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The Macon Cavalry -- Correspondence

Several years ago, while at the National Archives, I found the following correspondence from Lieut. Clarence L. Jones to the Secretary of War, protesting against the consolidation of his company. Unfortunately, two of the four pages were missing; but I thought this might be of interest to fellow researchers and historians. I have additional correspondence on this consolidation, which I'll post over the next couple of days. Spelling and punctuation are as per the original.


To the Secretary of War of the Confederate States of America, Richmond, Va.

The undersigned respectfully represents, that on the 1st day of December last, a furlough was granted to him, then a private in the "Adams Troop", Capt. W. G. Conner, attached to the Second Battalion of Miss. Cavalry, Major Wm. J. Martin commanding, with authority from the Secretary of War to return to Louisiana for the purpose of raising an additional Cavalry company.

In accordance with this authority he proceeded at once, on his return to Louisiana, to canvass the Parishes of Madison and Carrol to accomplish that object. In concert with Thomas M. Cochran he succeeded in raising & organising the "Macon Cavalry", numbering Rank & file ninety-six men.

On the first day of March a meeting of the volunteers for the company was advertised to take place at Richmond, La., for the purpose of organising and electing officers. In consequence of bad weather there were but eight men present, but as it was deemed expedient to make a beginning in order to ensure the success of the enterprise, and with the understanding that a new election would take place when the company should be formed, an election was then held, which resulted as follows: Thomas M. Cochran, Captain; Clarence L. Jones, 1st Lieut.; Martin Cassetty, 2nd Lieut.; John P. Smith, 3rd Lieut.

Cochran was not present at the election, and when the men proposed to assign to the undersigned the command of the company he declined, and urged them to elect Cochran, as he did not wish him to suppose that any advantage was taken of his absence. The company was formed and mustered in on the 6th day of March, but a . . . . .

[next page missing]

Capt. Cochran reported the company to Gen. Beauregard at Corinth, who ordered him to report at once to Major White, commanding the 1st Arkansas Battalion, which consisted of four Arkansas companies, and a Louisiana company commanded by A. J. McNeill, Cochran's company making it six companies. By order of Gen. Beauregard, these six companies were consolidated into three -- the four Arkansas companies into two -- and the two Louisiana companies into one. Great dissatisfaction existed among the members of the Macon Cavalry, at not being assigned to a Louisiana Regiment, believing that the present arrangement was brought about by representations of Cochran, who was doubtless anxious to be with McNeill's company, which which he had formerly been connected.

The two Arkansas companies, made up of the four companies, went into an election for Officers in the new organisation, but this privilege was denied to the Louisiana companies of men consolidated into one, and appointments were made.

This was in opposition to the wishes of Capt. Cochran's Officers and men, himself only excepted.

McNeill, who commanded one of these companies, the "Brierfield Rebels", was appointed Major of the Battalion, and Cochran appointed Captain of the consolidated Louisiana company. Elliott (who was 2nd Lieut. of his former company) was appointed 1st Lieut. The undersigned (who had been 1st Lieut. of his company) was appointed 2nd Lieut., and Martin Cassetty 3rd Lieut.

The undersigned protested against this procedure & urged that the men be permitted to elect their Officers, and upon investigating the mode of appointment, discovered that the whole affair had been planned and executed by Cochran. He made a list of such names as would be agreeable to himself for appointment (not neglecting to name himself for Captain) which list, without submitting it to his Officers or men, he reported to Major White, informing him that those appointments would be agreeable to the Officers and men of the consolidated company.

The statement was made to the undersigned by Major White, who expressed great astonishment to hear that appointments were not agreeable to all. The undersigned protested against this usurpation on the part of Capt. Cochran, and while laboring under a severe attack of Typhoid fever contracted by exposure, in setting about endeavoring in vain to have the proceeds annulled by Gen'l Hardee, refused utterly to accept the appointment, and upon being refused a leave of absence of twenty days to enable him to take the proper steps for his justification, was told by Gen'l Hardee that he must either accept the office of 2nd Lieut., or take an honorable discharge. The last alternative, under the pressure of severe disease, he submitted to and now having received the attention of a Parental home, so necessary in this violent malady to recover, he . . . . .

[remainder of letter missing]

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The Macon Cavalry -- Correspondence