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A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I/First Congress, First Session

< A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I

First Congress.

FIRST SESSION.

MET AT RICHMOND, VA., FEBRUARY 18, 1862. ADJOURNED APRIL 21, 1862.

INAUGURATION OF JEFFERSON DAVIS

AT

RICHMOND, VA., FEBRUARY 22, 1862.

Programme.

I. Col. Charles Dimmock to be Chief Marshal, assisted by four aids.

II. The Senate and House of Representatives will meet in their respective halls at half-past eleven o'clock a.m., and then, with their respective officers, repair to the hall of the House of Delegates of Virginia, which has been kindly tendered by the House of Delegates.

III. The President and Vice President-elect will be conducted to the hall by the Joint Committee of Arrangements at a quarter to twelve o'clock, and be received by the assembly standing.

IV. The President of the Senate will occupy the seat on the right of the President-elect; the Vice President-elect that on the left of the President, and the Speaker of the House that on the left of the Vice President.

V. Invitations are extended to the following persons and bodies, to wit: Members of the Cabinet, who will be seated on the right and left of the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House; the Governor of Virginia and his staff, the Governors of any other of the Confederate States who may be in Richmond, and ex-Gov. Lowe, of Maryland; the Senate and House of Delegates of Virginia, with their respective officers; the Judges of the Supreme Court of Virginia, and of the Supreme Court of any other of the Confederate States who may be in Richmond; the Judge of the Confederate District Court at Richmond, and any other Judge of a Confederate Court who may be in Richmond; the members of the late Provisional Congress, the officers of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States who may be in Richmond; the Mayor and corporate authorities of the city of Richmond; the reverend clergy and Masonic and other benevolent societies, and the members of the Press.

VI. At half-past twelve o'clock the procession will move from the hall by the eastern door of the Capitol to the statue of Washington, on the public square, by such route as the Chief Marshal may direct, in the following order, to wit:

1. The Chief Marshal.

2. The band.

3. Six members of the Committee of Arrangements, including their respective Chairmen.

4. The President elect, attended by the President of the Senate.

5. The Vice President elect, attended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

6. The members of the Cabinet.

7. The officiating clergyman and the Judge of the Confederate Court at Richmond.

8. The Senate of the Confederate States, with its officers, in columns of fours.

9. The House of Representatives, with its officers, in columns of fours.

10. The Governors of Virginia and other States, and staffs.

11. The members of the Senate and House of Delegates of Virginia and their officers.

12. The Judges of the Supreme Court of Virginia and other States, who may be in the city of Richmond.

13. The officers of the Army and Navy.

14. The reverend clergy.

15. The Mayor and corporate authorities of the city of Richmond.

16. The Masons and other benevolent societies.

17. Members of the Press.

18. Citizens generally.

Seats will be provided by the Chief Marshal for the Governors of States, the Judges, and, as far as practicable, for the other guests.

The invited guests are requested to present themselves at the door of the hall in the order above indicated.

At the statue of Washington the President elect, the Vice President elect, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the officiating clergyman, Confederate Judge, Governors of States, Judges of the Supreme Courts of States, the Chief Marshal and his aids, and six of the Committee of Arrangements will take position on the platform. Prayer will then be offered by the Right Rev. Bishop Johns.

The inaugural address will then be delivered, after which the oath will be administered to the President by the Confederate Judge, in Richmond, the Hon. J. D. Halyburton, and the result will be announced by the President of the Senate.

The oath will then be administered to the Vice President by the President of the Senate, who will also announce the result.

The several legislative bodies will then return to their respective halls, and the President and Vice President will then be escorted to their respective homes by the Committee of Arrangements.



INAUGURAL ADDRESS.

February 22, 1862.

Fellow-Citizens: On this the birthday of the man most identified with the establishment of American independence, and beneath the monument erected to commemorate his heroic virtues and those of his compatriots, we have assembled to usher into existence the Permanent Government of the Confederate States. Through this instrumentality, under the favor of Divine Providence, we hope to perpetuate the principles of our revolutionary fathers. The day, the memory, and the purpose seem fitly associated.

It is with mingled feelings of humility and pride that I appear to take, in the presence of the people and before high Heaven, the oath prescribed as a qualification for the exalted station to which the unanimous voice of the people has called me. Deeply sensible of all that is implied by this manifestation of the people's confidence, I am yet more profoundly impressed by the vast responsibility of the office, and humbly feel my own unworthiness.

In return for their kindness I can offer assurances of the gratitude with which it is received; and can but pledge a zealous devotion of every faculty to the service of those who have chosen me as their Chief Magistrate.

When a long course of class legislation, directed not to the general welfare, but to the aggrandizement of the Northern section of the Union, culminated in a warfare on the domestic institutions of the Southern States — when the dogmas of a sectional party, substituted for the provisions of the constitutional compact, threatened to destroy the sovereign rights of the States, six of those States, withdrawing from the Union, confederated together to exercise the right and perform the duty of instituting a Government which would better secure the liberties for the preservation of which that Union was established.

Whatever of hope some may have entertained that a returning sense of justice would remove the danger with which our rights were threatened, and render it possible to preserve the Union of the Constitution, must have been dispelled by the malignity and barbarity of the Northern States in the prosecution of the existing war. The confidence of the most hopeful among us must have been destroyed by the disregard they have recently exhibited for all the time-honored bulwarks of civil and religious liberty. Bastiles filled with prisoners, arrested without civil process or indictment duly found; the writ of habeas corpus suspended by Executive mandate; a State Legislature controlled by the imprisonment of members whose avowed principles suggested to the Federal Executive that there might be another added to the list of seceded States; elections held under threats o£ a military power; civil officers, peaceful citizens, and gentlewomen incarcerated for opinion's sake — proclaimed the incapacity of our late associates to administer a Government as free, liberal, and humane as that established for our common use.

For proof of the sincerity of our purpose to maintain our ancient institutions, we may point to the Constitution of the Confederacy and the laws enacted under it, as well as to the fact that through all the necessities of an unequal struggle there has been no act on our part to impair personal liberty or the freedom of speech, of thought, or of the press. The courts have been open, the judicial functions fully executed, and every right of the peaceful citizen maintained as securely as if a war of invasion had not disturbed the land.

The people of the States now confederated became convinced that the Government of the United States had fallen into the hands of a sectional majority, who would pervert that most sacred of all trusts to the destruction of the rights which it was pledged to protect. They believed that to remain longer in the Union would subject them to a continuance of a disparaging discrimination, submission to which would be inconsistent with their welfare, and intolerable to a proud people. They therefore determined to sever its bonds and establish a new Confederacy for themselves.

The experiment instituted by our revolutionary fathers, of a voluntary Union of sovereign States for purposes specified in a solemn compact, had been perverted by those who, feeling power and forgetting right, were determined to respect no law but their own will. The Government had ceased to answer the ends for which it was ordained and established. To save ourselves from a revolution which, in its silent but rapid progress, was about to place us under the despotism of numbers, and to preserve in spirit, as well as in form, a system of government we believed to be peculiarly fitted to our condition, and full of promise for mankind, we determined to make a new association, composed of States homogeneous in interest, in policy, and in feeling.

True to our traditions of peace and our love of justice, we sent commissioners to the United States to propose a fair and amicable settlement of all questions of public debt or property which might be in dispute. But the Government at Washington, denying our right to self-government, refused even to listen to any proposals for a peaceful separation. Nothing was then left to do but to prepare for war.

The first year in our history has been the most eventful in the annals of this continent. A new Government has been established, and its machinery put in operation over an area exceeding seven hundred thousand square miles. The great principles upon which we have been willing to hazard everything that is dear to man have made conquests for us which could never have been achieved by the sword. Our Confederacy has grown from six to thirteen States; and Maryland, already united to us by hallowed memories and material interests, will, I believe, when able to speak with unstifled voice, connect her destiny with the South. Our people have rallied with unexampled unanimity to the support of the great principles of constitutional government, with firm resolve to perpetuate by arms the right which they could not peacefully secure. A million of men, it is estimated, are now standing in hostile array, and waging war along a frontier of thousands of miles. Battles have been fought, sieges have been conducted, and, although the contest is not ended, and the tide for the moment is against us, the final result in our favor is not doubtful.

The period is near at hand when our foes must sink under the immense load of debt which they have incurred, a debt which in their effort to subjugate us has already attained such fearful dimensions as will subject them to burdens which must continue to oppress them for generations to come.

We too have had our trials and difficulties. That we are to escape them in future is not to be hoped. It was to be expected when we entered upon this war that it would expose our people to sacrifices and cost them much, both of money and blood. But we knew the value of the object for which we struggled, and understood the nature of the war in which we were engaged. Nothing could be so bad as failure, and any sacrifice would be cheap as the price of success in such a contest.

But the picture has its lights as well as its shadows. This great strife has awakened in the people the highest emotions and qualities of the human soul. It is cultivating feelings of patriotism, virtue, and courage. Instances of self-sacrifice and of generous devotion to the noble cause for which we are contending are rife throughout the land. Never has a people evinced a more determined spirit than that now animating men, women, and children in every part of our country. Upon the first call the men flew to arms, and wives and mothers send their husbands and sons to battle without a murmur of regret.

It was, perhaps, in the ordination of Providence that we were to be taught the value of our liberties by the price which we pay for them.

