A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I/Provisional Congress, Fifth Session
MET AT RICHMOND, VA., NOVEMBER 18, 1861. ADJOURNED FEBRUARY 17, 1862.
Richmond, November 18, 1861.
The Congress of the Confederate States.
The few weeks which have elapsed since your adjournment have brought us so near the close of the year that we are now able to sum up its general results. The retrospect is such as should fill the hearts of our people with gratitude to Providence for his kind interposition in their behalf. Abundant yields have rewarded the labor of the agriculturist, whilst the manufacturing industry of the Confederate States was never so prosperous as now. The necessities of the times have called into existence new branches of manufactures and given a fresh impulse to the activity of those heretofore in operation. The means of the Confederate States for manufacturing the necessaries and comforts of life within themselves increase as the conflict continues, and we are gradually becoming independent of the rest of the world for the supply of such military stores and munitions as are indispensable for war.
The operations of the Army, soon to be partially interrupted by the approaching winter, have afforded a protection to the country and shed a luster upon its arms through the trying vicissitudes of more than one arduous campaign which entitle our brave volunteers to our praise and our gratitude. From its commencement to the present period the war has been enlarging its proportions and expanding its boundaries so as to include new fields. The conflict now extends from the shores of the Chesapeake to the confines of Missouri and Arizona; yet sudden calls from the remotest points for military aid have been met with promptness enough not only to avert disaster in the face of superior numbers, but also to roll back the tide of invasion from the border.
When the war commenced the enemy were possessed of certain strategic points and strong places within the Confederate States. They greatly exceeded us in numbers, in available resources, and in the supplies necessary for war. Military establishments had been long organized and were complete; the Navy, and for the most part the Army, once common to both, were in their possession. To meet all this we had to create not only an Army in the face of war itself, but also the military establishments necessary to equip and place it in the field. It ought indeed to be a subject of gratulation that the spirit of the volunteers and the patriotism of the people have enabled us, under Providence, to grapple successfully with these difficulties. A succession of glorious victories at Bethel, Bull Run, Manassas, Springfield, Lexington, Leesburg, and Belmont has checked the wicked invasion which greed of gain and the unhallowed lust of power brought upon our soil, and has proved that numbers cease to avail when directed against a people fighting for the sacred right of self-government and the privileges of freemen. After more than seven months of war the enemy have not only failed to extend their occupancy of our soil, but new States and Territories have been added to our Confederacy, while, instead of their threatened march of unchecked conquest, they have been driven, at more than one point, to assume the defensive, and, upon a fair comparison between the two belligerents as to men, military means, and financial condition, the Confederate States are relatively much stronger now than when the struggle commenced.
Since your adjournment the people of Missouri have conducted the war in the face of almost unparalleled difficulties with a spirit and success alike worthy of themselves and of the great cause in which they are struggling. Since that time Kentucky, too, has become the theater of active hostilities. The Federal forces have not only refused to acknowledge her right to be neutral, and have insisted upon making her a party to the war, but have invaded her for the purpose of attacking the Confederate States. Outrages of the most despotic character have been perpetrated upon her people; some of her most eminent citizens have been seized and borne away to languish in foreign prisons, without knowing who were their accusers or the specific charges made against them, while others have been forced to abandon their homes, families, and property, and seek a refuge in distant lands.
Finding that the Confederate States were about to be invaded through Kentucky, and that her people, after being deceived into a mistaken security, were unarmed and in danger of being subjugated by the Federal forces, our armies were marched into that State to repel the enemy and prevent their occupation of certain strategic points which would have given them great advantages in the contest — a step which was justified not only by the necessities of self-defense on the part of the Confederate States, but also by a desire to aid the people of Kentucky. It was never intended by the Confederate Government to conquer or coerce the people of that State; but, on the contrary, it was declared by our generals that they would withdraw their troops if the Federal Government would do likewise. Proclamation was also made of the desire to respect the neutrality of Kentucky and the intention to abide by the wishes of her people as soon as they were free to express their opinions. These declarations were approved by me, and I should regard it as one of the best effects of the march of our troops into Kentucky if it should end in giving to her people liberty of choice and a free opportunity to decide their own destiny according to their own will.
