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

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

SECOND SESSION.

MET AT RICHMOND, VA., AUGUST 18, 1862. ADJOURNED OCTOBER 13, 1862.

MESSAGES.

Richmond, August 18, 1862.

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

It is again our fortune to meet for devising measures necessary to the public welfare whilst our country is involved in a desolating war. The sufferings endured by some portions of the people excite the deep solicitude of the Government, and the sympathy thus evoked has been heightened by the patriotic devotion with which these sufferings have been borne. The gallantry and good conduct of our troops, always claiming the gratitude of the country, have been further illustrated on hard-fought fields, marked by exhibitions of individual prowess which can find but few parallels in ancient or modern history. Our Army has not faltered in any of the various trials to which it has been subjected, and the great body of the people has continued to manifest a zeal and unanimity which not only cheer the battle-stained soldier, but give assurance to the friends of constitutional liberty of our final triumph in the pending struggle against despotic usurpation.

The vast army which threatened the capital of the Confederacy has been defeated and driven from the lines of investment, and the enemy, repeatedly foiled in his efforts for its capture, is now seeking to raise new armies on a scale such as modern history does not record, to effect that subjugation of the South so often proclaimed as on the eve of accomplishment.

The perfidy which disregarded rights secured by compact, the madness which trampled on obligations made sacred by every consideration of honor, have been intensified by the malignity engendered by defeat. These passions have changed the character of the hostilities waged by our enemies, who are becoming daily less regardful of the usages of civilized war and the dictates of humanity. Rapine and wanton destruction of private property, war upon noncombatants, murder of captives, bloody threats to avenge the death of an invading soldiery by the slaughter of unarmed citizens, orders of banishment against peaceful farmers engaged in the cultivation of the soil, are some of the means used by our ruthless invaders to enforce the submission of a free people to foreign sway. Confiscation bills of a character so atrocious as to insure, if executed, the utter ruin of the entire population of these States, are passed by their Congress and approved by their Executive. The moneyed obligations of the Confederate Government are forged by citizens of the United States, and publicly advertised for sale in their cities with a notoriety that sufficiently attests the knowledge of their Government, and its complicity in the crime is further evinced by the fact that the soldiers of the invading armies are found supplied with large quantities of these forged notes as a means of despoiling the country people, by fraud, out of such portions of their property as armed violence may fail to reach. Two at least of the generals of the United States are engaged, unchecked by their Government, in exciting servile insurrection, and in arming and training slaves for warfare against their masters, citizens of the Confederacy. Another has been found of instincts so brutal as to invite the violence of his soldiery against the women of a captured city. Yet the rebuke of civilized man has failed to evoke from the authorities of the United States one mark of disapprobation of his acts, nor is there any reason to suppose that the conduct of Benjamin F. Butler has failed to secure from his Government the sanction and applause with which it is known to have been greeted by public meetings and portions of the press of the United States. To inquiries made of the Commander in Chief of the armies of the United States whether the atrocious conduct of some of their military commanders met the sanction of that Government, answer has been evaded on the pretext that the inquiry was insulting, and no method remains for the repression of these enormities but such retributive justice as it may be found possible to execute. Retaliation in kind for many of them is impracticable, for I have had occasion to remark in a former message that under no excess of provocation could our noble-hearted defenders be driven to wreak vengeance on unarmed men, on women, or on children. But stern and exemplary punishment can and must be meted out to the murderers and felons who, disgracing the profession of arms, seek to make of public war the occasion for the commission of the most monstrous crimes. Deeply as we may regret the character of the contest into which we are about to be forced, we must accept it as an alternative which recent manifestations give us little reason to hope can be avoided. The exasperation of failure has aroused the worst passions of our enemies. A large portion of their people, even of their clergymen, now engage in urging an excited populace to the extreme of ferocity, and nothing remains but to vindicate our rights and to maintain our existence by employing against our foe every energy and every resource at our disposal.

I append for your information a copy of the papers exhibiting the action of the Government up to the present time for the repression of the outrages committed on our people. Other measures now in progress will be submitted hereafter.

In inviting your attention to the legislation which the necessities of our condition require, those connected with the prosecution of the war command almost undivided attention. The acts passed at your last session intended to secure the public defense by general enrollment, and to render uniform the rules governing troops in the service, have led to some unexpected criticism that is much to be regretted. The efficiency of the law has been thus somewhat impaired, though it is not believed that in any of the States the popular mind has withheld its sanction from either the necessity or propriety of your legislation. It is only by harmonious as well as zealous action that a government as new as ours, ushered into existence on the very eve of a great war, and unprovided with the material for conducting hostilities on so vast a scale, can fulfill its duties. Upon you who are fully informed of the acts and purposes of the Government, and thoroughly imbued with the feelings and sentiments of the people, must reliance be placed to secure this great object. You can best devise the means for establishing that entire coöperation of the State and Confederate governments which is essential to the well-being of both at all times, but which is now indispensable to their very existence. And if any legislation shall seem to you appropriate for adjusting differences of opinion, it will be my pleasure as well as duty to coöperate in any measure that may be devised for reconciling a just care for the public defense with a proper deference for the most scrupulous susceptibilities of the State authorities.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury will exhibit in detail the operations of that Department. It will be seen with satisfaction that the credit of the Government securities remains unimpaired, and that this credit is fully justified by the comparatively small amount of accumulated debt, notwithstanding the magnitude of our military operations. The legislation of the last session provided for the purchase of supplies with the bonds of the Government, but the preference of the people for Treasury notes has been so marked that legislation is recommended to authorize an increase in the issue of Treasury notes, which the public service seems to require. No grave inconvenience need be apprehended from this increased issue, as the provision of law by which these notes are convertible into 8 per cent bonds forms an efficient and permanent safeguard against any serious depreciation of the currency. Your attention is invited also to the means proposed by the Secretary for facilitating the preparation of these notes and for guarding them against forgery. It is due to our people to state that no manufacture of counterfeit notes exists within our limits, and that they are all imported from the Northern States.

The report of the Secretary of War. which is submitted, contains numerous suggestions for the legislation deemed desirable in order to add to the efficiency of the service. I invite your favorable consideration especially to those recommendations which are intended to secure the proper execution of the conscript law, and the consolidation of companies, battalions, and regiments when so reduced in strength as to impair that uniformity of organization which is necessary in the Army, while an undue burden is imposed on the Treasury. The necessity for some legislation for controlling military transportation on the railroads and improving their present defective condition forces itself upon the attention of the Government, and I trust you will be able to devise satisfactory measures for attaining this purpose. The legislation on the subject of general officers involves the service in some difficulties, which are pointed out by the Secretary, and for which the remedy suggested by him seems appropriate.

In connection with this subject, I am of opinion that prudence dictates some provision for the increase of the Army in the event of emergencies not now anticipated. The very large increase of forces recently called into the field by the President of the United States may render it necessary hereafter to extend the provisions of the conscript law so as to embrace persons between the ages of thirty-five and forty-five years. The vigor and efficiency of our present forces, their condition, and the skill and ability which distinguish their leaders inspire the belief that no further enrollment will be necessary, but a wise foresight requires that if a necessity should be suddenly developed during the recess of Congress requiring increased forces for our defense, means should exist for calling such forces into the field without awaiting the reassembling of the legislative department of the Government.

