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headquarters Rodes' Division, January 26, 1864.
Brigadier-General Battle, Commanding Battle's Brigade.
General:—I have just received your message by Captain Smith, informing me of the glorious conduct of my old brigade in reenlisting for the war without conditions. Conduct like this, in the midst of the hardships we are enduring, and on the part of men who have fought so many bloody battles, is in the highest degree creditable to the men and officers of your command. I always was proud, and now still more so, that I once belonged to your brigade. As their Division Commander, and as a citizen of Alabama, I wish to express my joy and pride, and as a citizen of the Confederacy, my gratitude at their conduct. The significance of this grand movement, when considered in connection with the circumstances accompanying it, will not be underrated either by the enemy or our own people. They will, as I do, see in it the beginning of the end, the first dawn of peace and independence, because they will see that these men are unconquerable. To have been the leaders of this movement in this glorious army, throws a halo of glory around your brigade, which your associates in arms will recognize to envy, and which time will not dim. Convey this evidence, feebly at best, but doubly so in comparison with what I would express, of my appreciation of the course you and your men have pursued in this matter, and see now, having written ‘Excelsior’ in the records of your camp history, that your fighting record shall hereafter show you not only to have been among the brave, but the bravest of the brave.

And now, dear sir, let me congratulate you upon being the commander of so noble a brigade of gallant and patriotic men!


R. E. Rodes, Major-General.

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R. E. Rodes (2)
Cullen A. Battle (2)
Gustavus W. Smith (1)
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January 26th, 1864 AD (1)
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