The Army has been chiefly instrumental in prosecuting the great contest in which we are engaged, but the Navy has also been effective in full proportion to its means. The naval officers, deprived to a great extent of an opportunity to make their professional skill available at sea, have served with commendable zeal and gallantry on shore and upon inland waters, further detail of which will be found in the reports of the Secretaries of the Navy and War. In the transportation of the mails many difficulties have arisen, which will be found fully developed in the report of the Postmaster General. The absorption of the ordinary means of transportation for the movements of troops and military supplies; the insufficiency of the rolling stock of railroads for the accumulation of business resulting both from military operations and the obstruction of water communication by the presence of the enemy's fleet; the failure, and even refusal, of contractors to comply with the terms of their agreements; the difficulties inherent in inaugurating so vast and complicated a system as that which requires postal facilities for every town and village in a territory so extended as ours, have all combined to impede the best-directed efforts of the Postmaster General, whose zeal, industry, and ability have been taxed to the utmost extent. Some of these difficulties can only be overcome by time and an improved condition of the country upon the restoration of peace, but others may be remedied by legislation, and your attention is invited to the recommendations contained in the report of the head of that Department.
The condition of the Treasury will doubtless be a subject of anxious inquiry on your part. I am happy to say that the financial system already adopted has worked well so far, and promises good results for the future. To the extent that Treasury notes may be issued the Government is enabled to borrow money without interest, and thus facilitate the conduct of the war. This extent is measured by the portion of the field of circulation which these notes can be made to occupy. The proportion of the field thus occupied depends again upon the amount of the debts for which they are receivable; and when dues, not only to the Confederate and State governments, but also to corporations and individuals, are payable in this medium, a large amount of it may be circulated at par. There is every reason to believe that the Confederate Treasury note is fast becoming such a medium. The provision that these notes shall be convertible into Confederate stock bearing 8 per cent interest, at the pleasure of the holder, insures them against a depreciation below the value of that stock, and no considerable fall in that value need be feared so long as the interest shall be punctually paid. The punctual payment of this interest has been secured by the act passed by you at the last session, imposing such a rate of taxation as must provide sufficient means for that purpose.
For the successful prosecution of this war it is indispensable that the means of transporting troops and military supplies be furnished, as far as possible, in such manner as not to interrupt the commercial intercourse between our people nor place a check on their productive energies. To this end the means of transportation from one section of our country to the other must be carefully guarded and improved. And this should be the object of anxious care on the part of State and Confederate governments, so far as they may have power over the subject.
We have already two main systems of through transportation from the north to the south — one from Richmond along the seaboard; the other through Western Virginia to New Orleans. A third might be secured by completing a link of about forty miles between Danville, in Virginia, and Greensboro, in North Carolina. The construction of this comparatively short line would give us a through route from north to south in the interior of the Confederate States and give us access to a population and to military resources from which we are now in great measure debarred. We should increase greatly the safety and capacity of our means for transporting men and military supplies. If the construction of this road should, in the judgment of Congress as it is in mine, be indispensable for the most successful prosecution of the war, the action of the Government will not be restrained by the constitutional objection which would attach to a work for commercial purposes, and attention is invited to the practicability of securing its early completion by giving the needful aid to the company organized for its construction and administration.
