The following letter was issued by Brig. Gen. Pettus to the soldiers of his brigade, of which the 19th Ala was a part, following the surrender of their army in North Carolina. The letter was read to each company by its commander.
Hd Qrs Pettus Brigade
Salisbury April 28th/65
You have now served your country faithfully for more than three years.
On many hard fought fields your steady determined valor has been proved.
In camp, and on the march your cheerful endurance of privations and labor, has won the admiration of the army and the country.
Your prompt obedience of orders has justly won the admiration of your commanders.
You have won a reputation, as regiments and as a brigade of which you and your dear ones at home are and ought to be proud.
Now you are to be subject to a new trial.
The fortune of war has made you prisoners. You are to be marched in a body to your State, and there disbanded on parole. Your valor and good conduct was my greatest joy and pride; and it is confidently expected that the reputation of this command will be still preserved in this new trial.
Though others may desert and disgrace themselves, & their kindred, let us stand together and obey orders. In this way we best contribute to our safety, and comfort; and preserve our characters untarnished.
Let our motto be, "Do our duty trusting in God."
E. W. Pettus