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Doc. 159.-the surrender at Courtland, Ala.


Rebuke from General Buell.

headquarters army of the Ohio, in camp, Huntsville, Ala., August 1.
General orders, No. 37.

the Major-General Commanding has to announce other instances of disgraceful neglect, and contrast them with another of gallantry.

The guard at Courtland Bridge, consisting of companies A and H, Tenth Kentucky, under the command of Capt. Davidson, and a part of Capt. Eggleston's company, First Ohio cavalry, was completely surprised and captured, with but trifling loss, on the morning of the twenty-fifth ult., by a force of irregular cavalry.

On the same day, the companies of Captains Boyle and Goben, Tenth Indiana, which were ordered to protect two bridges on the same road, respectively six and twelve miles east of Courtland, deemed it wiser to bring in an empty train which came up, than to defend their posts, threatened with an attack from the same irregular cavalry, and so put themselves on the train and arrived at Decatur, a few miles distant, without the loss or injury of a man.

On the same day and on the same road, eight miles from Decatur, a guard consisting of twenty-five men of company E, Thirty-first Ohio, under command of Lieut. Harman, were suddenly attacked by a greatly superior force of the same cavalry. They defended themselves gallantly, and repulsed the enemy, killing several of the number. Lieut. Harman and eleven of his men were wounded, himself in two places, and two of his men were killed.

The General submits these examples to the reflection of the troops. He reminds them that neglect and bad conduct on the part of guards bring dishonor upon them, and may even jeopardize the safety of an army. If these appeals to their personal and professional pride should fail of their object, he warns them that the extreme penalty of the law must intervene to punish the guilty, and save the army from the jeopardy in which they place it.

The duty of guarding the communications of the army is among the most important with which an officer and his troops can be intrusted. Vigilance, determination, and the preparation of suitable defences, in the way of intrenchments or stockades, will prevent such attacks, or enable a small force to repel a greatly superior one. Had the orders for bridge-guards to fortify their posts been promptly executed, and proper vigilance been observed, the attacks referred to, if made at all, would have had very different results.

This order and General Order No. 32 will be read at the head of every company and detachment.

By command of Major-General Buell.

James B. Fry, Colonel and Chief of Staff. J. M. Wright, A. A. G.

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