If we husband our means and make a judicious use of our resources, it would be difficult to fix a limit to the period during which we could conduct a war against the adversary whom we now encounter. The very efforts which he makes to isolate and invade us must exhaust his means, whilst they serve to complete the circle and diversify the productions of our industrial system. The reconstruction which he seeks to effect by arms becomes daily more and more palpably impossible. Not only do the causes which induced us to separate still exist in full force, but they have been strengthened, and whatever doubt may have lingered in the minds of any must have been completely dispelled by subsequent events. If instead of being a dissolution of a league it were indeed a rebellion in which we are engaged, we might find ample vindication for the course we have adopted in the scenes which are now being enacted in the United States. Our people now look with contemptuous astonishment on those with whom they had been so recently associated. They shrink with aversion from the bare idea of renewing such a connection. When they see a President making war without the assent of Congress; when they behold judges threatened because they maintain the writ of habeas corpus so sacred to freemen; when they see justice and law trampled under the armed heel of military authority, and upright men and innocent women dragged to distant dungeons upon the mere edict of a despot; when they find all this tolerated and applauded by a people who had been in the full enjoyment of freedom but a few months ago — they believe that there must be some radical incompatibility between such a people and themselves. With such a people we may be content to live at peace, but the separation is final, and for the independence we have asserted we will accept no alternative.
The nature of the hostilities which they have waged against us must be characterized as barbarous wherever it is understood. They have bombarded undefended villages without giving notice to women and children to enable them to escape, and in one instance selected the night as the period when they might surprise them most effectually whilst asleep and unsuspicious of danger. Arson and rapine, the destruction of private houses and property, and injuries of the most wanton character, even upon noncombatants, have marked their forays along our borders and upon our territory. Although we ought to have been admonished by these things that they were disposed to make war upon us in the most cruel and relentless spirit, yet we were not prepared to see them fit out a large naval expedition, with the confessed purpose not only to pillage, but to incite a servile insurrection in our midst. If they convert their soldiers into incendiaries and robbers, and involve us in a species of war which claims noncombatants, women, and children as its victims, they must expect to be treated as outlaws and enemies of mankind. There are certain rights of humanity which are entitled to respect even in war, and he who refuses to regard them forfeits his claims, if captured, to be considered as a prisoner of war, but must expect to be dealt with as an offender against all law, human and divine.
But not content with violating our rights under the law of nations at home, they have extended these injuries to us within other jurisdictions. The distinguished gentlemen whom, with your approval at the last session, I commissioned to represent the Confederacy at certain foreign courts, have been recently seized by the captain of a U. S. ship of war on board a British steamer on their voyage from the neutral Spanish port of Havana to England. The United States have thus claimed a general jurisdiction over the high seas, and entering a British ship, sailing under its country's flag, violated the rights of embassy, for the most part held sacred even amongst barbarians, by seizing our ministers whilst under the protection and within the dominions of a neutral nation. These gentlemen were as much under the jurisdiction of the British Government upon that ship and beneath its flag as if they had been on its soil, and a claim on the part of the United States to seize them in the streets of London would have been as well founded as that to apprehend them where they were taken. Had they been malefactors and citizens even of the United States they could not have been arrested on a British ship or on British soil, unless under the express provisions of a treaty and according to the forms therein provided for the extradition of criminals.
But rights the most sacred seem to have lost all respect in their eyes. When Mr. Faulkner, a former minister of the United States to France, commissioned before the secession of Virginia, his native State, returned in good faith to Washington to settle his accounts and fulfill all the obligations into which he had entered, he was perfidiously arrested and imprisoned in New York, where he now is. The unsuspecting confidence with which he reported to his Government was abused, and his desire to fulfill his trust to them was used to his injury. In conducting this war we have sought no aid and proposed no alliances offensive and defensive abroad. We have asked for a recognized place in the great family of nations, but in doing so we have demanded nothing for which we did not offer a fair equivalent. The advantages of intercourse are mutual amongst nations, and in seeking to establish diplomatic relations we were only endeavoring to place that intercourse under the regulation of public law. Perhaps we had the right, if we had chosen to exercise it, to ask to know whether the principle that "blockades to be binding must be effectual," so solemnly announced by the great powers of Europe at Paris, is to be generally enforced or applied only to particular parties. When the Confederate States, at your last session, became a party to the declaration reaffirming this principle of international law, which has been recognized so long by publicists and governments, we certainly supposed that it was to be universally enforced. The customary law of nations is made up of their practice rather than their declarations; and if such declarations are only to be enforced in particular instances at the pleasure of those who make them, then the commerce of the world, so far from being placed under the regulation of a general law, will become subject to the caprice of those who execute or suspend it at will. If such is to be the course of nations in regard to this law, it is plain that it will thus become a rule for the weak and not for the strong.