The recollections of this great contest, with all its common traditions of glory, of sacrifice and blood, will be the bond of harmony and enduring affection amongst the people, producing unity in policy, fraternity in sentiment, and just effort in war.

Nor have the material sacrifices of the past year been made without some corresponding benefits. If the acquiescence of foreign nations in a pretended blockade has deprived us of our commerce with them, it is fast making us a self-supporting and an independent people. The blockade, if effectual and permanent, could only serve to divert our industry from the production of articles for export and employ it in supplying commodities for domestic use.

It is a satisfaction that we have maintained the war by our unaided exertions. We have neither asked nor received assistance from any quarter. Yet the interest involved is not wholly our own. The world at large is concerned in opening our markets to its commerce. When the independence of the Confederate States is recognized by the nations of the earth, and we are free to follow our interests and inclinations by cultivating foreign trade, the Southern States will offer to manufacturing nations the most favorable markets which ever invited their commerce. Cotton, sugar, rice, tobacco, provisions, timber, and naval stores will furnish attractive exchanges. Nor would the constancy of these supplies be likely to be disturbed by war. Our confederate strength will be too great to tempt aggression; and never was there a people whose interests and principles committed them so fully to a peaceful policy as those of the Confederate States. By the character of their productions they are too deeply interested in foreign commerce wantonly to disturb it. War of conquest they cannot wage, because the Constitution of their Confederacy admits of no coerced association. Civil war there cannot be between States held together by their volition only. The rule of voluntary association, which cannot fail to be conservative, by securing just and impartial government at home, does not diminish the security of the obligations by which the Confederate States may be bound to foreign nations. In proof of this, it is to be remembered that, at the first moment of asserting their right to secession, these States proposed a settlement on the basis of the common liability for the obligations of the General Government.

Fellow-citizens, after the struggle of ages had consecrated the right of the Englishman to constitutional representative government, our colonial ancestors were forced to vindicate that birthright by an appeal to arms. Success crowned their efforts, and they provided for their posterity a peaceful remedy against future aggression.

The tyranny of an unbridled majority, the most odious and least responsible form of despotism, has denied us both the right and the remedy. Therefore we are in arms to renew such sacrifices as our fathers made to the holy cause of constitutional liberty. At the darkest hour of our struggle the Provisional gives place to the Permanent Government. After a series of successes and victories, which covered our arms with glory, we have recently met with serious disasters. But in the heart of a people resolved to be free these disasters tend but to stimulate to increased resistance.

To show ourselves worthy of the inheritance bequeathed to us by the patriots of the Revolution, we must emulate that heroic devotion which made reverse to them but the crucible in which their patriotism was refined.

With confidence in the wisdom and virtue of those who will share with me the responsibility and aid me in the conduct of public affairs; securely relying on the patriotism and courage of the people, of which the present war has furnished so many examples, I deeply feel the weight of the responsibilities I now, with unaffected diffidence, am about to assume; and, fully realizing the inequality of human power to guide and to sustain, my hope is reverently fixed on Him whose favor is ever vouchsafed to the cause which is just. With humble gratitude and adoration, acknowledging the Providence which has so visibly protected the Confederacy during its brief but eventful career, to thee, O God, I trustingly commit myself, and prayerfully invoke thy blessing on my country and its cause.


MESSAGES.

February 25, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

In obedience to the constitutional provision requiring the President from time to time to give to the Congress information of the state of the Confederacy and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient, I have to communicate that since my message at the last session of the Provisional Congress events have demonstrated that the Government had attempted more than it had power successfully to achieve. Hence, in the effort to protect by our arms the whole of the territory of the Confederate States, seaboard and inland, we have been so exposed as recently to encounter serious disasters. When the Confederacy was formed the States composing it were, by the peculiar character of their pursuits and a misplaced confidence in their former associates, to a great extent destitute of the means for the prosecution of the war on so gigantic a scale as that which it has attained. The workshops and artisans were mainly to be found in the Northern States, and one of the first duties which devolved upon this Government was to establish the necessary manufactories, and in the meantime to obtain by purchase from abroad, as far as practicable, whatever was required for the public defense. No effort has been spared to effect both these ends; and though the results have not equaled our hopes, it is believed that an impartial judgment will, upon full investigation, award to the various Departments of the Government credit for having done all which human power and foresight enabled them to accomplish. The valor and devotion of the people have not only sustained the efforts of the Government but have gone far to supply its deficiencies.

The active state of military preparation among the nations of Europe in April last, the date when our agents first went abroad, interposed unavoidable delays in the procurement of arms, and the want of a navy has greatly impeded our efforts to import military supplies of all sorts. I have hoped for several days to receive official reports in relation to our discomfiture at Roanoke Island and the fall of Fort Donelson. They have not yet reached me, and I am therefore unable to communicate to you such information of those events and the consequences resulting from them as would enable me to make recommendations founded upon the changed conditions which they have produced. Enough is known of the surrender at Roanoke Island to make us feel that it was deeply humiliating, however imperfect may have been the preparations for defense. The hope is still entertained that our reported losses at Fort Donelson have been greatly exaggerated, inasmuch as I am not only unwilling but unable to believe that a large army of our people have surrendered without a desperate effort to cut their way through investing forces, whatever may have been their numbers, and to endeavor to make a junction with other divisions of the army. But in the absence of that exact information which can only be afforded by official reports it would be premature to pass judgment, and my own is reserved, as I trust yours will be, until that information is received. In the meantime strenuous efforts have been made to throw forward reënforcements to the armies at the positions threatened, and I cannot doubt that the bitter disappointments we have borne, by nerving the people to still greater exertions, will speedily secure results more accordant with our just expectation and as favorable to our cause as those which marked the earlier periods of the war. The reports of the Secretaries of War and the Navy will exhibit the mass of resources for the conduct of the war which we have been enabled to accumulate notwithstanding the very serious difficulties against which we have contended. They afford the cheering hope that our resources, limited as they were at the beginning of the contest, will during its progress become developed to such an extent as fully to meet our future wants.

The policy of enlistment for short terms, against which I have steadily contended from the commencement of the war, has, in my judgment, contributed in no immaterial degree to the recent reverses which we have suffered, and even now renders it difficult to furnish you an accurate statement of the Army. When the war first broke out many of our people could with difficulty be persuaded that it would be long or serious. It was not deemed possible that anything so insane as a persistent attempt to subjugate these States could be made, still less that the delusion would so far prevail as to give to the war the vast proportions which it has assumed. The people, incredulous of a long war, were naturally averse to long enlistments, and the early legislation of Congress rendered it impracticable to obtain volunteers for a greater period than twelve months. Now that it has become probable that the war will be continued through a series of years, our high-spirited and gallant soldiers, while generally reënlisting, are, from the fact of having entered the service for a short term, compelled in many instances to go home to make the necessary arrangements for their families during their prolonged absence. The quotas of new regiments for the war, called for from the different States, are in rapid progress of organization. The whole body of new levies and reënlisted men will probably be ready in the ranks within the next thirty days, but in the meantime it is exceedingly difficult to give an accurate statement of the number of our forces in the field. They may, in general terms, be stated at 400 regiments of infantry, with a proportionate force of cavalry and artillery, the details of which will be shown by the report of the Secretary of War. I deem it proper to advert to the fact that the process of furloughs and reënlistment in progress for the last month had so far disorganized and weakened our forces as to impair our ability for successful defense, but I heartily congratulate you that this evil, which I had foreseen and was powerless to prevent, may now be said to be substantially at an end, and that we shall not again during the war be exposed to seeing our strength diminished by this fruitful cause of disaster — short enlistments.

The people of the Confederate States, being principally engaged in agricultural pursuits, were unprovided at the commencement of hostilities with ships, shipyards, materials for shipbuilding, or skilled mechanics and seamen in sufficient numbers to make the prompt creation of a navy a practicable task, even if the required appropriations had been made for the purpose. Notwithstanding our very limited resources, however, the report of the Secretary will exhibit to you a satisfactory progress in preparation, and a certainty of early completion of vessels of a number and class on which we may confidently rely for contesting the vaunted control of the enemy over our waters.

The financial system devised by the wisdom of your predecessors has proved adequate to supplying all the wants of the Government, notwithstanding the unexpected and very large increase of expenditures resulting from the great augmentation in the necessary means of defense. The report of the Secretary of the Treasury will exhibit the gratifying fact that we have no floating debt; that the credit of the Government is unimpaired, and that the total expenditure of the Government for the year has been in round numbers $170,000,000 — less than one-third of the sum wasted by the enemy in his vain effort to conquer us; less than the value of a single article of export, the cotton crop, of the year.

The report of the Postmaster General will show the condition of that Department to be steadily improving, its revenues increasing, and already affording the assurance that it will be self-sustaining at the date required by the Constitution, while affording ample mail facilities for the people.

In the Department of Justice, which includes the Patent Office and public printing, some legislative provisions will be required, which will be specifically stated in the report of the head of that Department. I invite the attention of Congress to the duty of organizing a Supreme Court of the Confederate States, in accordance with the mandate of the Constitution.

I refer you to my message[1] communicated to the Provisional Congress in November last for such further information touching the condition of public affairs as it might be useful to lay before you, the short interval which has since elapsed not having produced any material changes in that condition other than those to which reference has already been made.

In conclusion I cordially welcome Representatives who, recently chosen by the people, are fully imbued with their views and feelings, and can so ably advise me as to the needful provisions for the public service. I assure you of my hearty coöperation in all your efforts for the common welfare of the country.

