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Bowman Harris MacDonald

MEMPHIS, TENN., June 5 1862.
Brigadier-General RUGGLES, C. S. A.,
Gayoso House, Memphis, Tenn.:

GENERAL: As senior officer accessible I beg leave to make you a statement and ask your advice or orders. I have been for several months commanding various companies of Confederate troops, who are volunteers from the District of Missouri State Guard which I have the honor to command. A portion of these troops, viz, three companies of artillery and five of infantry (since consolidated into three), were ordered to the River Defense Fleet as mariners and gunners under my special command. These companies, that with avidity embraced the opportunity of serving their country on so dangerous and responsible a duty, have since become dissatisfied, and from my duties to my old brigade and to those in the Confederate service, scattered through various commands, which compel me to be occasionally absent from the fleet, I have not been able to be present to compromise the little difficulties which have occurred between the men and officers of the fleet and my command, and they have grown to such a misunderstanding that the efficiency of the original order is destroyed, and I would be pleased if these troops were relieved from service on the River Defense Fleet and ordered to report to General Van Dorn or Price, and that others be ordered to supply their place, if Commodore Montgomery so desires. These companies are commanded by Captain's [Ben. Lee] Bowman, [Emmett,] MacDonald, and [S. S.] Harris, of artillery, and Watkins, Hunter, and Hedgepeth, of infantry. Bowman is senior captain, and your order addressed to him will be most agreeable to me.

Yours, most respectfully,

Brig. Gen. Missouri State Guard, Comdg. Confederate Troops.

SOURCE: Official Records, Series 1, Volume 10, Part 2. Pages 588-589

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