Members of Cary W. Butt’s “Citizens Battalion” included foreign nationals, men discharged from regular Confederate military service, and other exempts. A few had been enrolled in Moreland’s Mobile Fire Battalion, while others transferred from the 1st Mobile (Local Defense) Regiment. The battalion included seven companies of county reserves organized at Mobile on Nov. 8, 1864. A report of that date shows report 32 commissioned officers, 60 non-commissioned officers and 527 privates; total 619 on roll.
A letter written by Price Williams Jr. about this command reads as follows --
The services they rendered were cooperative guard service in preserving peace, protecting life and property – guarding prisoners, sentinel duty over ordinance, ordinance supplies, camp of correction, facilitating transportation by land and water, boarding and protecting blockade vessels, Government supplies to the poor – carrying conscripts to camps, arresting deserters, confiscating horses, mules, wagons etc. under orders etc. of personal knowledge they performed such duties as well as tried veterans.
I can assure you of the efficiency of this Battalion, and that the service for which they were organized was of incalculable benefit, as an auxiliary to the Regular troops. When the small remnant of Confederate soldiers who were on duty around Mobile, or who escaped from Spanish Fort and Blakely, evacuated Mobile upon the approach of Gen’l. Canby, Mobile was a Pandemonium – Jail birds, military convicts, serving sentence in camps of correction, all these were rioting in unrestrained license. They applied incendiary torches all over the City, and planned universal looting. This Battalion shot them down, with and without orders, and saved the homes and property of the defenceless. This they did like tried veterans (of my best recollection). God reward them.