Jefferson Davis.


To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

In response to the resolution of the House of Representatives, requesting the President to furnish the report of Col. Walter H. Jenifer of the battle of Leesburg, I have to state that a copy of General Evans's report of that battle, with all the accompanying papers, including the report of Col. Walter H. Jenifer, was sent with the report of the Secretary of War in December last to the Congress, and it is supposed that the notice of this fact will be accepted by you as a satisfactory compliance with the resolution above described.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received March 1, 1862.]


To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

In response to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 19th inst., asking for "the report of Major General Thomas J. Jackson respecting the recent operations of the division under his command in the Valley District of Va.:"

Also, "the report of Col. George Lay, Inspector General of the Department of Northern Virginia, as to the condition of the command in the Valley District:"

I have to state that upon an examination of the files of the War Department, it appears that no such report from Major General Jackson as that called for has reached that Department, and that the report of Col. Lay was made without actual inspection on his part of the army at Romney, then under the immediate command of General Loring, and only gives, in relation to it, such information as he received from officers at Winchester.

The usual and generally necessary practice is to consider inspection reports as confidential. It would frequently happen that the publication of such reports would needlessly wound the feelings of officers and would promote discord and heartburnings among the troops.

The present instance forms no exception to the general rule, and it is believed that the public interest would receive detriment from the communication of the report which is called for. Justice to the parties concerned would require that much more should be communicated than the report, if it were submitted.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received March 1, 1862.]


To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I herewith transmit the report of the Secretary of the Navy, which I recommend be considered in secret session.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received March 1, 1862.]


Executive Department, March 3, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit the report of the Department of Justice.

Jefferson Davis.


To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit the report of the Secretary of War, with accompanying documents, inviting attention to the facts therein presented, and commending the recommendation to your favorable consideration.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received March 4, 1862.]


Richmond, March 4, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

In response to the resolution of the House of yesterday, calling on the President to communicate "what additional means in money, men, arms, and munitions of war are in his judgment necessary, or may be within the present year, for the public service, including operations on land and water," I have to reply that the military forces, whether land or naval, which will be required must depend upon the operations of the enemy and upon contingencies which cannot be foreseen. Taking our present condition as the basis of the calculation, it may be stated in general terms that our land forces should be increased by the addition of, say, 300,000 men in the field and those for whom call has already been made; that the Navy should be increased by a number of vessels suited to river and harbor defense, say, fifty iron-clad propellers, and a fleet of, say, ten of the most formidable war vessels to protect our commerce upon the high seas, with the requisite armaments and crews. For this additional force, land and naval, there would be required, say, 750,000 small arms of all kinds, and of siege, and field, and seacoast artillery, say, 5,000 guns; of powder, say, 5,000 tons in addition to that which can be made within the limits of the Confederacy. The manufacture of projectiles could, it is believed, be carried to the requisite extent in our own foundries, at a cost which must be measured by the number of guns actively employed. For further details I refer to the accompanying reports of the Secretaries of War and Navy. The amount of money which will be required will depend upon the extent to which the articles needed may be obtained, and as I cannot hope to get more than a small part of that which a reply to the resolution required me to enumerate, I have not attempted to convert the articles into their probable money value. Estimates have been prepared and will be laid before the Congress showing the appropriations which it is deemed proper to ask, in view of the public wants and the possibility to supply them, as well as of the condition of the finances of the Confederate States.

Jefferson Davis.


To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit to Congress the report of the Postmaster General, and invite attention to the recommendation contained therein.

Jefferson Davis.

March 5, 1862.


Executive Department, March 6, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of War, in answer to a resolution of the House Of Representatives of the 4th inst., which I referred to the Department for the information therein contained, or for copies of the reports called for if they had been received.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, Richmond, March 7, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I transmit herewith a report[2] from the Secretary of the Navy, ad interim, in answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 6th instant.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, Richmond, March 7, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, ad interim, in answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 6th inst.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, Richmond, March 8, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I transmit herewith a report and accompanying papers from the Secretary of State, ad interim, in answer to a resolution[3] of the Senate of the 3d instant.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, March 10, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sir: Annexed I submit a letter from the Secretary of the Navy indicating a plan for the further defense of the Bay of Mobile and the Alabama River, asking for an appropriation to carry it into execution.

The general purpose and means proposed are similar to those authorized by an act of the Provisional Congress for the better defense of the Mississippi River.

I commend the proposition to the favorable consideration of Congress and would suggest, if it be adopted, that the disbursement of the money be made in the manner provided for appropriations for the Navy.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, March 11, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I transmit herewith copies of such official reports as have been received at the War Department of the defense and fall of Fort Donelson. They will be found incomplete and unsatisfactory. Instructions have been given to furnish further information upon the several points not made intelligible by the reports. It is not stated that reinforcements were at any time asked for; nor is it demonstrated to have been impossible to have saved the army by evacuating the position; nor is it known by what means it was found practicable to withdraw a part of the garrison, leaving the remainder to surrender; nor upon what authority or principle of action the senior Generals abandoned responsibility, by transferring the command to a junior officer.

In a former communication to Congress I presented the propriety of a suspension of judgment in relation to the disaster at Fort Donelson, until official reports could be received. I regret that the information now furnished is so defective. In the meantime, hopeful that satisfactory explanation may be made, I have directed, upon the exhibition of the case as presented by the two senior Generals,[4] that they should be relieved from command to await further orders whenever a reliable judgment can be rendered on the merits of the case.

Jefferson Davis.


To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

I herewith transmit a letter[5] of the Secretary of the Navy, of this date, covering the official report of the naval engagement between the James River squadron and the enemy's fleet, in Hampton Roads, on the 8th instant.

The officers and men of our Navy, engaged in this brilliant affair, deserve well of their country, and are commended to the consideration of the Congress.

The disparity of the forces engaged did not justify the anticipation of so great a victory; and it is doubly gratifying that it has been won upon an element where we were supposed to be least able to compete with our enemy.

Special attention is called to the perfidious conduct of the enemy in hoisting on the frigate Congress a white flag, and renewing fire, from that vessel, under the impunity thus obtained.

Jefferson Davis.

March 11, 1862.


Richmond, March 11, 1862.

To the President.

Sir: I have the honor to lay before you the official report of the naval engagement between the James River squadron, under the command of Flag Officer Franklin Buchanan, and the enemy's fleet, in Hampton Roads, on the 8th instant.

Flag Officer Buchanan, in the immediate command of the steam sloop Virginia, was disabled near the close of the engagement by a painful though not dangerous wound, and the report is made by the Executive Officer, upon whom the command devolved, Lieutenant Jones.

The steam sloop Virginia, of ten guns, the Patrick Henry, Commander Tucker, of six guns, the Jamestown, Lieutenant Commanding Barney, of two guns, the Raleigh, Lieutenant Commanding Alexander, the Beaufort, Lieutenant Commanding Parker, and the Teaser, Lieutenant Commanding Webb, each of one gun, composed our squadron. With this force of twenty-one guns, Flag Officer Buchanan engaged the enemy's fleet, consisting of the frigate Cumberland of twenty-four guns, the Congress of fifty guns, the St. Lawrence of fifty guns, and the steam frigates Minnesota and Roanoke each of forty guns, the enemy's batteries at Newport News, and several small steamers armed with heavy rifled guns.

The engagement commenced at 3:30 p.m., and at 6 o'clock p.m. he had sunk the Cumberland, captured and burnt the Congress, disabled and driven the Minnesota ashore, and defeated the St. Lawrence and the Roanoke, which sought shelter under the guns of Fortress Monroe. Two of the enemy's small steamers were blown up, and two transport schooners were captured.

The Cumberland went down with all on board, her tops only remaining above water; but many of her people were saved by boats from the shore.

The loss of the enemy has not been ascertained. Our loss is very small but has not been officially communicated.

The flag of the Congress and the sword of the officer commanding at the time of her surrender are at this Department, together with the flag and sword of the gunboat Fanny, captured by Flag Officer Lynch, in October last; and I submit for your consideration the propriety of providing for the safe-keeping of these and similar trophies.

To the dashing courage, the patriotism and eminent ability of Flag Officer Buchanan and the officers and men of his squadron our country is indebted for this brilliant achievement, which will hold a conspicuous place among the heroic contests of naval history.

With much respect, your obedient servant,

S. R. Mallory,
Secretary of the Navy.


Executive Department, March 12, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I transmit herewith to the Congress the official report of Col. William B. Taliaferro, of the action at Carrick's Ford, July 13, 1861.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, March 13, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit to the Congress the report[6] of the Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, March 13, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

In response to the resolution of the 26th ultimo calling for a statement as to the establishments under contract for the supply of small arms and of powder, and what means are employed in furnishing percussion caps, and whether the various manufacturing establishments now employed by the Government will be able to furnish an ample supply of arms, powder, and percussion caps for the use of our Army, I herewith transmit a report to the Secretary of War, which gives such information in relation to the ability of the establishments employed as, it is hoped, will be satisfactory to the Congress. The Government has secured a supply of sulphur sufficient for any proximate want; proper charcoal can be obtained in any requisite quantity, and it only requires an adequate supply of saltpeter to insure the manufacture of more powder than can be profitably used. In addition to the mills now in active operation a very extensive one has been constructed in Georgia, which we have not started because the supply of saltpeter did not justify it. Establishments for the manufacture of small arms are being constructed and developed, but, as was to have been anticipated, the progress has been slow and the want of mechanics does not permit us to hope for such extensive results as would satisfy existing necessities. The attention of Congress is called to the remarks of the Secretary on the subject of iron, and a method of increasing its production. For further information reference is made to the tabular statement of the Chief of Ordnance, which is annexed to the letter of the Secretary of War.