Feeling that such views must be taken by the neutral nations of the earth, I have caused the evidence to be collected which proves completely the utter inefficiency of the proclaimed blockade of our coast, and shall direct it to be laid before such governments as shall afford us the means of being heard. But, although we should be benefited by the enforcement of this law so solemnly declared by the great powers of Europe, we are not dependent on that enforcement for the successful prosecution of the war. As long as hostilities continue the Confederate States will exhibit a steadily increasing capacity to furnish their troops with food, clothing, and arms. If they should be forced to forego many of the luxuries and some of the comforts of life, they will at least have the consolation of knowing that they are thus daily becoming more and more independent of the rest of the world. If in this process labor in the Confederate States should be gradually diverted from those great Southern staples which have given life to so much of the commerce of mankind into other channels, so as to make them rival producers instead of profitable customers, they will not be the only or even the chief losers by this change in the direction of their industry. Although it is true that the cotton supply from the Southern States could only be totally cut off by the subversion of our social system, yet it is plain that a long continuance of this blockade might, by a diversion of labor and an investment of capital in other employments, so diminish the supply as to bring ruin upon all those interests of foreign countries which are dependent on that staple. For every laborer who is diverted from the culture of cotton in the South, perhaps four times as many elsewhere, who have found subsistence in the various employments growing out of its use, will be forced also to change their occupation.While the war which is waged to take from us the right of self-government can never attain that end, it remains to be seen how far it may work a revolution in the industrial system of the world, which may carry suffering to other lands as well as to our own. In the meantime we shall continue this struggle in humble dependence upon Providence, from whose searching scrutiny we cannot conceal the secrets of our hearts, and to whose rule we confidently submit our destinies. For the rest we shall depend upon ourselves. Liberty is always won where there exists the unconquerable will to be free, and we have reason to know the strength that is given by a conscious sense not only of the magnitude but of the righteousness of our cause.
Richmond, November 25, 1861.
To the Congress of the Confederate States.
I transmit to you for your consideration two acts passed by the General Assembly of Missouri on the 31st of last October, the one entitled "An Act declaring the political ties heretofore existing between the State of Missouri and the United States of America dissolved;" the other entitled "An Act ratifying the Constitution of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America." Together with these I send a letter from Governor C. F. Jackson, of Missouri, addressed to myself and dated November 5, 1861.An act of the Confederate Congress, approved August 20, 1861, in reference to Missouri, provided that when the "Constitution for the Provisional Government of the Confederate States shall be adopted and ratified by the properly and legally constituted authorities of said State, and the Governor of said State shall transmit to the President of the Confederate States an authentic copy of the proceedings touching said adoption and ratification by said State of said Provisional Constitution, upon the receipt thereof the President, by proclamation, shall announce the fact." It was also declared by this act that upon a proclamation thus made the admission of the said State into this Confederacy shall be complete "without any further proceedings on the part of Congress." I am thus empowered to judge as to the authorities in the State of Missouri which are properly and legally constituted to adopt and ratify the Constitution for the Provisional Government of the Confederate States. I am also authorized without further consultation with Congress to proclaim the admission of the State. Had the case been thus presented to me during the recess of Congress, I should have deemed it my duty to issue the proclamation under this power; but as these acts are transmitted during the session of Congress, I feel it to be due to you, in a matter of so much importance as the admission of a new State into the Confederacy, to lay before you the acts to which I have referred, that you may take such action upon them as in your judgment may be necessary and proper. I also submit to you, for your consideration and action in relation thereto, a copy of a convention between the Confederate States and the State of Missouri which was concluded and signed by the commissioners of both parties at the city of Richmond, on the 31st day of October, 1861.
