In 1862, residents of Washington County, Alabama signed the following petition to the Confederate States Congress:

The undersigned resident citizens of Washington County respectfully represent that this county has already furnished three hundred and forty-five volunteers for the existing war and that there now remain in the county only one hundred and twenty men subject to military duty and only a very few old men able to afford any aid in case of difficulty with the slave population, but yet out of this small number on this 12 th day of April 1862 fifty-eight volunteered for the three months service and the balance of the required was (will be) filled by draft. Now we respectfully suggest to your Excellency that if the requisition is ordered from the county at once, we are left defenseless, there are not sufficient men left in the county for parole duty. Again our county is of large extent and the slave population is scattered along the river a long line of unprotected country and that there many families who depend upon those now remaining in the country for a supply of the necessaries of life.

The company formed this day are willing to perform the service or will stand ready at a moments warning to proceed to the defense of Mobile or any part of the coast. under these circumstances we have to request that the company this day formed be allowed to remain at their homes or disbanded as may seem in best judgement of your Excellency. The names of this communication are all old citizen planters who are devoted to the cause of their country and believe that the requisition is really more than what is demanded by similar requisitions from other counties of the state. Other reasons for the order asked, will be given by those who will call on your Excellency.

John Richardson, 61
Green Rainwater, 46
G. Smith, 75
E. Y. Bowling, 56
W. A. Bailey, 70
R. J. Bowling, 57
Cornelius Sullivan, 71
Wm. Donaldson, 54
John Williams, 61
P. Moore, 46
Solomon Wheat, 61
D. H. Land, 49
Peter L. Beach, 56
Daniel Rain, 61
William Malone, 49
C. P. Hase, 45
Wesley Rainwater, 51
A. Sherwood, 46
Green Atchenson, 49
E. H. Gordy, 46

From: Governor’s Papers, John Gill Shorter. Alabama Department of Archives and History, Civil Records and Newspaper Collection.