Camp Watts, Notasuga, AL
In April of 1862 the Confederate government established two camps of instruction in Alabama. These were Camp Watts at Notasulga (Camp of Instruction No. 1) and Camp Buckner at Talladega (Camp of Instruction No. 2).
That Camp of Conscription and Instruction was located a few miles south-southwest of Notasulga, Alabama. It began early in the war in that capacity but without name. By May of 1862 it came into that name and served in that capacity throughout the Civil War.
It was commanded by Major E. S. Ready, and called Camp Watts (Ready's Battalion). Major William G. Swanson was appointed to command of this camp on 4 Aug 1862. He reported five companies of conscripts had been organized by 22 Aug 1862. Within a month the number of companies had been doubled, each with a minimum strength of about thirty enlisted men from all parts of southern Alabama. Some of Swanson's drill masters had served with him the 3rd AL Infantry, while others were acquaintances from Macon County, Alabama.
Most of the operations, General Hospital excepted, were destroyed in raid conducted by M/G L.H. Rousseau.
The 1st Alabama Conscript Regiment was formed in April 1862 for six months. It was stationed at Camp Watts, near Notasulga, AL, until the end of the year. It was commanded by Major William G. Swanson and consisted of ten companies. Echols' company, the Swanson Guards, was formed the following year from attachments of the 1st Alabama Conscripts. It was commanded by 1st Lt. John H. Echols and stationed originally at Montgomery between April and August, 1863. The company was transferred to Fort Morgan that fall.
Officers: 1st Lts. John H. Echols; Edward R. Spalding; 2nd Lts. Edward P. Hendree (resigned, 26 Sept 63); Sylvanus T. Shaw; Fitzpatrick M. Trannim; Robert A. Peterson (transferred, 30 July 63); and John H. Alexander