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[114] as also one afterwards on the 15th, in honor of the arrival of President Davis.

At this place an effort was made to consolidate Moore's and Ritter's sections, but it failed, as the sequel will show. Lieutenant Ritter had now been on detached service for some time, and being anxious to return to his old command, on the 2d August, 1863, he wrote to Brigadier-General A. W. Reynolds, and also to Major-General Carter L. Stevenson, asking their influence to that end. He made an application likewise to General Joseph E. Johnston, sending it through the regular channel. He heard from none of these except the one sent to General Stevenson. That officer approved of the application, and sent it to General Hardee's headquarters in Mississippi, who referred it to General Johnston. General Johnston's Adjutant, thinking the section had accompanied General Walker's division to Chickamauga, sent the application to General Walker for further action. But this not being the case, General Walker endorsed on the paper that the section was not with his division, having been left at Morton, Miss., and sent to General Bragg. The application was returned to General Stevenson, through General Longstreet's headquarters. General Stevenson sent it by Lieutenant Stillwell of Corput's battery, to General Johnston's headquarters at Meridian, Miss. The General's Adjutant referred him to General Hardee, who told him he had nothing to do with the section; but at the same time instructed Colonel Wickliffe, by telegraph, not to let the section leave Demopolis, as a battery had already been taken from his department, and he did not intend any other should leave. This information was received from Colonel Wickliffe, who also told the Lieutenant that it was General Hardee's determination to consolidate the two sections, and promote Lieutenant Ritter to Captain.

On the return of Lieutenant Stillwell from Meridian, Miss., he met General Johnston in Demopolis, who expressed a desire to see the commander of the section that evening at Mrs. Whitfield's residence, where he was stopping. Ritter in company with Stillwell, went there and met the General at the gate, as he was leaving for Mississippi. Being introduced by Lieutenant Stillwell, Ritter stated his business. The General asked him a great many questions with regard to his section, how long it had been on detached service, where it had been, &c. He said that as soon as he returned to his office, he would order the section to its original command. On the 19th of October the order came, and the next morning Lieutenant

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