Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/235

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The Twelfth Alabama Infantry. 231

This regiment was in command of Colonel S. B. Pickens, with L. Gayle as adjutant, J. C. Goodgame, lieutenant colonel, and A. Proskauer as major, J. L. Walthall, late of Company I was quarter- master, and A. T. Preston, of Woodville North Alabama, commis- sary. After we had been in camp about a week, while standing around the camp fires, waiting for the announcement of supper, the colonel's orderly, Jack Mallory, brought me an order as follows:

"Headquarters I2th Ala. Regiment, January 3rd, 1863.

"First Lieut. R. E. Park of Co. F, will report for duty as Act- ing A. Q. M. of the I2th Ala. Regiment.

(Signed) "S. B. PICKENS, Col. Comdg., "L. GAYLE, Adjutant."

This order was a great surprise to me, and not a welcome one, but, yielding to the persuasion of Captain McNeely and others, who thought it a compliment, I reported to Regimental Headquarters, where I told the colonel that I had little acquaintance with business affairs, having left college to join the army, and I feared my ability to properly perform the duties of the office. He laughed at my objections, and told me that he had thought over the names of a number, and had finally decided that I was the proper officer to take the place of the quartermaster, who had left the regiment, and was then absent without leave. My instructions were to report to the wagon yard, take charge of the wagons with the horses and mules, teamsters, and such baggage as I might find. I had further orders to arrest the absent quartermaster, if he should present himself. This last I had no occasion to do, as he never reported to the regi- ment again. The colonel left me one of his bay horses, "Pintail" by name, and the next morning, when I visited the regiment, I was saluted by many humorous remarks, was asked "if my head didn't swim," "please don't ride over me, mister," "I wish /could ride," "wish / had a bomb-proof job," ect., etc. By laughing good- humoredly at these sallies, they quickly discontinued their attempts at wit at my expense.

I found an excellent Virginia negro named Jim who had been acting as cook for Captain W., and I promptly employed him, and retained William McKinney of Company B as wagon master, Wil- liam Howell as quartermaster sergeant, and Potter as clerk.

After the receipt of a small supply of clothing and shoes and distrib- uting the same to the ragged and shoeless of the regiment I found