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Petition of Officers 1st Regt. Georgia Vol

Note: Letter as written

Letter Copy-Original in Georgia Archives

Camp near Rominy, Va.

Jan. 21st 1861(misdated in original-- should be 1862)

His Ex. Jos. E. Brown

Ex. Depts.,Milledgeville, Ga.


We a portion of the officers of the First Regt. of Ga. Vol. Now in the midst of the most intolerable sufferings that soldiers ever encountered desire to address to your Excellency in behalf of ourselves and associates in arms a petition for the exercise of your Executive influence touching the time of discharge of this command from service.

We as your Excellency is aware on the 18th March last past through you acting as Agent received marching orders under the written assurance that a Confederate officer would meet us in Macon and muster us in to the service of the Confederate Government for a term of 12 months. Such officer failed to nmeet us there. We left our homes & business on that day yielding implicit obedience to such orders after the organization of the Regiment were sent to Pensacola and remained there until the First day of June discharging ammuniton cargoes -- transporting guns -- our officers sitting at Court Martials -- and on the very night of our landing at wharf Barroneas in obedience to the order of a Confederate officer than Brigadier now Major Gen'l Braxton Bragg our Regt was marched to the beach to be thrown over on Santa Rosa Island preparatory to an assualt on Ft. Pickens -- which can be avouched by Gen'l Bragg's order book-- and the evidence of every man in the Reg't. And even before we left Macon we had as we thought received marching orders from the Government-- laid aside our business & left our homes busied in our preperations for the proper equipment of our several (page2) corps and the company from Bainbridge and the one from Dalonega actually were marching sixty or seventy miles to the ordered rendezvous not as being in the service of the State of Georgia but the Confederate States.

By some mischance we were never formally mustered into the service of the Confederate States but we hearsay an order was passed on the 16th day of April 1861 mustering us in - after we had been dischargedall the duties aforesaid from the moment of our landing at Penesacola & in obedience to Confederate Army officers acting as such -- and we now understand that the Adjt.-Inspector Gen'l- holds that our tem of service does not expire until 12 months from that date not withstanding we were paid at Pensacola for service bearing to date from the 18th day of March therby recognizing us as rendering service from that date to Confederate Army Officers-- and all privates who have been discharged since have been paid as for services comencing on the 18th day of March 1861.

If we were mustered into the service of the C.S.A. it surely was not our fault that it was postponed to the 16th Day of April while we in the meantime ignorantly or through the design of C.S. Officers gratuitously rendered unlawfully enected obedience to the Confederate Government. But the Government has paid us as for services commencing on the 18th day of March 1861 . We contracted to render service for 12 calender months to the Government. If they recognize it as commencing at 18th March 1861, such service must have its limitation the 18th day of March 1862.

If the Government had the right to postpone the formality of mustering us into its service until 16th April in the meantime ( after the receipt of marching orders by us) by acting and receiving all due obedience to its orders - and then had the right to claim service for 12 months from that date - why did it not have the right to electany other day for mustering us in say the 18th of September and of equal rght claim our 12 months contracted service to commence from that date. The assumption is not only a logical absurdity it is a(page 3) legal fraud cunningly devised to be practiced on us will be resisted as such. Now we protest against such assumption on the part of the Government and as our friend and chosen governor and the one through whom our services were tendered to the Confederate Government we call upon you for your Executive interposition in our behalf touching the premises.

We deny the right of the Confederate Government to any military service from this Regt. after the 18th day of March 1862-- as founded in any just interpretation of our contract-- and assert that the Government is estopped from any other construction than that we put on that contrat by every fair implication from its act & deed in the payment of men and officers.

And we do most earnestly and empatically deny that in the history of this Regiment anything has occurred to give the Government any claim for extra services as a patriotic gratuity. For eight months out of ten expired we have been in the immediate presence of overwhelming force of the enemy and have had to submit to all the rigors of the military discipline incident to such position. By the Government we were sent to the unfortunate command of Gen'l Garrett at Laurel Hill 120 miles from the possiblity of support of supplies depending on the precarious transportation of wagon trains with seventeen moutains intervening between us and our depot on base lines if we had any and after the disastrous defeat of Garrett and our suffering-- consequent on the loss of all baggage -- Blankets Wagons ?(possibly illegible) stores and everything -- we before our men had half ? (possibly illegible) thier utterly exhausted energies men ordrered to Greenbrier River where in snow and rain for three months we were again discharged all duty assigned to us & after the troops were put into winter quarters were ordered to Winchester-- and thence after the Government by order had ascertained that we were not in a condition to move not more than half clothed that we were living in condemned tents that our clothes were worn ?(possibly illegible) out that we had no shoes.(page4)- the government without furnishing a tent show blanket or canteen ordered us through the snow & rain & the bitterest cold to Hancock & Romney on a winter campaign and after we reached the potomac oppisite hancock ( some few miles in latitude below the sight of Philidelphia) this Regt. was ordered to then advance position where they kept for three days without tent or blanket or balnket wagon or ration only such as we gathered--- sleeping in the snow & after we had left there with ( out of 566 men who left Winchester 442 of our associates sent to the hospital) we were ordered through snow storms on a campaign into Hampshire County Va. One hundred and twenty four privates being today reported for duty. Our sufferings from cold and deprivation of every mortal comfort is surely without parallel & belongs to history. now we are ordered into winter quarters in these mountains and on the 20th of January must commence preparing for the winter. But thank God for patriotism has not been murdered with our brave companions in arms! Nor have we confounded our county with those to who its destinies are unfortunately entrusted. Since we have been in service we have marched nearly 800 miles -- very often for weeks we have been deprived of what is actually necessary to the sustenation of life of life-- and we respectfully submit that those of us who are left who enlisted for only 12 months the longest period offered at the date of our enlistment should not be murdered for the reason that the Government thinks that it only two or three months property in us. And most respectfully petition in full confidence that you will see that justice is done to us in the matter of our discharge when our terms of service expire.

And we would finally suggest that it if the duty of Government to discharge us at the place of rendezvous twelve months from the day of our organization. (page 5)

And your petitioners will ever pray

J. M. Anderson Maj. 1st Ga. Regt.

S ? Palmer - Sgt

John A. Houser - Capt Co. C, 1st Regt Ga Vol.

John W. Evans - Capt. Co. "G"

Jas. R. Duncan - Lit. Co. 6

A. P. Brown - Lieut. Co. A

J. L. Mann - Lieut Co. A

S. A. H. F ----? Capt. Co. E

Evan P. Howell - 2nd Lieut Co E

C A Stine - Capt. Co. H

J. W. Dennis - Lieut Co. G

J. H. Colbert - Lieut Co. G

S. C. Foreman - Lieut Co. D

S. H. Crump - Capt.Co. I

Geo. A. Cabaniss - Lieut Co. K

W. G. Dumas - Capt.Co. K

J. S. Pinkard - Capt.Co. K

T. B. Cabaness - Capt.Co. H

John T. Stephens - 1st Lieut Co. K

State of Virginia ) Camp near Romney

) January 23 1861 (2!)

County of Hampshire )

I certify that the foregoing are all the officers of said Regt present for duty.

Los Palmer Adgt


Written on the back of letter

Petition of Officers 1st Regt. Georgia Vol.

Feb. 17 1862

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Petition of Officers 1st Regt. Georgia Vol
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