notified of the existence of the armistice, and for that purpose I have sent couriers in various direction from this point to scouts, pickets, and other troops. I therefore beg to express a hope that no such occurrence will take place again, and that the forces under your command will be fully instructed on this subject. I am informed that the troops who committed this depredation at Harrell's Cross-Roads came from Cahawba, and after burning the depot returned to that place. If so, I respectfully