This document for personal use only!
Posted February 17, 1997 by Steven L. Driskell.

11. Supplement - Miscellany by Captain Wilson P. Howell

Brigade Court Martial ~ General George D. Johnston ~ Major Costello ~ Captain W. A. Handley ~ John Stout ~ Captain Monroe ~ Captain Lou Morris ~ Captain Bushrod W. Bell ~ Lt Willis Pledger ~ Major N. B. Rouse ~ Major Dan Richards ~ Captain Spence ~ Captain Cyrus Bradford ~ Lt Thomas G. Slaughter ~ Lt W. J. Borden ~ Reverand E. A. West ~ Counterfeit Confederate Money

Brigade Court Martial

In the winter of 1863-4, while the army was in camp near Dalton, Georgia, a Brigade Court Martial was organized.  Composed of the following officers of the Brigade:

Lt. Colonel H. T. Toulinin, 22nd Alabama Regiment

President (now U.S. Judge in Alabama)

Captain J. H. Savage, 19th Alabama Regiment

(now of Birmingham, Alabama)

Captain D. C. Hods (?), 19th Alabama Regiment

Who after the war, was a practicing attorney at Carrollton, Pickens County, Alabama and who in 1872 was a member of the Legislature from his county.  Has been dead for a number of years.

Captain W. P. Howell, 25th Alabama Regiment

The fifth man, whose name I do not recall.  That court was in session several weeks and we had quite a number of cases to adjudicate.  While we had before us some very flagrant violations of military law to try, by common consent, we desired to avoid the infliction of the death penalty on any defendant except in a most extreme case and fortunately we never found the extreme case.

General George D. Johnston
Now of Tuscaloosa, Alabama

I think that the efficient and gallant service of this distinguished officer deserves more than a passing notice in this record.  In the first place, he was a clean, high toned Christian gentleman and while he -------- many of the noble virtues of a manly character, his crowning virtue as a soldier, was his daring courage in battle.

While Colonel Johnston was very exacting in the discipline of the troops (as he ought to have been) and sometimes the men would chafe and complain in camp about his military exactions.  Yet the men had the most profound respect and love for him because of his great courage and wise leadership in battle.  And these soldierly virtues in Colonel Johnston always inspired the men to follow his gallant leadership.

It was a sad day with the regiment when he was promoted and taken from us.  Although we were in a sense proud of it, because we thought he had earned such promotion and was eminently worthy of it.  And I dare say that the men of the line have all through these long years and will, till the end of life and till they shall answer to the last Roll Call cherish the memory of Colonel Johnston.

Lts. Wm. and Thos. Johnston, two of the Colonels brothers and a half brother, Lt. Henry Weisinger were in the regiment and were gallant soldiers and good men.  Lt. Weisinger was in Company "I".

Major Costello, Company K
Who was killed at the Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 31st December 1862

This officer went out of the Office of Probate Judge of Coffee County, Alabama and raised a company in 1861, which was known as Company "K" in the 25th Alabama.  He was a most excellent, high toned gentleman.  He was noted, among other things for the uniform tidyness of his toilet.  I think he shaved off his beard almost every day and his clothing was always kept neat and clean, and was always the very soul of gentility and manliness.  He also possessed, in an eminent degree, the high quality of a soldier in that he was brave in battle.

I was personally, intensely fond of Major Costello and was greatly bereaved when he yielded up his noble life on the altar of his country.  I never shall forget one peculiarity of this man.  I, one day remember he and I were in conversation about various things and among other things he said, he did not know the name of but one tree in the forest, and that was the pine.

He said he had been raised and had spent the most of his life on a ship at sea.  Among the great number of dear friends and comrades I lost in the war by disease and killed in battle, there was no one whose death I deplored more than that of Major Costello.

Captain W. A. Handley, Company F
Now of Roanoke, Alabama

This is another one of God's noblemen.  Who, when the toxin of war was sounded in '61 left a lucrative business at his home in Randolph County, Alabama and raised a fine company which was known in the 25th Alabama as Company "F".

In the second year of the war, I believe it was his health failed and he resigned and his younger brother, F. M. Handley succeeded him in command of the company.

Captain W. A. Handley was known and recognized as the biggest hearted man in the regiment.  The men of his company idolized him.  He always looked carefully after the welfare of the humblest private in his company and was the most popular officer of the line among the privates of the regiment and was held in high esteem by the officers as well.