November 25, 1861.
Hon. Howell Cobb, President of the Congress.I have the honor herewith to transmit a communication from the Provisional Governor of Kentucky informing me of the appointment of commissioners on the part of that State to treat with the Government of the Confederate States of America for the recognition of said State and its admission into the Confederacy. Also a communication from the president and members of the convention which declared the separation of Kentucky from the United States and adopted the provisional government as therein recited. Two of the three commissioners thus appointed have presented their credentials and submitted a proposition to enter upon negotiations for the admission of the State of Kentucky into the Confederacy. Before entering upon such negotiation I have deemed it proper to lay the case before Congress and ask its advice. The history of this controversy involving the State of Kentucky is so well known to the Congress that it is deemed unnecessary to enter here into a statement of the various stages through which it has passed. It may, however, be proper to advert to the fact that in every form in which the question has been presented to the people of Kentucky we have sufficient evidence to assure us that by a large majority their will has been manifested to unite their destinies with the Southern States whenever, despairing of the preservation of the Union, they should be required to choose between association with the North or the South. In both the communications presented will be found a powerful exposition of the misrepresentation of the people by the government of Kentucky, and it has led me to the conclusion that the revolution in which they are engaged offered the only remedy within their reach against usurpation and oppression, to which it would be a reflection upon that gallant people to suppose that they would tamely submit. That this proceeding for the admission of Kentucky into the Confederacy is wanting in the formality which characterized that of the States which seceded by the action of their organized government is manifested — indeed, admitted — by terming it revolutionary. This imposes the necessity for examining the evidence to establish the fact that the popular will is in favor of admission of the State into the Confederacy. To this end I refer the Congress to the commissioners who have presented to me many facts which (if opportunity be afforded them) they will no doubt as freely communicate to the Congress. The conclusion at which I have arrived is that there is enough of merit in the application to warrant a disregard of its irregularity; that it is the people — that is to say, the State — who seek to confederate with us; that though embarrassed they cannot rightfully be controlled by a Government which violates its obligations and usurps powers in derogation of the liberty which it was instituted to preserve; and that, therefore, we may rightfully recognize the provisional government of Kentucky and under its auspices admit the State into the Confederacy. In reaching this conclusion I have endeavored to divest myself of the sentiments which strongly attract me toward that State, and to regard considerations, military and political, subordinate to propriety and justice in the determination of the question. I now invite the early attention of Congress that I may be guided by its advice in my action.
Richmond, November 27, 1861.
To the Hon. President of the Congress.Sir: I herewith transmit to the Congress a communication from the Hon. Attorney-General, with the report of the Superintendent of Public Printing, asking for certain appropriations therein mentioned.
Richmond, Va., November 27, 1861.
To the President of the Congress, Hon. Howell Cobb.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the resolution requesting me "to communicate to Congress the reports of all battles not heretofore communicated to Congress or published in full to the country," and to reply that copies of all such reports have been prepared to accompany the report of the Secretary of War, to which it was supposed proper to append them as documents. I hope very soon to be able to transmit the report of the Secretary of War with all the documents which usually and properly attend it, those specially called for, included.
Richmond, November 30, 1861.
To the Hon. President of the Congress.I herewith transmit a communication from the Hon. Secretary of War, and recommend it to the favorable consideration of the Congress.
Richmond, December 3, 1861.
To the Hon. President of the Congress.Sir: In response to the resolution of the Congress of the 28th Nov. ulto., inquiring "whether any restrictions (and if so, what) have been placed upon vessels leaving the ports of the Confederate States other than those imposed by law, and if any such have been imposed, by what authority," I herewith transmit copies of letters furnished by the War Department, marked "A, B, C, and D," which will show all the action taken on the subject of inquiry and that no restrictions have been imposed other than those incident to a state of war and which the public defense, as it was believed, not only justified but demanded. It will be noted that the instructions were given to an officer commanding the defensive line of a port threatened by the enemy's fleet and related to articles usually recognized as contraband of war.