In the election and appointment of officers for the Provisional Army it was to be anticipated that mistakes would be made and incompetent officers of all grades introduced into the service. In the absence of experience, and with no reliable guide for selection, executive appointments as well as elections have been sometimes unfortunate. The good of the service, the interests of our country, require that some means be devised for withdrawing the commissions of officers who are incompetent for the duties required by their position, and I trust you will find means for relieving the Army of such officers by some mode more prompt and less wounding to their sensibility than the judgment of a court-martial.

Within a recent period we have effected the object so long desired of an arrangement for the exchange of prisoners, which is now being executed by delivery at the points agreed upon, and which will, it is hoped, speedily restore our brave and unfortunate countrymen to their places in the ranks of the Army, from which by the fortune of war they have for a time been separated. The details of this arrangement will be communicated to you in a special report when further progress has been made in their execution.

Of other particulars concerning the operations of the War Department you will be informed by the Secretary in his report and the accompanying documents.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy embraces a statement of the operations and present condition of this branch of the public service, both afloat and ashore; the construction and equipment of armed vessels both at home and abroad; the manufacture of ordnance and ordnance stores; and the establishment of workshops and the development of our resources of coal and iron. Some legislation seems essential for securing crews for vessels. The difficulties now experienced on this point are fully stated in the Secretary's report, and I invite your attention to providing a remedy.

The report of the Postmaster General discloses the embarrassments which resulted in the postal service from the occupation by the enemy of the Mississippi River and portions of the territory of the different States. The measures taken by the Department for relieving these embarrassments as far as practicable are detailed in the report. It is a subject of congratulation that during the ten months which ended on the 31st March last the expenses of the Department were largely decreased, whilst its revenue was augmented, as compared with a corresponding period ending on the 30th June, 1860, when the postal service for these States was conducted under the authority delegated to the United States. Sufficient time has not yet elapsed to determine whether the measures heretofore devised by Congress will accomplish the end of bringing the expenditures of the Department within the limit of its own revenues by the 1st of March next, as required by the Constitution.

I am happy to inform you that in spite of both blandishments and threats, used in profusion by the agents of the Government of the United States, the Indian nations within the Confederacy have remained firm in their loyalty and steadfast in the observance of their treaty engagements with this Government. Nor has their fidelity been shaken by the fact that, owing to the vacancies in some of the offices of agents and superintendents, delay has occurred in the payments of the annuities and allowances to which they are entitled. I would advise some provision authorizing payments to be made by other officers, in the absence of those specially charged by law with this duty.

We have never-ceasing cause to be grateful for the favor with which God has protected our infant Confederacy. And it becomes us reverently to return our thanks and humbly to ask of his bounteousness that wisdom which is needful for the performance of the high trusts with which we are charged.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., August 19, 1862.

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

I herewith transmit for your information the report of the Secretary of the Treasury and accompanying estimates, to which reference was made in my message[1] of yesterday, and invite your careful attention to the statements and recommendations contained in them.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Aug. 22, 1862.

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

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of the Navy, supplementary to his report appended to my message to Congress of the 18th inst., and covering the report of Lieutenant John W. Dunnington, C. S. Navy, of the engagement at St. Charles, on the White River, in the State of Arkansas.

Jefferson Davis.

Richmond, Va., August 22, 1862.

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

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Navy, covering estimates of the amount required to meet a certain contract, to which I invite your careful consideration.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Aug. 26, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, submitting an estimate of the amount required for a purpose specified, and covering a copy of a letter from the Hon. Howell Cobb in reference to the matter.

I recommend an appropriation of the sum, and for the object mentioned.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Aug. 27, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, submitting estimates "of the amount required to defray expenses incurred in detecting forgers of Treasury notes of the Confederate States, and bringing them to justice."

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

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Aug. 28, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, submitting an estimate of the "amount required to refund to the State of North Carolina the excess over her quota paid into the Treasury on account of the war tax of the Confederate States."

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

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Aug. 29, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Surgeon General, containing the information sought by your resolution of the 25th inst., in reference to the Medical Board of Examiners for granting furloughs, its organization and duties.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Sept. 1, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Navy, containing the information sought by your resolution of the 26th ult., asking for a statement of the number of commissioned officers of every grade now in the naval service of the Confederate States; also the number of those appointed from civil life, and those who were heretofore in the naval service of the United States; also the number of such officers now on leave of absence or furlough; and the number now actually engaged in the naval service of the Confederate States.

Jefferson Davis.


To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Navy, containing the information sought by your resolutions of the 25th and 26th ult., asking respectively for "copies of the instructions given to naval officers in reference to the evacuation of Norfolk and New Orleans," and for information upon certain matters pertaining to the construction of the war steamers "Louisiana" and "Mississippi."

Jefferson Davis.

[Received September 1, 1862.]


Executive Office,
Richmond, Va.,
Sept. 2, 1862.

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

I have the gratification of presenting to Congress two dispatches from General Robert E. Lee, commanding the Army of Northern Virginia, communicating the result of the operations north of the Rappahannock. From these dispatches it will be seen that God has again extended his shield over our patriotic Army, and has blessed the cause of the Confederacy with a second signal victory on the field already memorable by the gallant achievements of our troops.

Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the skill and daring of the commanding General who conceived, or the valor and hardihood of the troops who executed, the brilliant movement, whose result is now communicated. After having driven from their intrenchments an enemy superior in numbers, and relieved from siege the city of Richmond, as heretofore communicated,[2] our toil-worn troops advanced to meet another invading army, reënforced not only by the defeated army of General McClellan, but by the fresh corps of Generals Burnside and Hunter. After forced marches, with inadequate transportation, and across streams swollen to unusual height, by repeated combats they turned the position of the enemy, and, forming a junction of their columns, in the face of greatly superior forces, they fought the decisive battle[3] of the 30th, the crowning triumph of their toil and valor.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Sept. 2, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I have the honor to request you to return to me the nominations for appointment in the Army of the Confederate States, submitted on the 25th ult.

Jefferson Davis.


To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit communications from the Secretary of War, in response to your resolutions of the 21st and 29th ult., asking, the one, for a copy of the cartel for the exchange of prisoners recently agreed upon with the enemy, and for information as to the manner in which the enemy has observed it. The other, for copies of the official reports of all the battles and engagements with the enemy which have occurred since the adjournment of Congress.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received September 3, 1862.]


Executive Department,
September 4, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit to your honorable body an estimate of appropriation[4] called for by the Secretary of War.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
September 4, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sir: I have the honor to transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, inclosing two statements, marked A and B, in reply to a resolution of the House of Representatives, requesting information concerning the amount of funds sent abroad to officers or agents of the Government for military and naval purposes, with certain particulars regarding the same.

Very respectfully your obt. servant,

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
Sept. 4, 1862.

To the President of the Senate.