Jeff'n Davis.


Executive Department, March 14, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, with estimates of appropriations required for the support of the Government from April 1 to November 30, 1862. The estimates of the various Executive Departments are inclosed, and it will be seen by the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury that no estimates for the expenses of the Congress have been received.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, March 15, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I transmit herewith an official report of the engagement at Coosaw River,[7] January 1, 1862.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, March 17, 1862.

To the President of the Senate.

I have appointed Burton N. Harrison, of Mississippi, my Private Secretary in the place of Robert Josselyn, resigned.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, March 18, 1862.

To the Honorable the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sir: I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, relative to a resolution of the 14th inst., requesting a copy of General George B. Crittenden's report of the battle of Fishing Creek.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, March 18, 1862.

To the Honorable the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, relative to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 12th inst., requesting a copy of the report of Major General Braxton Bragg, of the bombardment of Pensacola on the 22d and 23d of November last.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, March 18, 1862.

To the Honorable the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I herewith inclose a report of the Secretary of War, supplementary to a report heretofore made by him to the House of Representatives, and referred to in that document.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, March 19, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a report of the Secretary of War, supplementary to a report heretofore submitted by him, and referred to in that document.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department,
Richmond, Va.,
March 20, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Herewith I submit a letter from the Secretary of the Navy, with an estimate for an appropriation to enable him to purchase or construct ironclad vessels.

Though it is certainly doubtful whether a change in the present condition of affairs in Europe will occur which would render it practicable to effect the object in the manner proposed, it may be proper to put the Department in a position which will enable it to take advantage of any opportunity which may be presented for the rapid increase of that class of vessels which are believed to be the best suited to coast and harbor defense.

I recommend, therefore, that the appropriation asked for be granted.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., March 20, 1862.

To the House of Representatives, Confederate States of America.

In reply to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 24th ultimo, requesting the President to furnish certain information in reference to the James River defenses and the defenses of the city of Richmond, with his own opinion thereon, and to cause a survey to be made of the Chickahominy and its branches, with reference to its being occupied as a defensive line, I transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of War, submitting a report of Capt. Alfred L. Rives, in charge of the Engineer Bureau, on the subjects referred to, so far as the information obtained will admit.

The report of Captain Rives states the facts in regard to the state of the defenses of the James River and the city of Richmond; and in the views presented by him I generally concur. It may be proper, however, to add something in explanation of the facts presented, and my own impressions derived from various sources from time to time. The work at Day's Point possesses but little value for the defense proper of the James River. It was located with regard to the protection of Burwell's Bay and the country above from foraging excursions of the enemy by water, and as a protection to our own boats in the river. A site somewhat lower down would have been preferable, according to information obtained since the location of the work, but it has thus far fulfilled its object; and as it has been well constructed, with much labor and expense, it is probably best not to disturb it except by the addition of a small outwork to command the approaches in its rear, which, I am told, is being done.

The next position above, defended by the works at Hardy's Bluff and Mulberry Island, possesses great importance from being the right flank of General Magruder's chosen defensive line on the Peninsula, and the lowest point which gives the hope of a successful protection of the river against the wooden fleets of the enemy. Ironclad vessels, of which we have not had sufficient experience to form a correct judgment, can pass these works, as the channel is too wide and deep for obstructions, unless wroughtiron bolts, now being prepared for trial against the Ericsson battery (Monitor) and others of the same class, prove more effective than can be reasonably hoped for; but still the transports necessary for a formidable expedition ought to be kept back by the batteries so long as they are held; and it is thought that they should not be silenced by a few ironclad vessels operating with a small number of guns at long range, especially as the battery at Hardy's Bluff has considerable elevation. Both works are strong against a land attack. The guns at Jamestown Island will probably be removed to the position just referred to, as soon as it is fully prepared for them.

The position at Drewry's Bluff, seven or eight miles below Richmond, which has intimate relations with the defenses proper of the city, was chosen to obstruct the river against such vessels as the Monitor. The work is being rapidly completed. Either Fort Powhatan or Kennon's Marshes, if found to be the proper positions, will be fortified and obstructed as at Drewry's Bluff to prevent the ascent of the river by ironclad vessels. Blocking the channel, where sufficiently narrow, by strong lines of obstructions, filling it with submarine batteries, and flanking the obstructions by well-protected batteries of the heaviest guns, seem to offer the best and speediest chances of protection, with the means at our disposal, against ironclad floating batteries. The field works for the defense of Richmond, which are arranged upon the plan of the detached system, conceded by most military men to be the best, are completed, with the exception of two on the side of the city, and one main and two accessory works on the Manchester side. The unfinished works will be completed as soon as more important ones farther from the city are in a more efficient condition. The line occupied by these works was chosen to make it as short as possible, partly from the difficulty of defending a longer line, and partly from the time, labor, and expense necessary to construct such a one. It is rather nearer the city than desirable, but the enemy must remain out of reach of our guns, at least as heavy as his, until the line is carried, and then the city must fall, whether the line be near or removed within the limits of a few miles. I see no advantage in constructing a new line more removed from the city, unless the Chickahominy be found suited to the system of dams and overflow, which, I think, from the information in my possession, is problematical. Should the enemy get near enough to lay siege to this city, additional works can be thrown up as he develops his plans and means; and these, with those already constructed, can be armed with the guns which would necessarily be brought back with the troops to defend them. The want of heavy guns and the requisite carriages has prevented the fortifications here from being armed with them to any extent, and I do not think it wise to take them for this purpose from other points where, in my opinion, they are more needed. Any system of fortification which could be constructed during the war for the defense of this city would only serve to gain time. An army which allows itself to be shut up in a fortified city must finally yield to an enemy superior in numbers and munitions of war.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, March 24, 1862.

To the Honorable the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sir: Inclosed I send for the consideration and action of the House of Representatives a communication from the Acting Secretary of War, explaining the appropriations already made of one million dollars, for the floating defenses of the western waters, and asking a further appropriation of half a million dollars, to be used for the same purposes.

I recommend that the money be appropriated as requested.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, March 24, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sir: I herewith transmit for the consideration of the House of Representatives a communication from the Secretary of the Navy, with accompanying papers[8] which afford the information sought by the resolution of the House of Representatives on the 17th inst.

I also suggest that these papers be regarded confidential and be considered in secret session.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department,
Richmond, Va.,
March 25, 1862.

To the House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

In answer to your resolution of the 21st instant, calling upon the President for information in regard to the protection of our principal cities from iron-plated vessels by means of obstructions and submarine batteries, and whether any additional appropriations are needed for these objects, I have to state generally that the channels of approach to our principal cities have been and are being obstructed according to the means at hand; that submarine batteries have been and are being prepared, and that no additional appropriations for these objects are considered to be needed. Until recently the character of the enemy's iron-plated vessels was not well enough known to arrange obstructions specially for them, but the same principle obtains and the obstructions already prepared can be strengthened when necessary. For the want of insulated wire we are deprived of that class of submarine batteries exploded at will by electricity, which promises the best results. Experiments upon several kinds of such as are exploded by impact have been in progress since an early period of the war. These torpedoes can be rendered harmless by the enemy in most cases by setting adrift floating bodies to explode them, as is said to have been done on the Mississippi River, and as they cannot be put in place so long as all the channels are required for use by our own boats no great degree of importance is attached to them. They may serve, however, to gain time by making the enemy more cautious; and most of our seacoast defenses have already received, or will as soon as practicable receive, a certain supply of them.

Jeff'n Davis.


Executive Department, March 25, 1862.

To the Hon. the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sir: I herewith transmit for the consideration and action of the House of Representatives a communication from the Secretary of the Navy covering "an estimate of an additional appropriation required for the service of the Navy Department from April 1 to November 30, 1862."

I recommend that an appropriation be made of the sum and for the purpose specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, March 28, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

The operation of the various laws now in force for raising armies has exhibited the necessity for reform. The frequent changes and amendments which have been made have rendered the system so complicated as to make it often quite difficult to determine what the law really is, and to what extent prior enactments are modified by more recent legislation. There is also embarrassment from conflict between State and Confederate legislation. I am happy to assure you of the entire harmony of purpose and cordiality of feeling which have continued to exist between myself and the Executives of the several States; and it is to this cause that our success in keeping adequate forces in the field is to be attributed. These reasons would suffice for inviting your earnest attention to the necessity of some simple and general system for exercising the power of raising armies, which is vested in the Congress by the Constitution. But there is another and more important consideration. The vast preparations made by the enemy for a combined assault at numerous points on our frontier and seacoast have produced the result that might have been expected. They have animated the people with a spirit of resistance so general, so resolute, and so self-sacrificing that it requires rather to be regulated than to be stimulated. The right of the State to demand, and the duty of each citizen to render, military service, need only to be stated to be admitted. It is not, however, wise or judicious policy to place in active service that portion of the force of a people which experience has shown to be necessary as a reserve. Youths under the age of eighteen years require further instruction; men of matured experience are needed for maintaining order and good government at home and in supervising preparations for rendering efficient the armies in the field. These two classes constitute the proper reserve for home defense, ready to be called out in case of emergency, and to be kept in the field only while the emergency exists. But in order to maintain this reserve intact it is necessary that in a great war like that in which we are now engaged all persons of intermediate age not legally exempt for good cause should pay their debt of military service to the country, that the burdens should not fall exclusively on the most ardent and patriotic. I therefore recommend the passage of a law declaring that all persons residing within the Confederate States, between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years, and rightfully subject to military duty, shall be held to be in the military service of the Confederate States, and that some plain and simple method be adopted for their prompt enrollment and organization, repealing all the legislation heretofore enacted which would conflict with the system proposed.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office, Richmond, March 29, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a report and accompanying tabular statement from the Secretary of State, in answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 26th inst.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, April 1, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

I herewith transmit the report[9] of the Secretary of the Navy, which I recommend be considered in secret session.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, April 1, 1862.

