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Mobile Register

Mobile Register

July 2, 1861

Page 1


Letters on the Wing

[From Our Travelling Correspondent]

Columbus, Miss., June 28, 1861

Messrs. Editors: The corn crop of this section and line of country through which the Mobile and Ohio Railroad runs, is safe.  On Monday and Tuesday fine rains fell, and I believe from indications and from what I learn of planters and others, that the thirsty earth has received, far and near, a thorough wetting.  I hear of plantation bridges being swept away and fields two feet under water in some places.  Our people may, “rejoice and give thanks,” for they have reason; this visitation having vastly strengthened their arms and given them “back bone” for the contest in which we are engaged.

The organization of troops for the war and their transit to the various rendezvous continues; there appears no limit to the number.  On Wednesday some one hundred and fifty passed over the Mobile and Ohio Railroad bound for Corinth.  Some of these took the train at Meridian, being from Jasper county, and the remainder at Macon.  Companies and detachments are almost daily being transported towards Corinth or Union Point to join their respective regiments, and be taught the necessity of drill, strict discipline and prompt obedience to proper authority.

Notwithstanding the proverbial independence and dislike of restraint of our Southern people, they make the most admirable soldiers.  They are familiar with the use of arms, and the habit of using them with effect makes them most formidable as marksmen; they are brave, enthusiastic, determined, combining the fire and impetuosity of the French with the steadiness of purpose so characteristic of the English soldier.  But these necessary elements do not alone constitute the soldier who is liable to be the party attacked as well as the party attacking; who is expected to retreat as well as advance, and to do so with undiminished confidence in himself, and as steadily as on parade.  In a word, the soldier is not made in a day or in months.  Discipline and thorough knowledge of the profession are necessities, and to attain these, raw recruits must go through a routine most trying to such material as compose our armies.  The gallant sons of the South have a natural bent for war, a natural love of its glories, are blessed with sound perceptions and a full knowledge of the necessity therefore, submit cheerfully to this weary routine, and so are more quickly moulded into effective troops than any other people known to the world.  This fact will be clearly demonstrated ere the weak vessel now occupying the White House sees many more moons.

While on the subject of troops I would call the attention of Mobilians to the fact that a fine body of men, under excellent officers, is now in their midst, unable to move to the seat of war because no arms can be got for them.  Their services will be accepted as soon as they are armed.  I suggested to the 1st Lieutenant, J. M. Brickell, Esq., the adoption of double barrel guns, and Eley or other buckshot cartridges.  This weapon, loaded with such a charge, is most deadly at 100 to 150 yards.  Cannot your citizens so arrange it that the needful arms may be procured?  Every man almost has one or more guns, and there is a good supply in the various shops of the city which might be obtained at a low price if a large number were contracted for.  Bayonets could easily be made for the guns and I think no troops would be more effectively armed for deadly fight than these, especially as out armies do not anticipate fighting at long taw, a la Mexican.

The company referred to above is the Jackson Avengers.  The Captain, I understand, was bred to the profession of arms, being a graduate of West Point Military Academy, and is from all accounts a worthy pupil of that (formerly at least) excellent school.

Lieut. Brickell is well known to Mobile and requires no mention at any hands.  The corps numbers 85 men, who are or have been (the majority of them) employess of Mobile and Ohio Railroad Company.  They should have aid at the hands of the patriotic citizens who have so bountifully cared for other companies, and I hope you will say a word or two in favor of the suggestion and keep the matter before the public.

Yours,              NOW AND THEN



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