Richmond, December 4, 1861.
To the Congress of the Confederate States.
The nominations sent to the Congress at the last session not having been acted on, I respectfully request that they be returned, that they may be replaced by fuller and more perfect lists prepared for submission to your action at the present session.
To the Congress of the Confederate States.
I herewith communicate to Congress an act of the provisional government of Kentucky to appoint a commissioner to the Confederate States of America on the subject of banks; and also the commission of John D. Morris, Esq., who has been duly accredited to me as the commissioner appointed under said act.
It appears from the terms of said act that various banks in Kentucky have, in violation of the State Constitution, at the dictation of foreign military power, contributed large sums of money to assist in the subjugation of the people of Kentucky. That the State of Kentucky is a stockholder in said banks, the stock having been purchased with the funds raised by taxation of all the people, and is entitled to control the said funds, and to prevent their being used for the subjugation of her people.
To prevent such injustice the act authorizes the Governor to appoint a commissioner to proceed to the Capital of the Confederate States to confer with the proper authorities as to the most practicable manner of securing all moneys and other assets of said banks; and the Confederate States are requested to coöperate with said commissioner in securing said moneys and assets.
In pursuance with the request of the provisional government of Kentucky I submit the matter to your consideration and invite such coöperation as you may deem it advisable to afford.
Richmond, Va., December 11, 1861.
Richmond, December 12, 1861.
To the Congress of the Confederate States.
I submit for your constitutional action treaties recently made with the Chickasaw and Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee tribes of Indians. In pursuance of a resolution passed by Congress the 5th day of March, 1861, I appointed Albert Pike, a citizen of Arkansas, commissioner of this Government to all the Indian tribes west of Arkansas and south of Kansas. His powers and duties were not defined in that resolution, but on the 21st of May, 1861, Congress passed "An Act for the protection of certain Indian tribes," by which the general policy of Congress in reference to those tribes was more fully declared. Considering this act as a declaration by Congress of our future policy in relation to those Indians, a copy of that act was transmitted to the commissioner and he was directed to consider it as his instructions in the contemplated negotiation.
The general policy of that act is the basis of the treaties herewith submitted; but in relation to pecuniary obligations there is a material departure, which will be more fully referred to in its appropriate connection. The general provisions of all the treaties are similar, and in each the Confederate States assume the guardianship over the tribe and become responsible for all the obligations to the Indians imposed by former treaties on the Government of the United States. Important modifications are proposed in favor of the respective local governments of these Indians, to which your special attention is invited. That their advancement in civilization justified an enlargement of their power in that regard will scarcely admit of a doubt; but whether the proposed concessions in favor of their local governments are within the bounds of a wise policy may well claim your serious consideration. In this connection your attention is specially invited to the clauses giving to certain tribes the unqualified right of admission as a State into the compact of the Confederacy, and in the meantime allowing each of these tribes to have a delegate in Congress. These provisions are regarded not only as impolitic but unconstitutional, it not being within the limits of the treatymaking power to admit a State or to control the House of Representatives in the matter of admission to its privileges. I recommend that the former provision be rejected, and that the latter be so modified as to leave the question to the future action of Congress; and also do recommend the rejection of those articles in the treaties which confer upon Indians the right to testify in the State courts, believing that the States have the power to decide that question, each for itself, independently of any action of the Confederate Government.