To the Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sir: I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a communication from the Secretary of War, affording, as far as practicable, the information sought by the "resolution of inquiry adopted by the House of Representatives in regard to the disasters at Forts Henry and Donelson," &c., and replying to the "additional resolution of the House of Representatives," adopted March 31, 1862, calling for the official response of General A. S. Johnston to the interrogatories propounded to him in regard to those subjects; and also for a copy of the supplementary report of General Pillow in regard to the affair at Fort Donelson, &c.

Jefferson Davis.


To the Hon. the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sir: I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, covering additional estimates for clerks to be employed in the offices of the Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and Depositaries of the Confederate States, and I recommend that the appropriation be made of the sums and for the purposes specified.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received April 1, 1862.]


To the Hon. the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sir: I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a communication from the Secretary of War, in reference to a "resolution of the House," requesting the President to furnish to the House "a copy of the report of Gen. H. A. Wise, touching the fall of Roanoke Island, which was made by him to the Secretary of War, under date of the 21st February, 1862, if not inconsistent with the public interest."

Jefferson Davis.

[Received April 1, 1862.]


Executive Department, April 1, 1862.

To the Hon. the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sir: I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a communication of the Secretary of the Navy, covering information sought by a resolution of the House requesting the President to communicate to the House what additional sums of money, if any, are in his judgment necessary to the Departments of War and Navy, in order to secure a successful prosecution of the war and effective defense of the Confederate States during the time for which Congress at its present session should make provision.

Jefferson Davis.


To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States of America.

The great importance of the news first received from Tennessee induces me to depart from established usage, and to make to you this communication in advance of official reports.

From telegraphic dispatches received from official sources, I am able to announce to you with entire confidence that it has pleased Almighty God to crown the Confederate arms with a glorious and decisive victory over our invaders.

On the morning of the 6th inst., the converging columns of our army were combined by its commander in chief, Gen. A. S. Johnston, in an assault on the Federal army, then encamped near Pittsburg, on the Tennessee River. After a hard-fought battle of ten hours, the enemy was driven in disorder from his position and pursued to the Tennessee River, where, under cover of his gunboats, he was, at the last accounts, endeavoring to effect his retreat by aid of his transports.

The details of this great battle are yet too few and incomplete to enable me to distinguish with merited praise all of those who may have conspicuously earned the right to such distinction; and I prefer to delay my own gratification in recommending them to your special notice, rather than incur the risk of wounding the feelings of any by failing to include them in the list. Where such a victory has been won over troops as numerous, as well disciplined, armed, and appointed as those which have just been so signally routed, we may well conclude that one common spirit of unflinching bravery and devotion to our country's cause must have animated every breast, from that of the Commanding General to that of the humblest patriot who served in the ranks.

There is enough in the continued presence of invaders on our soil to chasten our exultation over this brilliant success, and to remind us of the grave duty of continued exertion until we shall extort from a proud and vainglorious enemy the reluctant acknowledgment of our right to self-government. But an all-wise Creator has been pleased, while vouchsafing to us his countenance in battle, to afflict us with a severe dispensation, to which we must bow in humble submission. The last lingering hope has disappeared, and it is but too true that General Albert Sidney Johnston is no more. The tale of his death is simply narrated in a dispatch first received from Col. William Preston in the following words: "General Johnston fell yesterday at half-past two o'clock, while leading a successful charge, turning the enemy's right and gaining a brilliant victory. A Minie ball cut the artery of his leg, but he rode on till, from loss of blood, he fell exhausted, and died without pain in a few minutes. His body has been intrusted to me by Gen. Beauregard, to be taken to New Orleans, and remain until directions are received from his family."

My long and close friendship with this departed chieftain and patriot forbids me to trust myself in giving vent to the feelings which this sad intelligence has evoked. Without doing injustice to the living, it may safely be asserted that our loss is irreparable; and that among the shining hosts of the great and the good who now cluster around the banner of our country, there exists no purer spirit, no more heroic soul than that of the illustrious man whose death I join you in lamenting.

In his death he has illustrated the character for which, through life, he was conspicuous, that of singleness of purpose and devotion to duty. With his whole energies bent on attaining the victory which he deemed essential to his country's cause, he rode on to the accomplishment of his object, forgetful of self, while his very lifeblood was fast ebbing away. His last breath cheered his comrades to victory. The last sound he heard was their shout of triumph. His last thought was his country's, and long and deeply will his country mourn his loss.

Jefferson Davis.

April 8, 1862.


Executive Department, April 10, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

I herewith transmit to Congress a communication[10] from the Secretary of the Navy, covering a "detailed report of Flag Officer Buchanan, of the brilliant triumph of his squadron over the vastly superior forces of the enemy, in Hampton Roads, on the 8th and 9th of March last."

Jefferson Davis.

Confederate States of America, Navy Department,
Richmond,
April 7, 1862.

To the President.

Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith copy of the detailed report[11] of Flag Officer Buchanan, of the brilliant triumph of his squadron over the vastly superior forces of the enemy, in Hampton Roads, on the 8th and 9th of March last, a brief report, by Lieut. Jones, of the battle of the 8th, having been previously made.

The conduct of the officers and men of the squadron, in this contest, reflects unfading honor upon themselves and upon the navy. The report will be read with deep interest, and its details will not fail to rouse the ardor and nerve the arms of our gallant seamen.

It will be remembered that the Virginia was a novelty, in naval architecture, wholly unlike any ship that ever floated; that her heaviest guns were equal novelties in ordnance; that her motive power and obedience to her helm were untried, and her officers and crew strangers, comparatively, to the ship and to each other; and yet, under all these disadvantages, the dashing courage and consummate professional ability of Flag Officer Buchanan and his associates achieved the most remarkable victory which naval annals record.

When the Flag Officer was disabled, the command of the Virginia devolved upon her Executive and Ordnance Officer, Lieut. Catesby Ap R. Jones, and the cool and masterly manner in which he fought the ship in her encounter with the ironclad Monitor justified the high estimate which the country places upon his professional merit.

To his experience, skill, and untiring industry as her Ordnance and Executive Officer the terrible effect of her fire was greatly due. Her battery was determined in accordance with his suggestions, and in all investigations and tests, which resulted in its thorough efficiency, he was zealously engaged.

The terms of commendation used by the Flag Officer in characterizing the conduct of his officers and men meet the cordial indorsement of the Department, and the concurrent testimony of thousands who witnessed the engagement places his own conduct above all praise.

With much respect, your obedient servant,

S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy.


To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of the Navy, submitting a proposition for the construction of ironclad vessels in Europe, and commend it to the attention of Congress.

Jefferson Davis.

Richmond, Va., April 10, 1862.

[The same message was sent to the House of Representatives.]


Executive Department, April 11, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I herewith transmit to Congress a report of the Postmaster General, supplementary to a report previously submitted, and covering certain documents relative to "frauds perpetrated on the revenues of the Post Office Department by the Southern Express Company."

I recommend that the suggested alteration of the existing laws receive the careful attention of Congress.

Jefferson Davis


Executive Department, Richmond, April 12, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I nominate Braxton Bragg, of Louisiana, to the rank of General in the Army of the Confederate States, agreeably to the recommendation of the Secretary of War, to take rank from the 6th day of April, 1862.

Jefferson Davis.


To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, conveying information, so far as practicable, in response to a resolution of the House of Representatives, requesting the President to communicate what steps have been taken to carry out the act for connecting the Richmond and Danville and the North Carolina railroads, and for the connection of the railroad from Selma, in Alabama, to Meridian, in Mississippi.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received April 14, 1862.]


Executive Department, April 16, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

In compliance with your request for information, expressed in a resolution of the 14th inst., I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, covering a copy of the report of General Branch of the battle of Newbern, North Carolina.

Jefferson Davis.