I have the honor to transmit the accompanying communication from the Secretary of War in reply to a resolution of the Senate requesting certain information concerning the appointment and pay of provost marshals.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
September 6, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War in response to resolutions of your body requesting information concerning the prosecution of the work on the railroad for connecting the Richmond and Danville with the North Carolina railroad, and also concerning certain orders said to have been issued by Major General Thomas C. Hindman in the trans-Mississippi Department.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
September 6, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a letter from the Secretary of War, in response to a resolution of the House of Representatives, requesting information relative to arrests, by military authority, of citizens of the Confederate States.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
September 6, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a letter from the Secretary of War, inclosing a communication from the Quartermaster General in response to a resolution of the House of Representatives requesting information relative to the payment of troops. The organization of the Army of the Confederate States gives a paymaster to each regiment, by devolving the payment of troops on the regimental quartermasters, a system by which we avoid at the same time all danger from delay in payment by the absence of the proper officer, as well as the hazard of transporting large sums of money from camp to camp, as would be the case if a corps of officers were employed for the sole purpose of paying the troops. The failures to pay regularly, as required by Regulations, should disappear with the prompt and regular supply of funds to the quartermasters of the different regiments. The ability of the Government to do this it is hoped will increase with the further development of the means of the Treasury Department.

Jefferson Davis.


To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit to your honorable body an estimate of appropriation called for by the Secretary of War.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received September 6, 1862.]


Executive Office,
Richmond,
Sept. 9, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit to your honorable body letters from the Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy in response to the resolution requesting information as to whether the requisitions of the Heads of Bureaus on the Treasury have been promptly met, and if not, the reasons for the delay.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., September 11, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

The circumstances necessarily surrounding an army operating in the presence of an enemy render it inexpedient — next to impossible — to assemble frequent courts-martial, and to detail for them the best officers of the Army. The ordinary attendant of the circumstances referred to is frequent offenses against military discipline and trespass upon the property of individuals inhabiting the country.

To correct these evils, it is believed to be desirable that Congress should give authority to institute a commission to attend each army in the field, to be composed of men whose character and knowledge of the modes of administering justice would give the best assurance for the punishment of crime, the protection of private rights, and the security of the citizens of the country occupied by the enemy. Could courts-martial be assembled as frequently as occasion required, their functions under existing laws being limited to the consideration of offenses defined by the Rules and Articles of War, it will be perceived that a great variety of outrages against private rights might be committed of which a court-martial could not directly take cognizance. Under ordinary circumstances offenders in such cases would be turned over to the civil courts for trial. In a foreign country, or where the courts cannot hold their sessions, this is impossible, and in the case of a marching army would, for obvious reasons, be ineffectual. The witnesses whose testimony is indispensable to conviction would generally follow the march of the army and be out of the reach of the courts.

The powers delegated by the Constitution "to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces," and "to ordain and establish from time to time inferior courts," would seem ample to justify such legislation as is herein recommended, especially as the necessity for the ordinary forms of indictment and trial "for capital and otherwise infamous crimes" is expressly dispensable with by the Constitution "in cases arising in the land or naval forces or in the militia when in actual service in time of war."

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
September 11, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

In compliance with the resolutions of your honorable body of the 20th ult., requesting me to transmit the official reports of all the battles and engagements which have occurred since the adjournment of Congress, including the reports of major generals and brigadier generals engaged, I herewith transmit the report of General Braxton Bragg, of the battle of Shiloh, accompanied by the reports of Generals Withers and Ruggles, and the report of Colonel J. W. Head, commanding a brigade at Fort Donelson: also the report of Brigadier General H. Marshall, of the attack upon the command of General Cox; the report of Major General Huger, of the affair at South Mills; the report of General Ledbetter, of operations on Tennessee River, and at Bridgeport; the report of Brigadier General T. M. Jones, of the evacuation of Pensacola Navy Yard, forts, etc.; the report of Colonel N. B. Forrest, of the evacuation and removal of public property from Nashville; and the report of Major General J. C. Pemberton, of the engagements on James Island.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
Sept. 11, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

In reply to the resolution of your honorable body of the 8th instant, requesting information concerning the detention at certain points of the great Southwestern Mail, I herewith transmit a communication from the Postmaster General.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
September 12, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

Under the first clause of the sixth article of the Constitution, I entertain doubt whether it is intended that the officers either of the Regular or Provisional Army or of the Navy, appointed during the existence of the Provisional Government and confirmed by the Congress, require to be renominated and confirmed by the Senate, and I respectfully request your advice on this point.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
September 15, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

In reply to the inquiry of the Senate, presented in the following resolution of the 13th instant —

"Resolved, That the President be requested to communicate to the Senate whether any soldiers in the Army of the Confederate States have been shot by order of any general officer without trial, according to the rules and regulations for the government of the land forces, and if so, that he will lay before the Senate all the information he has upon the subject, and whether any steps have been taken by the Executive in the matter" —

I have to say that I have received no authentic information in relation to any such transaction as is therein described, and upon inquiry have learned that if any such fact exists it has not been communicated either to the Adjutant General or to the Secretary of War.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., September 15, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

In compliance with the request expressed in your resolution of the 12th inst., I herewith return your resolution of the 8th inst., asking information as to the number of troops furnished by each State to the Confederate Army since the commencement of the war.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Chamber,
Richmond,
September 16th, 1862.

To the House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

I transmit herewith for the information of the House, in secret session, the report prepared by the Secretary of State, in response to the resolution of the House, adopted on the 1st inst.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., September 19th, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information several communications from the Secretary of War, in answer to your resolution of the 21st August, asking copies of the official reports of all the battles fought since the adjournment of Congress.

Jefferson Davis.


[To the House of Representatives.]

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Postmaster General in answer to your resolution of the 13th inst., asking "the reasons which have thus far prevented the carrying of the mails from the States east of the Mississippi to the State of Louisiana, west of that river."

Jefferson Davis.

[Received September 20, 1862.]


[To the House of Representatives.]

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Commissary General in answer to your resolution of the 6th inst., relative to the supply of provisions furnished to the Army of the Peninsula, from the 4th of April to the 3d of May, 1862.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received September 20, 1862.]


[To the House of Representatives.]

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of the Navy, in response to your resolution of the 16th inst., asking the amount required to meet claims upon the Government for vessels and other property seized by the naval and military authorities for the use of the Government. I recommend an appropriation of the amount and for the purpose specified.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received September 22, 1862.]


Richmond, Virginia, Sept. 22, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, covering certain estimates.

I recommend an appropriation of the amounts, and for the purposes specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Virginia, Sept. 23, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration a communication from the Secretary of War, covering an estimate "to supply the deficiencies in the Engineer appropriations for engineering purposes."

I recommend an appropriation of the amount, and for the purposes specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Sept. 23, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War in answer to your resolution of the 17th inst., asking what disposition is made of negroes captured by the enemy.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Virginia, September 23d, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War, in further answer to your resolution of the 21st August, requesting copies of all the reports of engagements with the enemy received since the adjournment of Congress.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
September 24, 1862.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration a communication from the Secretary of War, covering an estimate for a deficiency in the appropriation for ordnance.

