Enterprise - June Articles
The following three articles transcribed by C.C. (Chip) Culpepper, March & April 1999 from Xeroxed copies of the original text supplied by Herb Griffin as well as others in March 2003 supplied by Debra Denard. Editor’s (Culpepper’s) marks/comments are indicated by the use of italic type within brackets, e.g. {italicized words}, otherwise the text appears as it was written by T.J. Carlisle in 1902.


By {T.J. Carlisle,
{G.W. Carlisle

Hon T J Carlisle,
Enterprise, Ala.

My Dear Comrade - I am very much obliged to you for sending me copies of the Weekly Enterprise containing articles relative to the gallant old 37th Alabama Regiment, composed as it was, of the yeomanry of Alabama. It was as fine a regiment as ever formed in line of battle or marched to the tune of Dixie. Out of 1100 men on its muster roll when it was formed, there were only two foreigners - one was a Jew from Henry county I think who soon got a substitute, and the other was a Russian who was our regimental tailor and made a good soldier and was killed at Missionary Ridge. When the 37th Alabama stacked their arms at Bentonville there were 300 men for duty.

I went to Dallas, Texas, to the re-union, via N O & H R R, and when I stepped aboard the cars at Letohatchie I was agreeably surprised to meet - Blackman, John Moore, J C Watkins and M W Carroll, of Co K, from Troy, Ala. They were all comrades, looked well and filled the bill of lading "because they were in good order and well conditioned. I had not seen them since they were at Spanish Fort, and on our way to Mobile I could see the old Fort across the bay and I thought of the grand times the boys had there, how I used to let them have the boats to go fishing and how they always remembered me with the fish, and do you remember how the boys shook with the chills? Why, if I could have got them all together at the same time on one hill, I could have had a very respectable earthquake.

The Texans did themselves proud at the re-union at Dallas, and the Alabams received a fine ovation in the parade as our Sponsors and Maids of Honor passed in the procession the crowds would yell "What the matter with Alabama?" "O, she is alright," "Three cheers for Alabama," which was taken up and continued all along the line of march.

I met Moore of Co I, and Dave Spence of Co I, both being in Texas. Who does not remember genial Dave Spence of the adjutant’s office who was always ready to do a favor? They answered my questions just like many persons write their letters-"I am well and doing well and hope these few lines will find you enjoying same blessings."

From Dallas I went to Austin - the capitol of the State - to see the finest building south of Washington. There were half a dozen in my party and when I registered at the hotel, the clerk seeing that we were from Alabama said that his father was a confederate solider from Greenville, Ala, and his name was Penn Bedell. I said I knew your father and grandfather, and perhaps many who read these lines will remember them.

When we entered the capitol the Governor’s Private Secretary seeing that we were confederate veterans invited us into the Executive chamber to see the Governor, who received us with great courtesy and said that although it was Sunday and the elevators were not running, yet we should have the opportunity of seeing the building and ordered the janitor to show us any portion of the building that we desired.

On the walls of the Senate Chamber and House of Representatives were full length portraits of Mirabeau, Lamar, Fannier, Travis, Williamson, Bowie and others from Georgia, and Alabama, who had given their lives and fortunes for Texas. Rev A T Lamar, whom all Methodists of Alabama delight to honor, is a relative of his and comes from Lowdnes and Williamson was from Lowdnes, Bowie’s relatives live here, and Travis, from Conecuh county. I could have pointed out each one of those heroes on the walls by the strong family resemblance of their kinsmen in Alabama bore to them.

Georgia and Alabama have made an indelible impress on Texas. Everywhere I went I found people from Alabama, especially from my own county of Lownes and I wondered how any body could be left at home.

From Austin we went to San Antonio - the largest city of Texas where the U S Government has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the military port established there. We visited the celebrated old Spanish Mission church, the "Alamo," where Crocket and Bowie and others made their heroic defense and died for Texas. "Thermopyle had her messenger, the Alamo had none."

We visited San Pedro Springs the famous park of San Antonio, and while viewing the grounds the mayor of the city seeing our badges came up and introduced himself and welcomed us to San Antonio-in fact, wherever we went in Texas from the Governor down to the private citizens, they did the proper things to the old Vets.