April 17, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

I deem it my duty to call your attention to some practical difficulties which will occur in the execution of the law just passed for the conscription of all persons subject to military duty between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years, and to point out some omissions that it seems wise to supply. First. There are a number of troops in the service of the several States for which no provision is made. They have been organized for State defense, which is necessarily the public defense, but are not a part of the armies of the Confederacy. It would not be politic to break up these organizations for the purpose of taking out of them such of the men as are subject to conscription for distribution among other troops. I suggest that power be granted to the Executive to accept a transfer of such regiments, battalions, squadrons, or companies now in the service of the respective States as may be tendered by the States, according to any organization consistent with the Confederate laws. Second. In the tenth section of the bill there is a seeming conflict between two clauses, one of which requires that in all cases elections shall be held to fill the lowest grade, while another gives power to promote from the ranks to any vacant office a private who may have distinguished himself conspicuously. I would be glad to have the intent of Congress on this point stated in an amendment to the bill. Third. Under the fourth section of the act of the 11th of December, 1861, it was declared that all troops revolunteering or reënlisting shall, at the expiration of their present term of service, have the power to reorganize themselves into companies and elect their company officers, and that said companies should have the right to reorganize themselves into battalions or regiments, and elect their field officers, &c. By the second section of the act just passed, 16th of April, 1862, it is prohibited to include in the organization of such new companies and regiments as may be completed within thirty days "any persons now in the service." It is submitted whether bare justice to the men who first entered the military service, and who have again voluntarily enrolled themselves to serve for the war, does not require that the Government should carry out the understanding under which they reënlisted, by permitting them to serve in organizations more acceptable to them than those in which they are now embraced. I should regret to see men now for the first time brought into the service under the stringency of the law vested with the right of choosing their association, while the same privilege is denied to those who have distinguished themselves by the alacrity with which they have volunteered.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, April 17, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for the information of Congress a communication from the Secretary of the Navy, covering estimates for the amount required by the Navy Department for specified purposes.

I recommend that an appropriation be made of the sums and for the objects mentioned.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, April 17, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, containing an estimate of additional funds required for the Ordnance Bureau for the period ending December 1, 1862.

I recommend that an appropriation be made of the sums and for the purposes specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, April 18, 1862.

Hon. Thos. S. Bocock, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sir: I transmit herewith Lieut. Commanding Robert B. Pegram's report of the cruise of the Nashville, and certain official correspondence called for by the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 15th inst.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, April 18, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for the information of Congress a communication from the Secretary of War, covering "a copy of the official report of Major General Earl Van Dorn of the battle between his forces and those of Generals Sigel and Curtis in Arkansas."

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Department, April 21, 1862.

To the Honorable the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, covering an estimate of an appropriation required to carry into effect an act therein mentioned.

I recommend that an appropriation be made of the sum and for the purposes specified.

Jefferson Davis.


April 21, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

I deem it proper to inform you that a number of acts passed by the Congress were presented to me at a very late hour on Saturday night. I have examined them as carefully as the limited time at my disposal has permitted, and have returned nearly all of them with my approval. There are, however, three of them to which I have objections, which it is impossible to communicate to you in

writing within the few remaining hours of the session, and which will therefore fail to become laws. Happily the acts in question are not of great public importance. Recognizing, as I do, the right of Congress to receive the fullest information from the Executive on all matters of legislation on which his concurrence is required by the Constitution, I have considered it more respectful to Congress to make this statement of the cause which has prevented my action on these bills than to retain them without assigning my reason for so doing.

Jefferson Davis.


VETO MESSAGES.

Executive Department, March 14, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Not being able to approve, I return with my objections, in accordance with the duty imposed by the Constitution, an act entitled "An Act to create the office of commanding general of the armies of the Confederate States." The act creates an office which is to continue during the pleasure of the President, but the tenure of office of the general to be appointed is without any other limitation than that of the office itself. The purpose of the act, so far as it creates a military bureau, the head of which, at the seat of government, under direction of the President, shall be charged with the movement of troops, the supply and discipline of the Army, I fully approve; but, by what I cannot regard otherwise than as an inadvertence on the part of Congress, the officer so appointed is authorized to take the field at his own discretion and command any army or armies he may choose, not only without the direction but even against the will of the President, who could not consistently with this act prevent such conduct of the general otherwise than by abolishing his office. To show that the effect of this act would be highly detrimental to the Army, it might be enough to say that no general would be content to prepare troops for battle, conduct their movements, and share their privations during a whole campaign if he expected to find himself superseded at the very moment of action. But there is another ground which to my mind is conclusive. The Constitution vests in the Executive the command in chief of the armies of the

Confederacy; that command is totally inconsistent with the existence of an officer authorized, at his own discretion, to take command of armies assigned by the President to other generals. The Executive could in no just sense be said to be Commander in Chief if without the power to control the discretion of the general created by this act. As it cannot have been the intention of Congress to create the office of a general not bound to obey orders of the Chief Magistrate, and as this seems to be the effect of the act, I can but anticipate the concurrence of the Congress in my opinion that it should not become a law.

Jefferson Davis.


Confederate States of America,
Executive Department,
April 19, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I herewith return, without my approval, to the Senate, the "joint resolution directing how prize money shall be paid in certain cases."

This resolution declares that the share of prize money awarded, or which may be awarded, to any seaman or marine who is or may be a prisoner in the hands of the enemy, shall, under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, be paid to the wife of such seaman or marine during his captivity.

However praiseworthy the motive which prompts to provide for the wives of our seamen or marines now held in captivity by the enemy, I do not believe that Congress can, constitutionally, without the consent of the husband, direct the payment to his wife of any money now due him. The husband's right to the control and disposition of prize money already awarded him is as absolute as that to any other property owned by him. Congress has no greater power over the prize money due him than over any other property which he owns. Vested rights cannot be disturbed or impaired by legislative authority, except in the very special cases named in the Constitution.

Jefferson Davis.


Confederate States of America,
Executive Department,
Richmond, Va.,
April 19, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I am constrained by the view which I take of the constitutional powers of Congress, to return, without my approval, a bill to be entitled "An Act relative to the pay and allowances of deceased soldiers," originating in the Senate.

The bill in express terms declares and enacts that the pay and allowances now due to any deceased officer, non-commissioned officer, musician, private, or other person, for services in the Army of the Confederate States, shall be paid to the widow of the deceased, if living, or to others who may be his heirs, if she be not living. In other words, Congress, by this act, is making a distribution law to affect a portion of the estates of persons already deceased. To the several States composing the Confederacy properly belongs the power to pass laws for the administration and distribution of the estates of deceased persons. I doubt very much the constitutional power of Congress to pass any law on this subject, even of a prospective character. But this bill operates on the past as well as the future. Rights already vested and governed by the law of the State in which the deceased soldier had his domicile are attempted to be disturbed by the provisions of this bill. In my judgment, Congress has no such power. The laws of the United States, which the Confederate States adopted, were in force here when our soldiers enlisted. These laws in reference to payment of arrears and effects of deceased soldiers may be regarded as a part of the contract of such deceased soldier. An examination of these laws will show that such arrears and effects were to be held and paid to the legal representatives of the deceased soldier.

Jefferson Davis.


PROCLAMATIONS.

By the President of the Confederate States.

A PROCLAMATION.

To the People of the Confederate States.

The termination of the Provisional Government offers a fitting occasion again to present ourselves in humiliation, prayer, and thanksgiving before that God who has safely conducted us through our first year of national existence. We have been enabled to lay anew the foundations of free government and to repel the efforts of our enemies to destroy us. Law has everywhere reigned supreme, and throughout our widespread limits personal liberty and private right have been duly honored. A tone of earnest piety has pervaded our people, and the victories which we have obtained over our enemies have been justly ascribed to Him who ruleth the universe.

We had hoped that the year would close upon a scene of continued prosperity, but it has pleased the Supreme Disposer of events to order it otherwise. We are not permitted to furnish an exception to the rule of Divine government, which has prescribed affliction as the discipline of nations as well as of individuals. Our faith and perseverance must be tested, and the chastening which seemeth grievous will, if rightly received, bring forth its appropriate fruit.

It is meet and right, therefore, that we should repair to the only Giver of all victory, and, humbling ourselves before him, should pray that he may strengthen our confidence in his mighty power and righteous judgment. Then may we surely trust in him that he will perform his promise and encompass us as with a shield.

In this trust, and to this end, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, do hereby set apart Friday, the 28th day of February, instant, as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer; and I do hereby invite the reverend clergy and people of the Confederate States to repair to their respective places of public worship to humble themselves before Almighty God, and pray for his protection and favor to our beloved country, and that we may be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us.

[L. S.] Given under my hand and seal of the Confederate States at Richmond, this 20th day of February, A.D. 1862.

Jefferson Davis.

By the President:

William M. Browne, Secretary of State, ad in.


By the President of the Confederate States.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas the Congress of the Confederate States has by law vested in the President the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in cities in danger of attack by the enemy:

Now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do hereby proclaim that martial law is extended over the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth and the surrounding country to the distance of 10 miles from said cities, and all civil jurisdiction and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus are hereby declared to be suspended within the limits aforesaid.

This proclamation will remain in force until otherwise ordered.

In faith whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, at the city of Richmond, on this twenty-seventh day of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.

Jefferson Davis.


War Department, Richmond, Va., March 5, 1862.

Maj. Gen. B. Huger, Norfolk, Va.

Sir: Martial law having been declared in Norfolk under the President's proclamation, he desires me to call your attention to the various measures which he hopes will at once be vigorously executed:

First. Some leading and reliable citizen to be appointed provost marshal in Norfolk and another in Portsmouth. In the former city he suggests the mayor, said to be a zealous friend of our cause.

Second. All arms to be required to be given up by the citizens; private arms to be paid for.

Third. The whole male population to be enrolled for military service; all stores and shops to be closed at 12 or 1 o'clock and the whole of the citizens forced to drill and undergo instructions.

Fourth. The citizens so enrolled to be armed with the arms given up and with those of infantry now in service at batteries.

Fifth. Send away as rapidly as can be done, without exciting panic, all women and children and reduce your population to such as can aid in defense.

