Today in History:

1355 Series I Volume XLVI-III Serial 97 - Appomattox Campaign Part III


[Inclosure Numbers 2.] HEADQUARTERS ANDERSON'S BRIGADE, March 25, 1865.


Assistant Adjutant-General:

I desire most respectfully to bring to the notice of the proper authorities a practice, I am satisfied, exists that is doing a great injury to the service. I believe that some at least of the officers who have received permission to raise companies of disabled men and non-conscripts, are abusing their authority and offering inducements to our soldiers to desert, make their way home, and join their companies. From all the evidence in my possession, I fully believe Captain T. J. Hardee, formerly of the Ninth Georgia Regiment Infantry, now of Brooks County, Ga. (and retired on account of amputation of leg), has been guilty of the above serious charge. I cannot produce evidence to convict him before a court-martial, but I am perfectly satisfied of his guilt. Some time since, it is understood, that Private Rainey, of Hardee's old company, received two letters from him (Hardee), and in a few days after the reception of the second letter Rainey and nearly the whole company deserted. It is reported to me that some of these men were heard to speak of the letter from Captain Hardee, and that he promised if these men would come home and join him they would be perfectly secure from arrest or any evil consequences. The result is that this company now has some four or five men left, when a short time since there were over twenty arms-bearing men. It is reported also that this man Rainey stole the commission of Lieutenant Robinson, the company commander, and with a forger paper purported to be going to East Tennessee to arrest deserters. Complaints have also been made to me that members of my brigade are reporting to Brigadier-General Wofford for duty in Upper Georgia. I do not pretend to say that General Wofford encourages such conduct, but believe he would not. Captain Hardee, previous to being wounded, had always conducted himself with gallantry and behaved well, and having confidence in him I recommended him for the purpose of raising this company to arrest deserters instead of advising men to desert. If some prompt and effective measures are not taken with these organizations to punish those at the head of them it will be a fruitful source of desertion continually, and the very trifling punishments inflicted by some of our courts for this crime only offer a premium to bad men to desert whenever they may wish to go home.

There are many of them that prefer one month at hard labor to doing their duty as soldiers. All such men ought to be shot.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



[First indorsement.]

March 26, 1865.

Respectfully forwarded with the hope that authority to raise troops at home be revoked. I fear it encourages desertion from the front.