Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/250

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246 Southern Historical Society Papers.

this time General Longstreet, with his corps, was sent to Georgia to the aid of General Bragg.

For some days our regiment and brigade remained quiet, and during the time the famous review by General Lee took place. The review was a very brilliant sight, with the magnificently dressed officers, for most of them did manage to keep new uniforms, and were in marked contrast to the poorly clad privates and line officers. The only field officer of the Twelfth Alabama present was Colonel Pickens. There was only one captain in camp, and I was senior first lieutenant, and third in rank. This illustrates the great severity with which the enemy's bullets and camp sickness had dealt with my regiment.

An amusing incident during this great review was the whistling by some of the men in perfect imitation of the partridge, or "Bob White." They used their lips in imitating the bird whenever Lieu- tenant and Acting A. G. Daniel Partridge, of General Battle's staff, rode by on his fine horse. The gallant officer was annoyed by this impertinence on the part of the men, whom he could not possibly detect, and whom the company officers would not expose, but he was helpless and had to submit.

Sunday morning I was surprised by Adjutant Gayle coming to my tent and informing me that I was in command of the regiment, that Colonel Pickens had been sent for by General Rodes, and Captain Thomas had been detailed as brigade officer of the day, and that I, as the third officer in rank, was in command of the regiment, and that he awaited my orders. I directed him to draw up the regiment for regular Sunday inspection, and I recall, very dis- tinctly, the hesitation and embarrassment that I felt in marching to the front of the regiment, then depleted to less than 300 men, and after the formation of the parade by the adjutant, giving the regi- ment a short drill in the manual of arms, and then breaking it into companies, and personally inspecting each gun in the command, as well as the cartridge-box and bayonet of each soldier. The arms of some of the companies were in most admirable condition, while others showed more or less rust and indifference on the part of the men who handled them.

It was a notable fact that there was not only not a field officer, but not a single captain present during this parade, every company being commanded either by a lieutenant or a sergeant.

During our stay at this camp I had a visit from Gen. B. Graves,