Captain Handley has been well and favorably known all over Alabama for many years, having been called by his fellow citizens to official places of trust and honor, which he worthily filled with honor to himself and credit to his state.  He had the honor some years ago to occupy a place in the U.S. Congress from his district.  Also, he has more than once occupied an honored place in the legislative halls of his state and as a private citizen, is distinguished for his philanthropy and patriotism in the upbuilding in every possible way the moral, intellectual and material welfare of the country.

While his home is at Roanoke, Alabama, he has a large business interest at the metropolis of the state, Birmingham.  He is of the well known hardware company of that city as Moore & Handley.

He was also a valueable and efficient member of the Constitutional Convention of Alabama in 1901 and has been prominently mentioned in the public press of the state as worthy and suitable Governor ------.

John Stout
The Efficient Adjutant of the Regiment

Here is a man, the memory of whom has lingered with me all through these long years and one whom I have lost sight of years ago. He was one among the most loyal and conscientious soldiers with whom I ever came in contact.

He was noted for his courage in battle and his faithful and prompt attention to all the duties which appertained to the responsible office which he filled so efficiently.

Captain Monroe, Company K

Here is a noble man who has occupied a tender place in my heart and memory since the long ago and whose whereabouts I have not known for many long years.  He was put in command of Company "K" after the promotion of Captain Costello to Major.

Not since our separation in North Carolina in 1865 have I heard from him.  His home was in the extreme southeast part of the state, is, I suppose the main reason why I have lost sight of him. But I want to record here, that among the many noble men of the regiment, none were held in higher esteem, both as a man and a soldier, than Captain Monroe.

Captain Lou Morris, Company D

I have retained through the long years, the kindliest memory of this manly man and loyal soldier of the Lost Cause.  In the first year of the war and after the resignation of Captain Nixon who raised Company "D" at Ashville in St. Clair County, Captain Lou Morris of that Company was put in command and remained so till the end of the war.

No man of the regiment, officer or private, met with more manly courage and gave more loyal support to the cause for which we were fighting than did this young gallant officer.  He was among the few soldiers who always was neat and tidy in his person and apparel and was extremely popular with the men and officers on account of his fine social and manly qualities.  And one never heard it hinted, that Captain Morris was wanting in any of the qualities which made up a gallant and brave soldier.

I will here relate a little incident, which I distinctly remember. Just before going into Kentucky and while the regiment was in camp in 1862 at Tyner's Station, not far from Chattanooga (we were there several weeks).  We were in camp at an old Methodist Campground and the company officers were required to meet each day about 10 o'clock under an old arbor, to recite before the Colonel a lesson in military tactics.  And while in camp there, I missed or lost a $20 bill, but having plenty of Confederate money, I took but little notice of it (my salary as Captain was $125 per month).

I suppose it was a year or more after this, Captain Morris and I were one day talking about our experiences in the war and the conversation turned on the loosing of money out of our pockets. I incidently remarked that the only money I had ever lost in the army was when we were in camp at Tyner's Station near Chattanooga in the fall of 1862.  His reply was that "I found a $20 bill under that old arbor where we recited our lessons in tactics while we were there and I guess it is yours" and handed me a $20 bill.

Captain Morris went to Texas soon after the war and settled at Jacksonville, Texas where he died two years ago.

Captain Bushrod W. Bell, Company A

This young man was the stepson of old Doctor Reese, the first commissioned surgeon of the Regiment from Selma, Alabama. Who became Captain of Company "A" sometimes during the second year of the war.

Captain Harper, the first Captain of that company was killed at Shiloh in April '62.  A frenchman by the name of Corach was Captain for a while as already stated in this narrative.

Captain Bell was a cultured young man and while he was impulsive and indiscrete sometimes, he was an elegant gentleman and fine soldier.  I think he went west some years ago and I have lost sight of him.

Lt. Willis Pledger, Company I

This was the only man in the regiment who was a Lieutenant at the organization of the regiment in '61 who was still a Lieutenant at the close of the war in '65.  Out of 40 commissioned officers of the line in the regiment when it was organized, only this Lieutenant and myself were the only two whose names were on the muster rolls.

The only Captain this company ever had was Captain Wiley Pope who raised the company at Columbiana in Shelby County and being an old man, he did not remain in the service long and Lt. Pledger commanded the company till the close of the war.

I suppose the main reason why this Lieutenant was not promoted to the Captaincy was that he never sought it.  He was a quiet, unassuming good man and a good soldier.  He died some years ago in Shelby County.

