MOBILE REGISTER AND ADVERTISER, April 24, 1864, p. 1, c. 4
[For the Register and Advertiser.]
In a recent letter from the Army of Tennessee I was led into an error by relying upon the statement of another person. I remarked, in regard to the new flag of the 38th Alabama Regiment, that it had, among other inscriptions upon it, the names of Hoover's Gap, McLemore's Cove and Crowe's Valley. I am informed now that it has not any of these names upon it. I, therefore, desire to admit that I committed an indiscretion in making a statement upon hearsay evidence, in which I have so little confidence, that I rarely state a mere on dit upon such authority.
I have never read the inscriptions upon the flag of the 38th, nor have I closely examined it. Once in passing near the regiment, I saw the flag, and noticed that it had many inscriptions upon it. I asked a by-stander, who, as I recollect and believe was an officer of the 38th, what names it had on it. He called them over, and among them were the names above mentioned. I took his word for it, and did not take the trouble to verify the correctness of it by a personal examination. Therein I was wrong, and I regret my misplaced confidence. This is the whole story. Hereafter I shall not trust in anybody's statement in regard to anything.
But the omission of Hoover's Gap and McLemore's Cove on the flag only proves the justness of my criticism. It is an admission that the regiment has no title to these inscriptions.
In regard to "Rock Face Mountain," it is said that the affair between us and the Yankees on February 25th, near Dalton, is designated in official reports as the affair of Rock Face Mountain. If so, the name of Rock Face Mountain is properly upon the flag, though the regiment was not on the mountain but in Crowe's Valley.
I have not yet read the inscriptions upon the flag, but the weight of evidence is that it does not contain the names, I supposed to be on it, from the statement of my informant. So soon as informed of my error, I hasten to correct it. It shall be an admonition which I shall not forget, that I cannot safely take anybody's word for a fact, even though he be an officer. Hereafter, I shall, like "doubting Thomas," see and feel for myself.
Army of Tennessee, April 19, 1864.
P.S. I am informed that one of the 38th wishes to know the name of the author of "Sharpshooter." If he pledges himself to challenge "Sharpshooter," let him have his name, by all means. S. S.