I recommend an appropriation of the amount, and for the purpose specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., September 24, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration a communication from the Secretary of War, covering an estimate "of the Commissary General of the sum necessary to purchase the supply of flour for the Army for the ensuing season."

I recommend an appropriation of the amount, and for the purpose specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Sept. 24, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration a communication from the Secretary of the Navy, covering an estimate for "an additional appropriation for the construction and equipment of ironclad, and other vessels abroad."

I recommend an appropriation of the amount, and for the purpose specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Sept. 24, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War, in response to your resolution of the 22d August, in reference to regiments disbanded and consolidated.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., September 24th, 1862.

[To the House of Representatives.]

I herewith transmit for your consideration a communication from the Secretary of War, in reference to the proposed railroad

from Blue Mountain, Alabama, to Rome, Ga., and to which I invite your special attention, because of the importance of this link in our system of railroads in the transportation needful for the public defense.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., September 25th, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War, in further answer to your resolution of the 21st August, asking copies of all reports of all battles received since the adjournment of Congress.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Sept. 25th, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration a communication from the Secretary of War, submitting "estimates to supply deficiencies in the appropriation for the Medical Department of the Army."

I recommend an appropriation of the amount for the purpose specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Sept. 26, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, replying to your resolution of the 16th instant, in reference to the enforcement of the conscript act in the State of Georgia, and stating the action of the Department with regard to the command of the conscript camp in that State.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., September 26, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War in reference to the defense of western and southern rivers, to which I invite your attention.

Jefferson Davis.


[To the House of Representatives.]

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War, in further response to your resolution of the 21st August, asking for copies of the official reports of all engagements with the enemy received since the adjournment of Congress.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received September 26, 1862.]


Richmond, Va., September 27, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War, in response to your resolution of the 10th of April, requesting "a list of the commissioned officers in the Regular and Provisional Armies." This reply is communicated to you as an Executive document, it being deemed imprudent at this time to make it public, because of the information it would give to the enemy if it should chance to reach them.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., September 27, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information a report from the Secretary of War, upon the case of Charles K. Hyde, in response to your resolution of the 20th inst.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Sept. 29, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration a communication from the Secretary of State, in response to your resolution of the 22d inst., submitting "estimates for the necessary expenses of the Department of State for the month of January, 1863."

I recommend an appropriation of the amount for the purpose specified.

Jefferson Davis.


To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration communications from the Secretary of the Navy, submitting estimates in response to your resolutions of the 22d and 23d inst. I recommend appropriations of the sums for the purposes specified.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received September 29, 1862.


Executive Office,
Richmond, Va.,
September 30, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Postmaster General, to which I respectfully call your attention.

The seventh clause of the eighth section of the Constitution directs that after the first of March, 1863, the expenses of the postal service shall be paid out of its revenues.

The interruption of commerce and communication, resulting from the war and the occupation of a portion of our territory by the enemy, have necessarily curtailed, to a considerable extent, the revenues of the Department, and rendered it impossible, while the war continues and these causes exist, to make its revenues cover its expenses without such a reduction of the service as would seriously affect the interests of the people of the Confederate States.

If, in your opinion, the clause of the Constitution above referred to merely directs that Congress shall pass such laws as may be best calculated to make the postal service self-sustaining, and does not prohibit the appropriation of money to meet deficiencies, the question is one of easy solution. But if, on the contrary, you should consider that the constitutional provision is a positive and unqualified prohibition against any appropriation from the Treasury to aid the operations of the Post Office Department, it is for you to determine whether the difficulty can be overcome by a further increase of the rates of postage or by other constitutional means.

Doubtful as to the true intent of the Constitution, I submit the question to the Congress, and ask for it the deliberation which its importance may claim.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Sept. 30, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration a communication from the Secretary of War, submitting estimates of the Quartermaster General.

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

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Sept. 30, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, relative to the war tax of the State of Louisiana.

I recommend an appropriation of the amount for the purpose specified.

Jefferson Davis.


To the House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

The resolution passed by the House in secret session on the 30th of last month has been communicated to me by the clerk of the House, and it is in the following words:

"Resolved, That the President be requested to cause the Department of State to ask for and transmit to this House estimates of the expenses incident to the sending of a diplomatic agent (supplied with such instructions as he shall deem most wise and proper) to the Court of His Majesty the Emperor of Brazil and such other South American States as he shall suppose to be judicious to open diplomatic intercourse with."

I deeply regret that, according to my views of constitutional duty, it is not in my power to comply with the request of the House. The Constitution expressly vests in the Executive Department the discretion of asking for such supplies as are deemed necessary to carry on the Government, and this discretion cannot, with a due regard to the provisions of that instrument, be controlled by the request of the Congress, still less by that of one branch of the Legislative Department.

The 9th paragraph of section 9, article one, of the Constitution, declares that "Congress shall appropriate no money from the Treasury, except by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses, taken by yeas and nays, unless it be asked and estimated for by some one of the Heads of Departments, and submitted to Congress by the President."

It seems too clear for argument that this clause of the Constitution would be completely without effect if the Executive should yield to the request of either House or of both Houses combined, "to cause a Department to ask for and transmit" an estimate for any purpose whatever. The design of the framers of the Constitution in inserting this new clause (not to be found in the Constitution under which the Confederate States were formerly united) is well known. It was determined that on the Executive Department of the Government should rest the responsibility of unwise and extravagant expenditures, while the Legislative Department not only retained the control over the grant of the appropriation, but was vested with power to compel the expenditure of money for purposes not recommended by the Executive, provided a vote of the two Houses, equal to that which is necessary for overruling an Executive veto, could be obtained.

If I should yield my consent to the request of the House now under consideration, the plain effect would be to concur in the establishment of a precedent by which the House might require the expenditure of a sum not asked for by the Head of a Department nor submitted by the President, by a vote of a bare majority instead of the vote of two-thirds by yeas and nays.

While thus unable to comply with the request of the House, so far as to cause the Department of State to ask for and transmit the estimate desired, a statement is submitted herewith for your information of the annual cost of each diplomatic mission sent abroad. It is also proper to add that the number of commissioners already authorized by law, and the amount of appropriations asked for by the Department of State, are sufficient for all the purposes suggested in the resolution without any further legislation on the subject.

Jefferson Davis.

October 1st, 1862. Richmond, Va.


Richmond, Va., Oct. 1, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration several communications from the Secretary of War, submitting estimates for the month of January, 1863.

I recommend appropriation of the sums for the purposes specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Oct. 1, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration a communication from the Secretary of War, in reference to a loan by the Branch Bank of Tennessee to Genl. Hindman.

I recommend an appropriation of the amount for the purpose specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
October 2, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War, submitting "the report of the Adjutant General of the proceedings of courts-martial, in cases of drunkenness."

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Oct. 2, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War, submitting a report of the Commissary General, to which I invite your attention.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., October 2d, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War, in further answer to your resolution of the 21st August, requesting copies of reports of engagements with the enemy received since the adjournment of Congress.

Jefferson Davis.



Richmond, Va., Oct. 2, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Postmaster General, submitting estimates to which I invite your attention.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Oct. 3, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Attorney General, submitting certain estimates.