The pecuniary obligations of these treaties are of great importance. Apart from the annuities secured to them by former treaties, and which we are to assume by those now submitted, these tribes have large permanent funds in the hands of the Government of the United States as their trustee. These funds may be divided into three classes: First. Money which the Government of the United States stipulated to invest in its own stocks or stocks of the States, and which has been partly invested in its own stocks and partly uninvested, remains in its Treasury, but upon which it is bound to pay interest. Second. Funds invested in the stocks of States not members of this Confederacy. Third. Money invested in stocks of States now members of this Confederacy. These three classes include all the important pecuniary obligations involved in these treaties, except interest collected by the Federal Government and not paid over to the Indians and arrearage of annual payments due under existing treaties; to which exceptions a further notice will be given. By the treaties now submitted to you the first and second classes are absolutely assumed by this Government; but this Government only undertakes as trustee to collect the third class from the States which owe the money and pay over the amounts to the Indians when collected. It is fortunate for the Indians and ourselves that the amounts embraced in classes one and two are relatively small, and the obligations incurred by their assumption cannot be onerous, as the amount due by States of the Confederacy on account of investments in the funds of Northern Indians considerably exceeds the amount to be assumed under this provision of the treaties. We thereby have the means to compel the Government of the United States to do justice to the Indians within the jurisdiction of the Confederate States, or to indemnify ourselves for its breach of faith.
By the treaty with the Cherokees we undertake to advance $150,000, and the interest of $50,000 for educational purposes on what are known as the Cherokee neutral lands, lying between the State of Kansas and the Cherokee Territory, for which the Indians paid the United States Government $500,000, and which lands we guarantee to the Indians against the hazard of being lost by the fortune of war or ceded by treaty of peace. I herewith submit to you estimates of the entire pecuniary obligations assumed by these treaties, in tabular exhibits A and B. They are generally stated with great minuteness in the treaties, but I have caused them to be abstracted and put in tabular form for more convenient reference. I also submit to you the report of Albert Pike, the commissioner, which contains a history of his negotiations and submits his reasons for a departure from his instructions in relation to the pecuniary obligations to be incurred. In view of the circumstances by which we are surrounded, the great importance of preserving peace with the Indians on the frontier of Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri, and, not least, because of the spirit these tribes have manifested in making common cause with us in the war now existing, I recommend the assumption of the stipulated pecuniary obligations, and, with the modifications herein suggested, that the treaties submitted be ratified.
Richmond, December 16, 1861.
To the Hon. President of the Congress.
Sir: I herewith transmit to the Congress the report of the Hon. Secretary of War, with accompanying papers.
To the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States.
I herewith transmit a copy of a communication from Mr. William S. Ashe urging the completion of certain railroads as necessary for the proper transportation of troops and military stores in the exigencies of the present war. I also transmit a copy of a communication from Mr. E. Fontaine, President of the Central Railroad of Virginia, urging the completion of twenty miles of the Covington and Ohio Railroad upon consideration of military necessity.
I communicate to you with these letters a series of resolutions adopted at a convention of railroad presidents, held in Richmond on the 6th of December, asking for the assistance of the Confederate Government in procuring certain supplies, which are indispensable to the railroad system of the country.
That certain appropriations which otherwise could not be constitutionally made by the Confederate Government come within the range of its power, when absolutely necessary for the prosecution of a war, there is no doubt. It is equally clear that when this military necessity ceases, the right to make such appropriations no longer exists.
To exercise this power, when it exists, and to confine it within the proper limits, is a matter for the just discretion of Congress, and to enable it to act upon the interesting subjects to which they relate, I transmit the communications and resolutions which accompany this message.
I have already recommended that the Confederate Government should assist in making a railroad from Danville, Va., to Greensboro, N. C., upon the ground of a strong military necessity for completing an interior through line from Virginia to the Southern Atlantic States. I deem this to be necessary, not only on account of the superior safety of such a line from hostile inroads and invasions, but because of the great additional facilities which its completion would afford for the transportation of troops and military supplies.
The road from Selma, Ala., to Meridian, Miss., is a link that has claims similar to the road already recommended to your assistance in a previous message. Whilst the completion of the twenty miles of the Covington and Ohio Railroad, as proposed by Mr. Fontaine, might be eminently useful for military purposes, I cannot, in the present condition of the Treasury, recommend that you should contribute by direct appropriation.