Sixth. Give notice that all merchandise, cotton, tobacco, etc., not wanted for military use be sent away within the given time, or it will be destroyed.

Seventh. Imprison all persons against whom there is well-grounded suspicion of disloyalty.

Eighth. Purchase all supplies in the district that can be made useful for your army, allowing none to be carried away that you might want in the event that the city is beleaguered.

In executing these orders you will of course use your own discretion so to act as to avoid creating panic as far as possible.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of War.


General Orders No. 8.

Adjutant and Inspector General's Office,
Richmond,
March 1, 1862.

I. The following proclamation of the President is published for the information of all concerned:

A PROCLAMATION.

By virtue of the power vested in me by law to declare the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in cities threatened with invasion:

I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do proclaim that martial law is hereby extended over the city of Richmond and the adjoining and surrounding country to the distance of ten miles; and I do proclaim the suspension of all civil jurisdiction, with the exception of that of the Mayor of the city, and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus within the said city and surrounding country to the distance aforesaid.

[L. S.] In faith whereof, I have hereunto signed my name and set my seal at the city of Richmond, on this first day of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.

Jefferson Davis.

II. Brigadier General J. H. Winder, commanding Department of Henrico, is charged with the due execution of the foregoing proclamation. He will forthwith establish an efficient military police, and will enforce the following orders:

All distillation of spirituous liquors is positively prohibited, and the distilleries will forthwith be closed. The sale of spirituous liquors of any kind is also prohibited, and the establishments for the sale thereof will be closed.

III. All persons infringing the above prohibition will suffer such punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a court-martial, provided that no sentence to hard labor for more than one month shall be inflicted by the sentence of a regimental court-martial, as directed in the 67th Article of War.

By command of the Secretary of War.

S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General.


General Orders No. 1.

Headquarters Department of Henrico,
Richmond, Va.,
March 2d, 1862.

I. By virtue of the authority conferred by General Orders No. 8, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, March 1, 1862, Captain A. C. Godwin is appointed Provost Marshal of the city of Richmond and the adjoining and surrounding country for the distance of ten miles.

II. All distillation and distribution of spirituous liquors is prohibited by the proclamation of the President. The Provost Marshal will take immediate and effective steps to enforce this order, and all persons found transgressing, either by the distillation, sale, giving away, or in any manner disposing of spirituous liquors, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

III. All persons of every degree, except those in the service of the State or Confederate States, having arms in their possession, will deliver the same to the Ordnance Department on or before the 5th of March, 1862, otherwise they will be seized and taken possession of by the Provost Marshal. All public arms not in the public service will be receipted for, and all private arms will be paid for.

By order of Brigadier General John H. Winder, Commanding, etc.

L. R. Page, Assistant Adjutant General.


General Orders No. 11.

War Department,
Adjutant and Inspector General's Office,
Richmond,
March 8, 1862.

I. The following proclamation is published for the information of all concerned:

A PROCLAMATION.

By virtue of the power vested in me by law to declare the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in cities threatened with invasion:

I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do proclaim that martial law is hereby extended over the city of Petersburg and the adjoining and surrounding country to the distance of ten miles; and I do proclaim the suspension of all civil jurisdiction (with the exception of that of the Mayor of the city, and that enabling the courts to take cognizance of the probate of wills, the administration of the estates of deceased persons, the qualifications of guardians, to enter decrees and orders for the partitioning and sale of property, to make orders concerning roads and bridges, to assess county levies, and to order the payment of county dues), and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus within the said city and surrounding country to the distance aforesaid.

[L. S.] In faith whereof, I have hereunto signed my name and set my seal on the 8th day of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.

Jefferson Davis.

II. William Pannill is appointed Provost Marshal, and is charged with the due execution of the foregoing proclamation. He will forthwith establish an efficient military police, and will enforce the following orders:

All distillation of spirituous liquors is positively prohibited, and the distilleries will forthwith be closed. The sale of spirituous liquor of any kind is also prohibited, and the establishments for the sale thereof will be closed.

III. All persons infringing the above prohibition will suffer such punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a court-martial, provided that no sentence to hard labor for more than one month shall be inflicted by the sentence of a regimental court-martial, as directed in the 67th Article of War.

By command of the Secretary of War.

S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General.


General Orders No. 15.

War Department,
Adjutant and Inspector General's Office,
Richmond,
March 14, 1862.

I. The following proclamation is published for the information of all concerned:

A PROCLAMATION.

By virtue of the power vested in me by law to declare the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus:

I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do proclaim that martial law is hereby extended over the counties of Elizabeth City, York, Warwick, Gloucester, and Mathews (in Virginia), and I do proclaim the suspension of all civil jurisdiction (with the exception of that enabling the courts to take cognizance of the probate of wills, the administration of the estates of deceased persons, the qualification of guardians, to enter decrees and orders for the partition and sale of property, to make orders concerning roads and bridges, to assess county levies, and to order the payment of county dues), and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the counties aforesaid.

In faith whereof I have hereunto signed my name and set my seal this 14th day of March, in the year 1862.

Jefferson Davis.

II. Major General Magruder, commanding the Army of the Peninsula, is charged with the due execution of the foregoing proclamation. He will forthwith establish an efficient military police and will enforce the following orders:

III. All distillation of spirituous liquors is positively prohibited, and the distilleries will forthwith be closed. The sale of spirituous liquors of any kind is also prohibited, and establishments for the sale thereof will be closed.

IV. All persons infringing the above prohibition will suffer such punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a court-martial, provided that no sentence to hard labor for more than one month shall be inflicted by the sentence of a regimental court-martial, as directed by the 67th Article of War.

By command of the Secretary of War.

S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General.


General Orders No. 18.

War Department,
Adjutant and Inspector General's Office,
Richmond,
March 29, 1862.

I. The following proclamation is published for the information of all concerned:

A PROCLAMATION.

By virtue of the power vested in me by law to declare the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus:

I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do proclaim that martial law is hereby extended over the counties of Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Bath, Alleghany, Monroe, Mercer, Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, and Randolph (in Virginia), and I do proclaim the suspension of all civil jurisdiction (with the exception of that enabling the courts to take cognizance of the probate of wills, the administration of the estates of deceased persons, the qualifications of guardians, to enter decrees and orders for the partition and sale of property, to make orders concerning roads and bridges, to assess county levies, and to order the payment of county dues), and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the counties aforesaid.

[L. S.] In faith whereof I have hereunto signed my name and set my seal this 29th day of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.

Jefferson Davis.

II. Brigadier General Henry Heth is charged with the due execution of the foregoing proclamation. He will forthwith establish an efficient military police, and will enforce the following orders:

All distillation of spirituous liquors is positively prohibited, and the distilleries will forthwith be closed. The sale of spirituous liquors of any kind is also prohibited, and establishments for the sale thereof will be closed.

III. All persons infringing the above prohibition will suffer such punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a court-martial, provided that no sentence to hard labor for more than one month shall be inflicted by the sentence of a regimental court-martial, as directed by the 67th Article of War.

By command of the Secretary of War.

S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General.


General Orders No. 21.

War Department,
Adjutant and Inspector General's Office,
Richmond,
April 8, 1862.

I. The following proclamation is published for the information of all concerned:

A PROCLAMATION.

By virtue of the power vested in me by law to declare the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus:

I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do proclaim that martial law is hereby extended over the Department of East Tennessee, under command of Maj. Gen. E. K. Smith; and I do proclaim the suspension of all civil jurisdiction (with the exception of that enabling the courts to take cognizance of the probate of wills, the administration of the estates of deceased persons, the qualification of guardians, to enter decrees and orders for the partition and sale of property, to make orders concerning roads and bridges, to assess county levies, and to order the payment of county dues), and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the department aforesaid.

[L. S.] In faith whereof, I have hereunto signed my name and set my seal this eighth day of April, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.

Jefferson Davis.

II. Maj. Gen. E. K. Smith, commanding the Department of East Tennessee, is charged with the due execution of the foregoing proclamation. He will forthwith establish an efficient military police, and will enforce the following orders:

All distillation of spirituous liquors is positively prohibited, and the distilleries will forthwith be closed. The sale of spirituous liquors of any kind is also prohibited, and establishments for the sale thereof will be closed.

III. All persons infringing the above prohibition will suffer such punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a court-martial, provided that no sentence to hard labor for more than one month shall be inflicted by the sentence of a regimental court-martial, as directed by the 67th Article of War.

By command of the Secretary of War,

S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General.


General Orders No. 33.

War Department,
Adjutant and Inspector General's Office,
Richmond, Va.,
May 1, 1862.

I. The following proclamation is published for the information of all concerned:

A PROCLAMATION.

By virtue of the power vested in me to declare the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus:

I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do proclaim that martial law is hereby extended over that part of the State of South Carolina from the Santee River to the South Edisto River in that State, under the command of Major General Pemberton; and I do proclaim the suspension of all civil jurisdiction (with the exception of that enabling the courts to take cognizance of the probate of wills, the administration of the estates of deceased persons, the qualification of guardians, to enter decrees and orders for the partition and sale of property, to make orders concerning roads and bridges, to assess county levies, and to order the payment of county dues), and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the country aforesaid.

In faith whereof I have hereunto signed my name and set my seal this first day of May, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.

Jefferson Davis.