I recommend an appropriation of the amount for the purpose specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Oct. 3, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, submitting the estimates of the Commissary General for the month of January, 1863.

I recommend an appropriation of the amount for the purpose specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., October 3, 1862.

To the Senate.

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War in response to your resolution of the 26th ultimo, in reference to "the construction of a certain line of railroad in the States of Louisiana and Texas."

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Oct. 4, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War, in response to your resolution of the 9th ult., in reference to the enrollment of persons as conscripts who are physically disabled from discharging the duties of soldiers.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Oct. 4, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, submitting estimates of the appropriations required for the service of the Treasury Department, and for miscellaneous objects for the month of January, 1863.

I recommend an appropriation of the amount for the purpose specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Oct. 6, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration a communication from the Postmaster General, submitting certain estimates.

I recommend an appropriation of the amount for the purposes specified.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
October 8, 1862.

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

The near approach of the day fixed for your adjournment induces me to renew certain recommendations made at the commencement of the session, and for which legislation has not yet provided. The subject of the efficiency of the Army is one of paramount importance, and the letter of the Secretary of War herewith submitted has been elicited by correspondence with the generals of our armies in the field, whose practical experience of the evils resulting from the defects in our present system entitles their opinion to great weight.

An army without discipline and instruction cannot be relied on for purposes of defense, still less for operations in an enemy's country. It is in vain to add men and munitions, unless we can at the same time give to the aggregated mass the character and capacity of soldiers. The discipline and instruction required for its efficiency cannot be imparted without competent officers. No power now exists by law for securing such officers to fill vacancies when elections and promotions fail to accomplish the object.

Extreme cases ought not to furnish a rule, yet some provision should be made to meet evils, even exceptional, in a matter so vitally affecting the safety of our troops. Tender consideration for worthless and incompetent officers is but another name for cruelty toward the brave men who fall sacrifices to these defects of their leaders. It is not difficult to devise a proper mode of obviating this evil. The law authorizes the refusal to promote officers who are found incompetent to fill vacancies, and the promotion of their juniors in their stead; but instances occur in which no officer remaining in a regiment is fit to be promoted to the grade of colonel, and no officer remaining in a company is competent to command it as captain. Legislation providing for the selection in such cases of competent officers from other regiments of the same State affords a ready remedy for this evil, as well as for the case when officers elected are found unfit for the positions to which they may be chosen. This selection can be made in such manner as may seem to Congress most advisable; but this or some other remedy is indispensable for filling numerous vacancies now existing.

While this deficiency of competent officers exists in some cases, there is a large excess in others. Numerous regiments and companies have been so reduced by the casualties of war, by sickness, and other causes as to be comparatively useless under the present organization. There are companies in the Army in which the number of officers exceeds that of privates present for duty, and regiments in which the number of such privates does not exceed that which is required for a single effective company. The cost of supporting the Army, already a very heavy burden on the resources of the country, is thus increased to an extravagant extent. But this is of secondary importance compared with the inefficiency which results from this condition of things. Some legislation which shall provide for the consolidation of companies and regiments when thus reduced in numbers, and where conscripts cannot be obtained from a State in sufficient numbers for filling the ranks, is of pressing necessity, and a deep sense of duty impels me to repeat that no consideration for the officers who may be unfortunately deprived of commands ought or can safely be permitted to obstruct this salutary reform.

It may be proper to remark that the necessity for this consolidation, and the consequent discharging of tried and meritorious officers, will obviously be increased by all legislative action permitting new organizations to be formed of men who, by the provisions of the conscript law, were directed to be incorporated into existing companies and regiments.

Jefferson Davis.


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

I herewith transmit a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury in relation to the fiscal affairs of our Government, and invite for its statements your attention.

The propriety of providing for the payment of every loan or use of Government credit by an adequate tax is too obvious to require argument.

Though the day of payment may be postponed, as, to some extent, in the conduct of great wars, it must, still there must be such assurance of future payment as to maintain the credit of the Government or there will be a consequent depreciation of its currency and a proportionate increase of the burthen which the people must have hereafter to bear.

I trust it will be possible for the wisdom of Congress in some manner to secure the result sought for in the propositions submitted by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Jefferson Davis.

Executive Office, Richmond, October 8th, 1862.


Richmond, Va., October 8, 1862.

To the Senate.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, correcting mistakes in certain nominations recently sent in, to which I invite your special attention.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Oct. 8, 1862.

To the Senate.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, in response to your resolution of the 1st instant, submitting copies of all orders which have been issued from the War Department suspending the writ of habeas corpus.

It will be observed that in some cases, in addition to the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, all civil jurisdiction (with the exceptions specified) was also suspended.

But the criminal jurisdiction of the ordinary courts has been in no instance interfered with; their action in all such cases being regarded as an assistance, and not an obstacle, to the military authorities in accomplishing the purposes of the proclamations.

The authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus having expired by the limitation set in the act approved April 19, 1862, I have only to add that the writ is now nowhere suspended by action of the Executive.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Oct. 10, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, relative to offices created and vacancies occurring during the session of Congress.

It is probable that some of the offices mentioned will be filled before the Congress adjourns. With regard to others, the alternative presented is an executive session of the Senate after the time now fixed for the adjournment of Congress, or the passage of an act such as that suggested by the Secretary of War.

I invite your special attention to the subject.

Jefferson Davis.


Executive Office,
Richmond,
October 10, 1862.

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

The importance, it might properly be said necessity, of a measure which has heretofore been recommended induces me at this time to renew the request for your attention to the want of some provision by which brigadier and major generals may be appointed when, by the casualties of service, commanders of brigades and divisions have become temporarily disabled.

Under the law as it now stands, if a brigadier be wounded the command of a brigade devolves upon the senior colonel, who may or may not be competent for such command, but whose presence is required with his regiment, and most of all under the circumstances usually existing where casualties like that referred to occur.

To illustrate this necessity I will cite an instance of an army corps from which seven brigadiers are now absent, six of whom have been recently wounded. There is an obvious objection to multiplying the number of general officers, but it may be readily removed by providing for the subsequent reduction whenever there are supernumeraries present for duty; and I would suggest that the determination as to who should be discharged might be made to depend upon the inquiry and report of an Army Board, to be organized according to established law and usage.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., October 11, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information communications from the Heads of the several Departments, submitting lists of their clerks and employees, in response to your resolution of the 5th April, asking for the same.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., October 11, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Sec. of War, in response to your resolution of the 9th inst., in reference to the disbanding of Wheat's Battalion of Louisiana.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Oct. 11, 1862.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Heads of the several Departments, in response to your resolution of the 21st April, asking the amount of funds which has been sent abroad, to officers or agents of the Government, for military or naval purposes.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., Oct. 13, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration communications from the Heads of the several Departments, submitting certain estimates.

I recommend appropriations of the sums for the purposes specified.


Jefferson Davis.

To the Senate of the Confederate States of America.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War in response to a resolution of your honorable body inquiring by what authority military officers along the several railroad lines are seizing produce and provisions, the property of private individuals, and prohibiting the transportation of produce and provisions from one State to another.