San Antonia {read: San Antonio} has three distinct nationalities inhabiting her confines, viz: the American, the German and the Mexican, all these differ in language, custom and religion. It is a great resort for consumption with its clear dry atmosphere 690 feet above the level of the sea and only 100 miles from the Gulf. The annual rainfall is only 29 inches, whilst the annual rainfall in Alabama is 60 inches. The country around San Antonio looked to me like a desert and I thought I had got to the end of the world, so I turned my footsteps eastward where all the wise men came from (and I staid there) as I was convinced by every foot I went westward.

From San Antonia {read: San Antonio} we went to Houston and Galveston and I was much pleased to mark the rapid recuperation of that ill-fated city by the sea. In my judgement it is destined to become the greatest city of Texas, the grand emporium of the State; every grand trunk line west of the Mississippi has Galveston as its objective point, because it has 28 feet of water over its bay. A stranger would never know that there had been a flood at Galveston. I went to the eastern portion of the city when the breakers were rolling in from the Gulf. I asked a fisherman to show me some evidences of the flood; said he: "You see those breakers a quarter of a mile away? That was a part of the city, now the fishes swim over it. At your very feet are two graves by the water’s edge; don’t you see the crosses over them?" I looked down and there were two silent unknown graves and the wild wave sang their requiem.

I walked sadly away from the spot and prepared to return to the city. Whilst waiting for the street cars a young lady seeing our badges said to us, "Gentlemen, I see that you are confederate veterans. My father was a soldier and my grandfather was a soldier and fought for Texas I would like to shake each of you by the hand. I have been reading the papers about the old veterans of Dallas and the pathetic scenes there and I could not help from crying."

I said, "Madam, do not shed any tears for us. We came out with whole bones and empty haversacks and we did well. What is your son’s name, and that is a beautiful dog you have, what is his name?" "Oh his name is ’Flood’ he came to us after the storm, He lost all his folks and I thought of those two lonely graves by the sea and thought that if ’Flood’ could talk he could tell me something about them."

I was invited to inspect the plans for the erection of a sea wall around Galveston on exhibition at the rooms of the board of trade. These works will cost $8,500,000 and will be three and one-half miles long. I gave them my unqualified approval and told them to go ahead, if New Orleans can afford to spend ninety millions for drainage Galveston can well afford to spend there and a half millions to secure success. There were kickers in Galveston like there are everywhere when the bold and energetic citizens try to improve their surroundings. We have them here in Lowdnes. When success shall crown Galveston’s efforts then some devils will have the assurance to come forward and claim all the credit and say "Oh we did it- we are the whole thin."

Texas is a great State, but is an empire of great changes and vicissitudes. Think of a man driving a yoke of oxen-the heat is so overpowering that the ox gives up the ghost, the man gets down to skin him and before he gets thro’ a norther comes along and the other ox freezes to death. This has happened. The man who would leave Alabama to farm in Texas where in some parts they have to haul water and wood seven miles every week, ought to have a guardian appointed for him.

Land is worth $40 per acre. The whole country is under wire fence, and a man has to make a slave of his wife on account of the scarcity of labor and woman’s work is never done. I never shook hands with a Texas lady but what I observed that her hands were rougher and tougher than mine!!

Coffee county with its salubrious climate, cheap lands, 60 inches of annual rainfall, perennial streams of pure delicious water, plenty of wood orchards and gardens, ought to make the man who left coffee say as he turns his face to the east, "Oh Lord, just let me go to Coffee when I die. Amen."

C P Rodgers, Sr.
Letohatchee, Ala.


East Point, Ga,
May 5, 1902

Lieut T J Carlisle,
Enterprise, Ala.

Dear Friend and Comrade:-You can never know the feelings of pleasure that filled my heart when I, a few days ago, tore the wrapper from the ENTERPRISE and saw that your name was recorded as heavy editor. It brought back in vivid pictures memories of the past that will live till I am on the verge of the river ready to cross on the other side. Many experiences of a buried nature have been mine since in these days that tried men’s souls. We mingled in the scenes of war and strife for the cause we knew was right, when our ideals were the great heroes of that holy cause. When Davis, the great martyr - and Lee and Jackson, Johnston (our Joseph E) and others of lesser rank, stood like walls of adamant to do or die for Dixie.