Major N. B. Rouse, Company B

This man came into the regiment a Lieutenant of his Company and was promoted to Captain and then Senior Captain commanding the regiment after the promotion of Colonel Johnston.  If Major Rouse ever missed a single battle of the war, I never knew it and if he was ever hit by a bullet, I don't remember it.  He was not the equal of some other officers of the Regiment in point of social and intellectual qualities, but a better a soldier never enlisted in the Confederate service.  He died a few years after the war at Montgomery.

Major Dan Richards, Company E

This man raised his company in West Alabama, Pickens County. Was an elegant, cultured, high toned gentleman and efficient officer and was acting Major of the Regiment at the Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge battles.  He was captured at the Battle of Missionary Ridge in November 1863 and was a prisoner of war till after the surrender in the spring of '65.  He has been engaged in the mercantile business at Columbus, Mississippi since the war.  An honored and highly esteemed citizen.

Captain Spence, Company H

This man who was a Lieutenant in this company when it was organized, became Captain after the resignation of Captain Ed Turner in 1862.  Captain Spence was of German descent and a solid good man and soldier.  His company was from Talladega County.  I am not informed as to the whereabouts of Captain Spence if alive.

Captain Cyrus Bradford, Company G

Captain J. D. McGann, who raised this company, then in Talladega now Clay County, being an old man soon resigned and his 1st Lt., Archibald Patterson was killed at the Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1861 and the 2nd Lt. Dr. T. G. Slaughter was badly wounded at Shiloh.  Young Cyrus Bradford of the City of Talladega became Captain of this company and was a fine gallant young officer.  As to his whereabouts since the war, I am not informed.

The Unique Lt. Thomas G. Slaughter, Company G

Among all the officers of the line in the 25th Alabama Regiment, this man was the most unique, in that he was a man of distinct personality and individuality.  He had just entered the practice of medicine in Tallapoosa County when the war broke out and in response to his country's call, he laid aside his pill bag and helped to raise the company.

Lt. or as he was mostly called Dr. Slaughter, was as brave as Julius Caesar and was the most intensely religious man we ever had in the regiment.  He was one of the best drill officers in the regiment.  In our first engagement (Shiloh) he was badly wounded in both legs and was never able afterword to enter the military service.

So soon as he got able to travel and before the close of the war, he became an itinerant Methodist preacher and has been in that high calling continuously ever since.  He is an honored member of the North Alabama Annual Conference of the M. E. Church south and is beloved by thousands of people.  He has never been married.

Lt W. J. Borden, Company I

This man was something above the ordinary.  He was elected Orderly Sergeant of the organization of the Company at Oak Level, Alabama in the summer of '61 and was a very efficient non-commissioned officer.  Early in '62 there was a vacancy, Lt. Adams having resigned and Borden was elected to fill that vacancy.  He was a literary man and had been a professional teacher before the war and was a very valuable man to me in the clerical work.  Such as making out the pay rolls, making written reports.

He was a good man and an efficient officer and soldier, but resigned and came home before the close of the war.  Was elected to the Alabama Legislature in the fall of '65 from Calhoun County and made a good record there as a legislator.  After his term expired, he resumed his professional of teaching in his native county of Calhoun and in conjunction with Professor J. L. Dodson built up a fine College at Oxford, Alabama and was for several years connected with the faculty in the State Normal College at Jacksonville, Alabama.  He went to Oxford, Florida some years ago and is Secretary of a fruit shipping company.

Reverand E. A. West, Company C

This was one of the best men we ever had with one exception, he was the only preacher in the regiment.  He was from Shelby County, Alabama and had past entered the Methodist itinerant ministry in the then Alabama Conference of the M. E. Church south and while he was exempt from service in the army by his being a regular pastor, about the second year of the war he resigned the pastorate and volunteered in the army.  And having several brothers in Company "C" from Shelby County, he came to their company.

His uniform Christian life among the soldiers was a benediction to us all.  He resumed his connection with the Conference after the war and spent several years in the pastorate, and finally died honored and beloved by those who knew him.

Counterfeit Confederate Money used by Yankees in Middle Tennessee in 1862

Middle Tennessee was occupied by the Federal army in the spring and summer of '62 and when our army re-occupied that part of the country in the fall and winter of '62, we found among the citizens with a lot of counterfeit Confederate money.  These citizens claimed to have gotten it from the Yanks for chickens, butter, eggs, etc., while they were in that section.

Our theory was that as they could not buy from the citizens with their own money, they made some Rebel Money of their own.