Jefferson Davis.

Executive Office, Richmond, Va., Oct. 13, 1862.


Richmond, Va., Oct. 13, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit for your consideration a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, submitting certain estimates.

I recommend an appropriation for the purposes of the amount designated.

Jefferson Davis.


VETO MESSAGES.

Executive Office.
Richmond,
October 6, 1862.

To the Senate of the Confederate States of America.

I return, without my approval, the bill which originated in your body, entitled "An Act to amend an act for the establishment and organization of a general staff for the Army of the Confederate States of America," approved February 26th, 1861.

By this act it is provided that "hereafter, the Quartermaster General shall have the rank, pay, and allowances of a brigadier general."

As Congress has passed another act (since the one now under consideration was submitted to me), whereby the increased rank assigned to the Quartermaster General is restricted to the Provisional Army only, I infer that the act, now returned to you, no longer expresses the legislative will, and that it is, therefore, unnecessary to specify the objections which it would, otherwise, have been my duty to submit as the reasons which prevented my approval of the bill.

Jefferson Davis.


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

I return herewith, without my approval, an act which originated in your body, entitled "An Act to amend an act for the establishment and organization of the Provisional Army of the Confederate States of America," approved March 6th, 1861.

The act requires revision, as an error exists in the title, there being no such act on the statute book as that recited in the title. There is also an inconsistency between the first and second sections, which is probably the result of inadvertence or haste. The first section seems to refer to the Permanent Army, and the second to the Provisional Army.

I therefore return the act for such action as you may deem proper to take in relation to the errors above mentioned.

Jefferson Davis.

Executive Office, Richmond, Oct. 6th, 1862.


October 13, 1862.

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

I regret to find myself compelled to return, without my signature, an act which originated in your body entitled "An Act to reorganize and promote the efficiency of the Medical Department of the Provisional Army." I entirely concur in the desire to accomplish the objects contemplated in the act, and have delayed its return in the hope that some additional legislation might obviate the difficulties that would embarrass the operation of the act in its present form.

The act seems to be based on the assumption that there exists a "Medical Department of the Provisional Army," and this fact is not only set forth in the title, but some of the provisions are so worded as to be inoperative by reason of this assumption. Thus the first section provides "that the rank, pay, and allowances of a brigadier general in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States be, and the same are hereby, conferred on the Surgeon General of the same." There exists no such officer as the Surgeon General of the Provisional Army. The plain intent, therefore, of Congress to confer the rank of brigadier general in the Provisional Army on the Surgeon General of the Permanent Army would be defeated unless the language of this section be changed.

According to the provisions of the law as it now stands there is a Medical Department organized for the Permanent Army under the act of the 26th of February, 1861, entitled "An Act for the establishment and organization of a general staff for the Army of the Confederate States of America," the chief of which is styled the Surgeon General. The only legislation providing for medical officers for provisional troops is the ninth section of the act of the 6th of March, 1861, which enacts that when volunteers or militia are called into service of the Confederate States in such numbers that the "officers of the Medical Department, which may be authorized by law for the regular service, are not sufficient for . . . furnishing them with the requisite medical attendance, it shall be lawful for the President to appoint, with the advice and consent of the Congress, as many additional officers of the said Department as the service may require, not exceeding . . . one surgeon and one assistant surgeon for each regiment, . . . to continue in service only so long as their services may be required in connection with the militia or volunteers."

There is an act of 14th of August, 1861, on the same subject, but it confines the appointments authorized by it to such surgeons and assistant surgeons as may be necessary for the various hospitals.

The third and fourth sections of the act now returned to you permit and require the assignment of a number of surgeons and assistant surgeons to military departments, to divisions, to brigades, and to infantry and cavalry regiments largely in excess of the number allowed by the law just quoted, but no authority is given for the appointment of the increased number of medical officers, and it would be impracticable to execute the law unless by adopting the inadmissible construction that an authority to assign officers to duty implies an authority to appoint new officers. Such construction would he the less justifiable in the present instance, because in the second section, in which new officers are authorized, the language of the act directs appointments to be made, but in the third and fourth sections the language is changed and assignments only are permitted.

There is another omission in the act which may give rise to pretension prejudicial to the service. In declaring the rank to which the several medical officers shall be entitled in the Provisional Army, including those of brigadier general, colonels, and lieutenant colonels, no express exclusion is made of their right to command troops, as has wisely been done in the law which regulates their rank in the Regular or Permanent Army. The officers of the medical corps have long evinced the desire to have some right of command of troops in certain contingencies, and this command ought either to be expressly forbidden or the cases in which it may be exercised ought to be distinctly defined.

The chief objection to the bill, however, remains to be stated. The fifth section is designed to effect a most humane and desirable object, but its provisions are inadequate to the end proposed. The purpose of Congress is evidently to provide some additional means for the care of the sick and wounded of armies in the field. At present after each battle the wounded are necessarily left in such temporary quarters as can be procured in the vicinity, but on the movement of the army most of the medical officers attached to it are compelled to follow, and the wounded are thus left with medical aid and attendance entirely insufficient for their relief.

The fifth section of the act provides for an infirmary corps of fifty men for each brigade, officered with one first and one second lieutenant, two sergeants, and two corporals, but no provision whatever is made for any additional medical officers, nor does the act provide for any control by medical officers over these infirmary corps, nor assign to these corps any fixed duties. Unless some provision be made on these points, the present deficiency of surgical aid will continue to exist, and the infirmary corps will necessarily follow the army to which they are attached when it moves after a battle, or, if left behind, will be subject to the orders only of their own officers, who are not medical men — or conflicts will arise between these officers and the medical officers.

Entertaining the conviction, therefore, that this act in its present form, while entailing heavy expense, will fail in the beneficial effects contemplated by Congress, I deem it my duty to return it, without my approval, but with the hope that some additional legislation may be devised to accomplish the purpose contemplated by its passage.

Jefferson Davis.


To the House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

I return herewith, unsigned, an act for the building of a vessel of war, which originated in your body.

This act authorizes the Secretary of the Navy to build, arm, and equip, with the least possible delay, if practicable, by contract with the inventor, otherwise directly by the Government, one vessel of war, on the plan of Robert Cruizebearr, for ocean and river service, drawings of which, with suitable explanations, are deposited in said Department.

On a fair construction of the terms of this act, no discretion is allowed the Secretary to decline building the vessel described, and it will be his duty, if the act becomes a law, to proceed in the construction. The plan proposed by the inventor has been three times examined by different officers of the Navy Department, deemed fully competent to decide on such subjects, none of whom have recommended the construction, but have reported "that it is inexpedient to build such vessels at the present time, when the whole available force and materials at the command of the Department should be applied to the construction of vessels of acknowledged efficiency."

In a report by a number of eminent naval officers, it is further stated "that nothing has been done to prove the alleged claim to the speed, invulnerability, and efficiency of the vessel, in either or all of which we have no confidence."

As it is not probable that Congress was aware of the facts above stated, I deem it my duty to return the bill, in order that you may take such further action on the subject as is deemed by you advisable, and with a full knowledge that the plan proposed is not approved by the Executive Department, charged with the supervision of such subjects.

