View of the Grand Army of the Republic by James Alexander Walker
This is from Soldiering in the Army of Tennessee by Larry J. Daniel, pp. 24-25:
Competitiveness was one tool used in forming unit morale. While at Wartrace (near Tullahoma), Hardee's corps participated in a series of drill competitions. On March 23,1863, a contest was held for the best-drilled regiment in Breckinridge's division, the prize being a highly coveted palm ornament to be attached on the regimental flag. Three regiments, one from each brigade, were in contention—the Eighteenth Tennessee, Thirteenth and Twentieth Louisiana [consolidated], and First Florida. Initially the Tennesseans and Floridians were matched in competition, concluding with a bayonet charge across an open field. The men of the First were confident but were unaware that the troops of the Eighteenth had planned something spectacular. Explained a soldier: "They got half way across the field yelling as loud as they could when all at once the Drum rapped and they all dropped [as if to avoid a volley] like they were dead[;] even the Col. and his horse both came down. The horse lay as close [to] the ground as he could and the Col. right behind him. They all lay for several minutes before they got up. It beat everything I ever saw in my life and I never did hear such cheering [from spectators] in my life as was done when they dropped. They got the praise and well they deserve it for they beat anything drilling I ever saw."
The corps competition ultimately came down to a match between the Thirteenth and Twentieth Louisiana and the Seventeenth Tennessee in Cleburne's division. An inspector noted that the Tennesseans were "remarkable for fine stature, manly bearing, and steadiness of movement," but the accuracy with which the Louisianians executed every movement on the double-quick "was unequalled." The Tennesseans immediately demanded a rematch, bemoaning that they were embarrassed by newly received conscripts.
In the meantime, Brigadier General Daniel Adams, commanding the army's Louisiana brigade, challenged the Kentucky brigade of Breckinridge's division to a contest. In regimental performance, the Sixteenth Louisiana would be matched with the Sixth Kentucky, the Thirteenth and Twentieth Louisiana with the Second Kentucky, the Nineteenth Louisiana with the Fourth Kentucky, and the Thirty-second Alabama with the Ninth Kentucky. In each of the first three contests the Kentuckians were declared the winners, and although active campaigning commenced before the conclusion, the men of the Orphan Brigade never doubted who were the champions.
The artillery of Polk's corps had its own competition at nearby Shelbyville, the prize a beautiful banner. Eleven batteries entered the contest; Captain James Douglas, commander of a Texas battery, boasted to his fiancee: "My boys think that if they have a fair showing they will take the prize—all hands agree the contest will be between my battery and Scott's." On May 1 Douglas disgustedly wrote: "I rather think Scott will get the prize as he is a pet with Bragg's army." He was wrong, for Stanford's Mississippi Battery took the banner.