Why should I feel a thrill of pleasure at seeing your name? Why, because before, during and since the war you proved to be my true and tried friend, and I know my recovery at Columbus, Miss, was due to you and Lt J T Brooks, for when I was almost gone you did help the needful and with the "cords of love and good deeds" drew me back to life when the grim reaper was about to cut me off. That "box from home," or its contents, gave me strength, and as I look back over the past, and I often thank God that I had such friends.

Nearly thirty-seven years have come and gone since then but I have not nor will I ever forget those who so tenderly cared for me.

I don’t know that you will find anything in this rough rambling letter but I will jot down a few thoughts as they occur.

I do not claim to have contributed much to making the fame of the old 37th, but well know that in my place I did my best to merit the "well done" and I know, too, that somewhere there are heroes of the old regiment who know I did my level best. It was not my duty to be where shot and shell rained in deadly effect, but wherever and whenever I could do the doctors part I did it as tenderly as possible. I was not one who died for Dixie, and I am glad of it, for if I had you would not now be able to ready what I have to say about it.

No truer or braver man ever stood in defense of our cause that those noble fellows who composed the muster roll of the 37th Ala.

Colonel J F Dowdell, that great and good preacher - and soldier, than whom no truer or braver man ever wore the grey, has "crossed over the river to rest," as has also the Gallant Greene, but their memories will live in song and story until the last gallant comrade has gone to join them where parting is no more.

I could give many pages in praising the boys of lesser rank and of the file, but I know that papers are soon crowded by long winded productions so I must cut short. There are many little things that happened that I may later put in shape for you and which the old boys may enjoy for they will at least rest on a true foundation.

You made me put too much assofoedita in the liquor but that matters little, the main facts are correct. I am glad you are writing a history of the regiment. A more worthy subject could not be chosen, and let me say, for it is true, no more worthy soldier of the 60’s could take up the pen in any cause.

Yours truly,


We are receiving almost daily communications from members of the regiment giving us many incidents which have never been in print. Some of these incidents will make valuable history to be read by generations yet to come with interest and pride.

We are holding some of these communications which reflect great credit upon our loved and lamented Col. J F Dowdell until we get a biographical sketch of him by his son, Judge J R Dowdell.

These tributes show the devotion of his men and will furnish a cherished souvenir to leave to posterity.

To Mr J P Morgan- Can’t find your father’s name (E D Morgan) on our muster rolls. He must have joined the regiment some time after it was formed. Jim Ables’, Co. "G", postoffice is Stacey, Texas. L L Tebow’s, Co "I", is Blackmon, Ala.

Barking Ben Forester, Co. "H", is rich and living at Cowarts, Ala. Sergt. J A Carlisle, Co. "I", is at LaFayette, Ala. Don’t know Joe Green’s address. Lt. J T Brooks is at Gadsden, Ala.

Capt. C P Rogers sends a dollar for the paper.

Later on I will give the names and addresses of all the members I have been able to get. In this weeks issue will be found a communication from W B Callahan, "the assafoedita boy." Next week we will have one from Andrew Bryan, Co. "K." These communications show the tenderness and intensity of ties that bind comrades together.

Suppose the night were dark and the storm were raging without, and you should hear a call from your gate for the landlord (Corporal of the guard!) and in answer to your demand for the countersign he should reply: "Thirty-seventh Alabama." Immediately the doors would fly open and the whole family would be summoned to give a royal welcome and a tender greeting. Oh, the cords that bind comrades together! And as the days and years go rolling by they grow stronger and still stronger.


It was at the second battle of Missionary Ridge that this story got its origin, and it tells of a brave soldier of the 37th Ala.

When the regiment was forming at Lafayette, Ala, a mere boy arrived in town and was soon enrolled as a member of Company I. He was from the river section of Tallapoosa and as future facts developed was of that material that goes to the make-up of the true soldier, and his name is Joseph Looser. He was restless and anxious to get to the front before the Yankees were whipped. So he fumed and gritted. However, the regiment did go to the front, and Joe was in his place ready for the fray. The regiment was ordered into line- the blue coats in the distance appeared as dark clouds moving here and there and looked so dangerous as the gathering cyclone that so often leaves desolation in its wake. The regiment marched and countermarched along the hillside and Joe was in his place, pale but determined. Finally in marching along to get a better position a rabbit was frightened from its bed and went scampering down a well beaten path to the valley below. Joe took off his hat and raising it high in the air amid stray bullets that whizzed around the boys in gray, exclaimed, go it my little fellow; I’d be with you if it weren’;t for my character." The battle that followed was fierce and furious and well did the boys prove their heroism that day, but none done more fore or fought more gallantly than our hero, Joe Looser. May his great grand children rise up to bless his memory.
W B C {Willie B. Callahan}


From Ozark, Ala.