Jefferson Davis.

[Received October 13, 1862.]


To the Senate of the Confederate States.

I return herewith, without approval, an act which originated in your body entitled "An Act for the relief of the Bible Society of the Confederate States of America."

My objections to this act are of a grave character, and I regret that the very short time allowed to me for its consideration deprives me of any opportunity of stating them as fully as is desirable. The act was presented to me only yesterday. I confine myself, therefore, to a simple enumeration of the objections without attempting to enforce them by argument.

1st. If the sequestration fund is the property of the Government, Congress has no power under the Constitution to bestow it, or any part of it, as a gift.

2nd. If the fund be not the property of the Government, but is held merely as a trust fund, Congress has not the power to divert it from the beneficiaries and grant it to others.

3d. The faith of the Government is expressly and solemnly pledged by the 2nd section of the act of the 15th of February, 1862, that the fund, after being placed in the Treasury, "shall be refunded as required for the purposes aforesaid;" these purposes being the "equal indemnity of all persons loyal citizens of the Confederate States, or persons aiding the same in the present war who have suffered or may hereafter suffer loss or damage by confiscation by the Government of the United States, or by any State Government or pretended Government acknowledging and aiding the Government of the United States in this war, or by such acts of the enemy or other causes incident to the war, as by further act of Congress may be described or defined as affording under the circumstances proper cases for indemnity," etc.

4th. By the act of the 17th of March, 1862, Congress has conferred a title to indemnity out of the sequestration fund of all persons who may voluntarily destroy their property, or whose property may be destroyed by the military authorities to prevent the same from falling into the hands of the enemy; and it is not in the power of Congress to divert or impair this vested right.

5th. The act provides for the carrying out, by the Confederate Bible Society, of the purposes of any bequest that may have been made to the American Bible Society. These purposes are unknown, and may be of a character hostile to the interests and reprobated by the policy of our Government.

Jefferson Davis.

October 13, 1862.


PROCLAMATIONS.

By the President of the Confederate States.

A PROCLAMATION.

To the People of the Confederate States.

Once more upon the plains of Manassas have our armies been blessed by the Lord of Hosts with a triumph over our enemies. It is my privilege to invite you once more to his footstool, not now in the garb of fasting and sorrow, but with joy and gladness, to render thanks for the great mercies received at his hand. A few months since, and our enemies poured forth their invading legions upon our soil. They laid waste our fields, polluted our altars, and violated the sanctity of our homes. Around our capital they gathered their forces, and, with boastful threats, claimed it as already their prize. The brave troops which rallied to its defense have extinguished these vain hopes, and, under the guidance of the same Almighty hand, have scattered our enemies and driven them back in dismay. Uniting these defeated forces and the various armies which had been ravaging our coasts with the army of invasion in Northern Virginia, our enemies have renewed their attempt to subjugate us at the very place where their first effort was defeated, and the vengeance of retributive justice has overtaken the entire host in a second and complete overthrow.

To this signal success accorded to our arms in the East has been graciously added another equally brilliant in the West. On the very day on which our forces were led to victory on the plains of Manassas, in Virginia, the same Almighty arm assisted us to overcome our enemies at Richmond, in Kentucky. Thus, at one and the same time, have the two great hostile armies been stricken down and the wicked designs of our enemies set at naught.

In such circumstances it is meet and right that as a people we should bow down in adoring thankfulness to that gracious God who has been our bulwark and defense, and to offer unto him the tribute of thanksgiving and praise. In his hand is the issue of all events, and to him should we in an especial manner ascribe the honor of this great deliverance.

Now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, do issue this my proclamation setting apart Thursday, the 18th day of September instant, as a day of prayer and thanksgiving to Almighty God, for the great mercies vouchsafed to our people, and more especially for the triumph of our arms at Richmond and Manassas, in Virginia, and at Richmond, in Kentucky; and I do hereby invite the people of the Confederate States to meet on that day at their respective places of public worship, and to unite in rendering thanks and praise to God for these great mercies, and to implore him to conduct our country safely through the perils which surround us, to the final attainment of the blessings of peace and security.

[SEAL.] Given under my hand and the seal of the Confederate States, at Richmond, this fourth day of September, A.D. 1862.

Jefferson Davis.

By the President:

J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of State.


General Orders No. 111.

Adjutant and Inspector General's Office,
Richmond,
December 24, 1862.

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

By the President of the Confederate States.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas a communication was addressed on the 6th day of July last (1862) by General Robert E. Lee, acting under the instructions of the Secretary of War of the Confederate States of America, to Gen. H. W. Halleck, General in Chief of the United States Army, informing the latter that a report had reached this Government that William B. Mumford, a citizen of the Confederate States, had been executed by the United States authorities at New Orleans for having pulled down the United States flag in that city before its occupation by the forces of the United States, and calling for a statement of the facts with a view to retaliation if such an outrage had really been committed under sanction of the authorities of the United States;

And whereas (no answer having been received to said letter), another letter was, on the 2d of August last (1862), addressed by Gen. Lee under my instructions to Gen. Halleck, renewing the inquiry in relation to the said execution of said Mumford, with the information that in the event of not receiving a reply within fifteen days it would be assumed that the fact alleged was true and was sanctioned by the Government of the United States;

And whereas, an answer, dated on the 7th August last (1862), was addressed to General Lee by General H. W. Halleck, the said General in Chief of the Armies of the United States, alleging sufficient cause for failure to make early reply to said letter of 6th of July, asserting that "no authentic information has been received in relation to the execution of Mumford, but measures will be immediately taken to ascertain the facts of the alleged execution," and promising that General Lee should be duly informed thereof;

And whereas, on the 29th of November last (1862) another letter was addressed under my instructions by Robert Ould, Confederate agent for the exchange of prisoners under the cartel between the two Governments, to Lieut. Col. W. H. Ludlow, agent of the United States under said cartel, informing him that the explanations promised in the said letter of General Halleck of 7th of August last had not yet been received, and that if no answer was sent to the Government within fifteen days from the delivery of this last communication it would be considered that an answer is declined;

And whereas, by letter dated on the 3d day of the present month of December the said Lieutenant Colonel Ludlow apprised the said Robert Ould that the above-recited communication of 29th of November had been received and forwarded to the Secretary of War of the United States;

And whereas, this last delay of fifteen days allowed for answer has elapsed and no answer has been received;

And whereas, in addition to the tacit admission resulting from the above refusal to answer I have received evidence fully establishing the truth of the fact that the said William B. Mumford, a citizen of this Confederacy, was actually and publicly executed in cold blood by hanging, after the occupation of the city of New Orleans by the forces under the command of General Benjamin F. Butler, when said Mumford was an unresisting and noncombatant captive, and for no offense even alleged to have been committed by him subsequent to the date of the capture of the said city;

And whereas, the silence of the Government of the United States and its maintaining of said Butler in high office under its authority for many months after his commission of an act that can be viewed in no other light than as a deliberate murder, as well as of numerous other outrages and atrocities hereafter to be mentioned, afford evidence only too conclusive that the said Government sanctions the conduct of said Butler and is determined that he shall remain unpunished for his crimes:

Now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, and in their name, do pronounce and declare the said Benjamin F. Butler to be a felon deserving of capital punishment. I do order that he be no longer considered or treated simply as a public enemy of the Confederate States of America, but as an outlaw and common enemy of mankind, and that in the event of his capture the officer in command of the capturing force do cause him to be immediately executed by hanging; and I do further order that no commissioned officer of the United States taken captive shall be released on parole before exchange until the said Butler shall have met with due punishment for his crimes.

