Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/274

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270 Southern Historical Society Papers.

script Act, and the officers and men of Battle's Alabama brigade made it a topic of frequent conversation. The preference of myself and many officers of companies, which had enlisted for two more years, that would expire during the spring and summer, was to vol- unteer for the remainder of the war, however long, and thus avoid the necessity, and what we thought was the stigma, that would at- tend conscription. Having this thought in view, with others, I was active in calling together delegates from the various companies in our brigade to a convention to be held at the quarters of the i2th Ala- bama.

The following day, promptly at eleven o'clock, every company in the brigade had a delegate present. Nearly all of these delegates were non-commissioned officers or privates, chosen by their re- spective companies, but my company selected me as its representa- tive, and Lieut. P. H. Larey of Co. M 6th Alabama, was chosen by his company, and Capt. Thos Bilbro of the 3rd Alabama by his. On assembling, some one nominated me for Chairman of the Con- vention, and I was chosen without opposition, with Sergt. Sprague of Co. C 3rd Alabama, as Secretary.

The subjects of re-enlistment, and petition to Congress for the privilege of reorganization, and the election of our field and com- pany officers, were earnestly and eloquently discussed and advo- cated by all of the delegates, so far as I recall, except Capt. W. T. Bilbro and Sergt. Sprague. Lieut. Larey made an able speech, advocating the privilege of reorganization, and petitioning Con- gress for this permission. After a frank debate, upon putting the vote, it was found to be unanimous, with but two exceptions, and our petition was duly drawn up, signed and forwarded to Hon. David Clopton, M. C. , from Alabama, and Senator Jemison, with the earnest request that they advocate the granting of the petition by Congress.

A few days later, Gen. Battle visited each regiment and delivered an eloquent address, urging the men to volunteer for the war, which was gallantly responded to by the men stepping forward and expressing their determination to enlist. It was an inspiring sight to see these heroes step forward without hesitation and boldly an- nounce their purpose to continue the fight to the bitter end. This was their third enlistment.

Gen. Rodes issued a complimentary address, which was read be- fore each regiment, in which he expressed his gratification at the