I received the following from John Hennessy this evening. Like him, this is something I’ve never heard of before. The 12th Alabama was not attached to Ewell’s brigade until after the battle. Your comments are encouraged.
Here’s a little thing that falls into the realm of the obscure and the bizarre. The letter is from When I Think of Home: The Civil War Letters of William Harrison “Tip” Crow, ed. by Dewayne R. Welborn, Owasso, OK, 1996. page 17-18. Letter to his father, August 24, 1861, from Manassas. Crow was in the 12th Alabama.
there has been something else come up of which I wish to inform you I wrote you a letter yester day but every hour here brings up something new Order issued by the Colonel that the clothes of the dead men to be sold Thomas’ showel [shawl] and coat have to be put up at the highest bidder and sold and if it had not been just eh kindness of our Captain [Higgins] his shirts would have been sold he had to give them in according to the order but he did not and told me to keep them I wanted the showel and I in tend to have it as I will make some man pay 12 dollars for it I here some of them talking about biding for it but I dont [want] any body els shal have his things to stroe about….Lem is going to get hte coat this is one thing that hurts me to think Tom and I have always been to gether and have been like brothers and now I have to pay a big price to get his things…. I do think we have the most tiranical officers at the head of this Regiment that ever men were under but you [know] that it won’t do to say any thing experienced me that have been in the service before say they never heard of dead men’s clothes being sold before….