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[271] re-enlistment of his old brigade of Alabamians, and at their leading the entire army in this noble action.

Gen. Lee in a letter addressed to Hon. T. J. Foster, dated Jan. 31, 1864, used these words:

I do not see how the good of the service can be promoted by detaching the 26th Alabama, thus breaking up a veteran brigade which has just set the glorious example in this Army of reenlistment for the war.

Further on he says:

General Rodes' whole division acted at Chancellorsville with distinguished gallantry, and that officer owes his promotion to General Jackson's observation of his skill and conduct, and you will see by my report of that battle that one of his dying messages to me was to the effect that General Rodes should be promoted Major General, and his promotion should date May 2nd. He commanded his division with success and ability, and I am gratified to state that his division has re-enlisted for the war, Battle's brigade of Alabamians having set the example. Instead of raising new brigades I think it would be far better to recruit to the fullest number those veteran brigades whose whole conduct is worthy of the admiration of the country.


Your obedient servant,


R. E. Lee, General.

Congress did not act favorably upon our petition, but passed a sweeping and peremptory act conscripting everybody in the Confederacy, (above the age of sixteen and under that of forty-five), to active military service. This was quite a disappointment to many gallant officers who desired and deserved promotion after their three years of experience, and many brave and intelligent privates who were worthy to command companies and even regiments.

In my own company F, there were near a score of noncommissioned officers and privates promoted to commissioned officers, and there were many among them who were never promoted who were entirely worthy and well qualified to fill positions of trust and honor. There were nearly one dozen college boys in the company, several of my own class-mates, and there were a large number of lawyers, merchants and farmers. The combined wealth of the one hundred and six volunteers, who left Tuskegee the last of May, 1861, for Richmond, was estimated at more than a million dollars. Such men as Hon. Bython B. Smith, a lawyer of wealth and intelligence,

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