I will give you a few more thoughts about the war. In reading the sketches from the great John C Moore, in your last week’s paper, throws my mind back on some things.

In speaking of the battles of Farmington, Iuka, Chicasaw, Corinth, Bayou, siege of Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge it almost makes my hair rise up on my head.

I will state one thing that took place on the Bayou at the Yazoo city. One night our company was ordered to go down on the river to stand guard to keep the Yankees from landing. Colonel Dowdell ordered our Captain to send him a man to drive his ambulance. So the Captain sent me and I at once reported to the Colonel’s office. We hitched up and off we went on about a mile or two. We drove down to the water’s edge when the Colonel said here was a good place and ordered me to halt. I gout out, loosed my horses and tied them. I then went out on the guard line and the Colonel said, "Get close to the water’s edge so you can hear them if they go to land, and don’t let them come out." I took my stand and listened the best I could until my two hours were out and not a single Yankee could I hear, and then I was off four hours. I then eased myself off to rest and lay down to sleep; in that time it came a hard rain and woke me up, when I found the water was running half way up my sides. I got up and moved myself from there to hunt a dry place, and went on some distance where I discovered a large brush heap and made for it; and what sort of brush you reckon they were, I am here to tell you they were the largest wild locust you ever saw, with thorns as long as my finger. However, I thought I would try it; so I eased up on it being very careful not to get stuck. There I dropped off to sleep and when it came my time to go on post I was ready. Thus it went on till nearly day when I happened to think of the Colonel and I went off to see what had become of him. I rambled on back to the ambulance, got close up and stopped still to see what I could hear. Everything was very still so I stepped up on the tongue and saw the Colonel was sleeping very sound.

I said "Colonel, are you asleep?" He said "Who art thou?" I said "Your driver, Colonel." He said "Are the Yankees come?" I said "Colonel, I don’ think there is a Yankee within five miles of here." He said, "Get in and lay down till morning." We staid there till morning and then went back to camp unhurt.

I wish to say a few words about the brave and good name of H D Clayton. I was with him in several fights and he was always quiet and calm. He would talk kind to his men and would say, "Come on, boys; we’ll give it to them right." I have also sat on the jury when he was circuit Judge and he was all right there. And when he passed away there was a useful man gone.

Tom I will try to give you the names of the killed, wounded and dead of my company:
William Whittington, killed at Iuka.
Martin Watkins, died with smallpox.
Richard Ward, killed on retreat to Atlanta.
John Smith, killed at New Hope church.
Carter Pinckard, killed on retreat to Atlanta.
Ben Amos, killed at Vicksburg.
Lt. L D Jones, killed at Vicksburg
James Wynn, killed at Vicksburg.
Wm Flowers, killed at Atlanta.
Cum Curtis, died at home.
Gus Curtis, died at home.
Martin Sanders, lost; don’t know where.
Wm Windham, died at home I think.
Wm Bryan, died at home.
W A Gibson, died at Columbus, Miss.
John A Gibson, died at Columbus, Miss.
John Rowden, died; don’t know where.
Green Roberts, died in Texas.
George Grimes, died at home.
Calvin Boutwell, died at home.
Captain Courson, killed in N C.
John Freeman, died at home.
Capt Leach, wounded at New Hope; died.
Capt Amarine, died at home.
Lt Fanning, died; don’t know where.
Lt. Reddock, died at home.
John Carroll, died in Montgomery.
James Carroll, died in Texas.

A J Bryan,
Co K, 37th Ala Reg.


37th Alabama Regiment of Volunteer Infantry CSA
2300 Cottondale Lane Little Rock, AR 72202

© Copyright 2007 C.C. (Chip) Culpepper