And whereas, the hostilities waged against this Confederacy by the forces of the United States under the command of said Benjamin F. Butler have borne no resemblance to such warfare as is alone permissible by the rules of international law or the usages of civilization, but have been characterized by repeated atrocities and outrages, among the large number of which the following may be cited as examples:

Peaceful and aged citizens, unresisting captives and noncombatants, have been confined at hard labor with balls and chains attached to their limbs, and are still so held in dungeons and fortresses. Others have been subjected to a like degrading punishment for selling medicines to the sick soldiers of the Confederacy.

The soldiers of the United States have been invited and encouraged by general orders to insult and outrage the wives, the mothers, and the sisters of our citizens.

Helpless women have been torn from their homes and subjected to solitary confinement, some in fortresses and prisons and one especially on an island of barren sand under a tropical sun; have been fed with loathsome rations that had been condemned as unfit for soldiers, and have been exposed to the vilest insults.

Prisoners of war who surrendered to the naval forces of the United States on agreement that they should be released on parole have been seized and kept in close confinement.

Repeated pretexts have been sought or invented for plundering the inhabitants of the captured city by fines levied and exacted under threat of imprisoning recusants at hard labor with ball and chain.

The entire population of the city of New Orleans have been forced to elect between starvation, by the confiscation of all their property, and taking an oath against conscience to bear allegiance to the invaders of their country.

Egress from the city has been refused to those whose fortitude withstood the test, even to lone and aged women and to helpless children; and, after being ejected from their homes and robbed of their property, they have been left to starve in the streets or subsist on charity.

The slaves have been driven from the plantations in the neighborhood of New Orleans till their owners would consent to share the crops with the commanding general, his brother Andrew J. Butler, and other officers; and when such consent had been extorted the slaves have been restored to the plantations and there compelled to work under the bayonets of guards of U. S. soldiers.

Where this partnership was refused armed expeditions have been sent to the plantations to rob them of everything that was susceptible of removal, and even slaves too aged or infirm for work have in spite of their entreaties been forced from the homes provided by the owners and driven to wander helplessly on the highway.

By a recent general order (No. 91) the entire property in that part of Louisiana lying west of the Mississippi River has been sequestrated for confiscation, and officers have been assigned to duty with orders to "gather up and collect the personal property and turn over to the proper officers upon their receipts such of said property as may be required for the use of the U. S. Army; to collect together all the other personal property and bring the same to New Orleans and cause it to be sold at public auction to the highest bidders" — an order which if executed condemns to punishment by starvation at least a quarter of a million human beings of all ages, sexes, and conditions; and of which the execution, although forbidden to military officers by the orders of President Lincoln, is in accordance with the confiscation law of our enemies which he has directed to be enforced through the agency of civil officials. And finally the African slaves have not only been excited to insurrection by every license and encouragement, but numbers of them have actually been armed for a servile war — a war in its nature far exceeding in horrors the most merciless atrocities of the savages.

And whereas, the officers under the command of the said Butler have been in many instances active and zealous agents in the commission of these crimes, and no instance is known of the refusal of any one of them to participate in the outrages above narrated;

And whereas, the President of the United States has by public and official declaration signified not only his approval of the effort to excite servile war within the Confederacy, but his intention to give aid and encouragement thereto if these independent States shall continue to refuse submission to a foreign power after the 1st day of January next, and has thus made known that all appeals to the laws of nations, the dictates of reason, and the instincts of humanity would be addressed in vain to our enemies, and that they can be deterred from the commission of these crimes only by the terms of just retribution:

Now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, and acting by their authority, appealing to the Divine Judge in attestation that their conduct is not guided by the passion of revenge, but that they reluctantly yield to the solemn duty of repressing by necessary severity crimes of which their citizens are the victims, do issue this my proclamation, and by virtue of my authority as Commander in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States do order —

1. That all commissioned officers in the command of said Benjamin F. Butler be declared not entitled to be considered as soldiers engaged in honorable warfare, but as robbers and criminals deserving death, and that they and each of them be, whenever captured, reserved for execution.

2. That the private soldiers and noncommissioned officers in the army of said Butler be considered as only the instruments used for the commission of the crimes perpetrated by his orders and not as free agents; that they therefore be treated, when captured, as prisoners of war with kindness and humanity and be sent home on the usual parole that they will in no manner aid or serve the United States in any capacity during the continuance of this war unless duly exchanged.

3. That all negro slaves captured in arms be at once delivered over to the executive authorities of the respective States to which they belong, to be dealt with according to the laws of said States.

4. That the like orders be executed in all cases with respect to all commissioned officers of the United States when found serving in company with armed slaves in insurrection against the authorities of the different States of this Confederacy.

[L. S.] In testimony whereof I have signed these presents and caused the seal of the Confederate States of America to be affixed thereto at the city of Richmond on this 23d day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.

Jeff'n Davis.

By the President:

J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of State.

II. Officers of the Army are charged with the observance and enforcement of the foregoing orders of the President. Where the evidence is not full or the case is for any reason of a doubtful character it will be referred through this office for the decision of the War Department.

By order:

S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General.


RESOLUTIONS OF THANKS.

Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are due, and are hereby presented, to Captain Raphael Semmes, and the officers and crew of the steamer Sumter, under his command, for gallant and meritorious services rendered by them in seriously injuring the enemy's commerce upon the high seas, thereby setting an example reflecting honor upon our infant Navy which cannot be too highly appreciated by Congress and the people of the Confederate States.

Approved September 9, 1862.


Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are eminently due, and are hereby most cordially tendered, to Commander E. Farrand, senior officer in command of the combined naval and military forces engaged, and Captain A. Drewry, senior military officer, and the officers and men under their command, for the great and signal victory achieved over the naval forces of the United States in the engagement on the fifteenth day of May, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, at Drewry's Bluff; and the gallantry, courage, and endurance in that protracted fight, which achieved a victory over the fleet of ironclad gunboats of the enemy, entitle all who contributed thereto to the gratitude of the country.

Resolved further, That the President be requested, in appropriate general orders, to communicate the foregoing resolution to the officers and men to whom it is addressed.

Approved Sept. 16, 1862.


Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are hereby cordially tendered to Lieutenant Isaac N. Brown, and all under his command, for their signal exhibition of skill and gallantry on the fourteenth day of July last, on the Mississippi River, near Vicksburg, in the brilliant and successful engagement of the sloop of war Arkansas with the enemy's fleet.

Approved Oct. 2, 1862.



  1. See page 235.
  2. See page 233.
  3. Second battle of Manassas.
  4. For Indian affairs.

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