II. Maj. Gen. J. C. Pemberton, commanding the Department of South Carolina and Georgia, is charged with the due execution of the foregoing proclamation. He will forthwith establish an efficient military police, and will enforce the following orders:

All distillation of spirituous liquors is positively prohibited, and the distilleries will forthwith be closed. The sale of spirituous liquors of any kind is also prohibited, and establishments for the sale thereof will be closed.

III. All persons infringing the above prohibition will suffer such punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a court-martial, provided that no sentence to hard labor for more than one month shall be inflicted by the sentence of a regimental court-martial, as directed by the 67th Article of War.

By command of the Secretary of War.

S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General.


General Orders No. 19.

War Department,
Adjutant and Inspector General's Office,
Richmond, Va.,
May 3, 1862.

I. The following proclamation is published for the information of all concerned:

A PROCLAMATION.

By virtue of the power vested in me by law to declare the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus:

I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do proclaim that martial law is hereby extended over the counties of Lee, Wise, Buchanan, McDowell, and Wyoming (in Virginia), under the command of Brig. Gen. Humphrey Marshall; and I do proclaim the suspension of all civil jurisdiction (with the exception of that enabling the courts to take cognizance of the probate of wills, the administration of estates of deceased persons, the qualification of guardians, to enter decrees and orders for the partition and sale of property, to make orders concerning roads and bridges, to assess county levies, and to order the payment of county dues), and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the counties aforesaid.

[L. S.] In faith whereof I have hereunto signed my name and set my seal this third day of May, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.

Jefferson Davis.

II. Brig. Gen. Humphrey Marshall is charged with the due execution of the foregoing proclamation. He will forthwith establish an efficient police, and will enforce the following orders:

All distillation of spirituous liquors is positively prohibited, and the distilleries will forthwith be closed. The sale of spirituous liquors of any kind is also prohibited, and establishments for the sale thereof will be closed.

III. All persons infringing the above prohibition will suffer such punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a court-martial, provided that no sentence to hard labor for more than one month shall be inflicted by the sentence of a regimental court-martial, as directed by the 67th Article of War.

By command of the Secretary of War.

S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General.


By the President of the Confederate States.

A PROCLAMATION.

To the People of the Confederate States of America.

An enemy, waging war in a manner violative of the usage of civilized nations, has invaded our country. With presumptuous reliance on superior numbers, he has declared his purpose to reduce us to submission. We struggle to preserve our birthright of constitutional freedom. Our trust is in the justice of our cause and the protection of our God.

Recent disaster has spread gloom over the land, and sorrow sits at the hearthstones of our countrymen; but a people conscious of rectitude and faithfully relying on their Father in Heaven may be cast down, but cannot be dismayed. They may mourn the loss of the martyrs whose lives have been sacrificed in their defense, but they receive this dispensation of Divine Providence with humble submission and reverend faith. And now that our hosts are again going forth to battle, and loving hearts at home are filled with anxious solicitude for their safety, it is meet that the whole people should turn imploringly to their Almighty Father and beseech his all-powerful protection.

To this end, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do issue my proclamation, inviting all the people to unite at their several places of worship, on Friday, the sixteenth day of the present month of May, in humble supplication to Almighty God that he will vouchsafe his blessings on our beloved country; that he will strengthen and protect our armies; that he will watch over and protect our people from the machinations of their enemies; and that he will, in his own good time, restore to us the blessing of peace and security under his sheltering care.

Given under my hand and the seal of the Confederate States, at Richmond, on the third day of May, A.D. 1862.

Jefferson Davis.



ADDRESSES.

ADDRESS.

Executive Office, June 2, 1862.

To the Army of Richmond.

I render to you my grateful acknowledgments for the gallantry and good conduct you displayed in the battles of the 31st of May and 1st instant, and with pride and pleasure recognize the steadiness and intrepidity with which you attacked the enemy in position, captured his advanced intrenchments, several batteries of artillery, and many standards, and everywhere drove him from the open field. At a part of your operations it was my fortune to be present. On no other occasion have I witnessed more of calmness and good order than you exhibited while advancing into the very jaws of death, and nothing could exceed the prowess with which you closed upon the enemy when a sheet of fire was blazing in your faces. In the renewed struggle in which you are on the eve of engaging I ask, and can desire, but a continuance of the same conduct which now attracts the admiration and pride of the loved ones you have left at home. You are fighting for all that is dearest to men; and, though opposed to a foe who disregards many of the usages of civilized war, your humanity to the wounded and the prisoners was the fit and crowning glory to your valor. Defenders of a just cause, may God have you in his holy keeping!

Jefferson Davis.

The general will cause the above to be read to the troops under his command.


ADDRESS.

Richmond, July 5, 1862.

To the Army of Eastern Virginia.

Soldiers: I congratulate you on the series of brilliant victories which, under the favor of Divine Providence, you have lately won, and, as the President of the Confederate States, do heartily tender to you the thanks of the country whose just cause you have so skillfully and heroically served. Ten days ago an invading army, vastly superior to you in numbers and in the material of war, closely beleaguered your capital, and vauntingly proclaimed its speedy conquest. You marched to attack the enemy in his intrenchments with well-directed movements and death-defying valor. You charged upon him in his strong positions, drove him from field to field over a distance of more than 35 miles, and, despite his reinforcements, compelled him to seek safety under cover of his gunboats, where he now lies cowering before the army so lately derided and threatened with entire subjugation. The fortitude with which you have borne toil and privation, the gallantry with which you have entered into each successive battle, must have been witnessed to be fully appreciated, but a grateful people will not fail to recognize your deeds and to bear you in loved remembrance. Well may it be said of you that you have "done enough for glory," but duty to a suffering country and to the cause of constitutional liberty claims from you yet further effort. Let it be your pride to relax in nothing which can promote your future efficiency, your one great object being to drive the invader from your soil and carry your standards beyond the outer boundaries of the Confederacy, to wring from an unscrupulous foe the recognition of your birthright, community independence.

Jefferson Davis.


RESOLUTIONS OF THANKS.

Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are due, and are hereby cordially tendered, to Captain Buchanan and all under his command for their unsurpassed gallantry, as displayed in the recent successful attack upon the naval forces of the enemy in Hampton Roads.

Approved March 12, 1862.


Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are due, and are hereby tendered, to Major General Thomas J. Jackson and the officers and men under his command for gallant and meritorious services in a successful engagement with a greatly superior force of the enemy near Kernstown, Frederick County, Virginia, on the twenty-third day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-two.

Resolved, That these resolutions be communicated by the Secretary of War to Major General Jackson, and by him to his command.

Approved April 9, 1862.


Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of the Congress of the Confederate States are eminently due, and are hereby tendered, to the patriotic women of the Confederacy for the energy, zeal, and untiring devotion which they have manifested in furnishing voluntary contributions to our soldiers in the field, and in the various military hospitals throughout the country.

Approved April 11, 1862.


Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That Congress has learned with gratitude to the Divine Ruler of nations the intelligence of the recent complete and brilliant victory which has been gained by the Army of the Confederate States under the command of Gen. A. S. Johnston over the Federal forces in Tennessee, on the battlefield of Shiloh.

Resolved, That the thanks of Congress are hereby tendered to Gen. G. T. Beauregard and the other surviving officers and privates of that Army for the signal exhibition of skill and gallantry displayed by them on that memorable occasion; and all who contributed to that signal triumph, in the judgment of Congress, are entitled to the gratitude of their country.

Resolved, That the intelligence of the death of General Albert Sidney Johnston, Commander in Chief, when leading the Confederate forces to victory on the sixth of April, in Tennessee, while it affects Congress with profound sorrow, at the same time obscures our joy with a shade of sadness at the loss of an officer so able, skillful, and gallant.

Resolved, That the foregoing resolutions be made known, by appropriate general orders by the Generals in command, to the officers and troops to whom they are addressed, and that they also be communicated to the family of General Johnston.

Approved April 15, 1862.


Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are hereby tendered to Brig. Gen. H. H. Sibley, and to the officers and men under his command, for the complete and brilliant victories achieved over our enemies in New Mexico.

Approved April 16, 1862.


Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are due, and are hereby tendered, to the officers and crews of the Patrick Henry, Jamestown, Teaser, and other vessels engaged, for their gallant conduct and bearing in the naval combat and brilliant victory on the waters of James River, on the 8th and 9th of March, 1862.

Approved April 16, 1862.


Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress be, and they are hereby, given to Major Generals Van Dorn and Price, and the officers and soldiers under their command, for their valor, skill, and good conduct in the battle of Elkhorn, in the State of Arkansas.

Resolved, further, That the Congress has heard with profound grief of the deaths of Generals McCulloch and Mcintosh, who fell in the midst of the battle, gloriously leading their commands against the enemy.

Approved April 21, 1862.



  1. Page 136.
  2. Relating to certain foreign (French) vessels in Chesapeake Bay, and whether these vessels are probably here for the purpose of exporting cotton or tobacco from the Confederate States.
  3. Requesting the President to communicate to Congress copies of all correspondence with Confederate commissioners abroad.
  4. Floyd and Pillow.
  5. See also page 210.
  6. Relating to treaties with Indians.
  7. Port Royal Ferry, S. C.
  8. Relating to purchase and construction of ships and munitions of war, and purchase of vessels abroad.
  9. In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives requesting a report on the plan and construction of the Virginia, the reasons for applying the plan to the Merrimac, and what persons rendered especial aid in designing and building the ship.
  10. See also message of March 11, 1862, page 197.
  11. Omitted.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).