The resolutions of the convention of the railroad presidents and superintendents relate to a most important subject.If the railroads should be generally disabled from transporting troops and military supplies for the prosecution of the war, the result would be most disastrous. It is urged that the capital necessary to construct the establishments required for re-rolling rails and the manufacture of locomotives cannot well be had unless the Confederate Government would make some advance for the purpose. With the machinery proper for rolling the rails, there might be connected that which is necessary for rolling plates which are wanted in the naval service. How far it would be proper for Congress to authorize advances to be made on contracts to furnish these plates or engines it would be for that body to consider and determine. Some such advance might facilitate and secure the establishment of works which would at the same time furnish what is required by the Government, re-rolling the railroad iron and constructing locomotives for the use of the railroads. The exigency is believed to be such as to require the aid of the Government, and is commended to your favorable consideration.
Richmond, December 17, 1861.
Richmond, December 18, 1861.
To the Hon. President of the Congress.
Sir: Herewith I transmit a letter of the Attorney General, covering a communication on the subject of taxes due upon property sequestered by the Government of the Confederate States, and for which it is liable to be sold on account of the several States.The attention of Congress is called to the necessity of providing for the payment of sums now due as well as those which will become due on account of the property referred to, and, which, it is believed, must remain subject to taxation by the several States.
Richmond, December 18, 1861.
To the President of the Congress.Sir: I herewith transmit to the Congress a copy of a joint resolution of the State of Tennessee, in accordance with the request of that body.
Richmond, December 23, 1861.
To the President of the Congress.
Sir: I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, inclosing an estimate of appropriations, rendered necessary by the ratification of the treaties with certain Indian tribes.
Richmond, December 30, 1861.
To the President of the Confederate Congress.Sir: I herewith transmit to the Congress a communication from the Secretary of War, with the estimate of certain additional appropriations therein mentioned.
Richmond, January 6, 1862.
To the Confederate Congress.
I herewith transmit from the War Department a copy of the official report of the battle on Alleghany Mountain on the 13th December.I would invite special attention to the suggestions of the Secretary of War in his communication accompanying the report, with which I fully concur.
Richmond, January 11, 1862.
President of the Congress.I herewith transmit to the Congress a communication from the Secretary of War recommending a certain appropriation therein mentioned.
Richmond, January 13, 1862.
To the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States.
I transmit herewith a report and accompanying papers from the Secretary of State in answer to a resolution of the Congress of the Confederate States of the 10th instant.
Richmond, January 23, 1862.
Hon. Howell Cobb, President of the Provisional Congress.
Sir: I return to you an act entitled "An Act to provide for raising and organizing, in the State of Missouri, additional troops for the Provisional Army of the Confederate States," indorsed "Passed January 9, 1861 ," and delivered to me probably on the 10th day of January, 1862. After its delivery I was informed by the clerk that it had been reconsidered and substituted by an act entitled "An Act to provide for raising and organizing, in the State of Missouri, additional forces for the Provisional Army of the Confederate States," which was in many respects similar in its provisions and which was this day returned with my objections. Regarding the first act as having been abrogated by Congress, I took no action upon it. But to-day I am informed by the Secretary of Congress that the record of the reconsideration is not to be found on the Journal. Ten days having now elapsed since the act was sent to me, I am precluded from doing anything with it except to transmit it to you with a statement of the circumstances which caused me to regard the paper as invalid and not requiring consideration or action on my part.
Richmond, January 25, 1862.
To the Hon. President of the Congress.
In response to the resolution of the Congress of the 11th inst. I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War with the report of the Chief of the Commissariat of the Army.
Richmond, February 15, 1862.
To the Honorable President of the Congress.
In response to the resolution of the Congress adopted on the 10th instant, I herewith transmit communications from all the respective Departments, except the War Department.I am informed by the Secretary of War that so great is the press of important business on his Department, that he has not had time, as yet, to prepare the list of officers as desired, but will do so at his earliest opportunity.
To the Congress of the Confederate States.
Gentlemen: I deem it my duty to return for your reconsideration, with my objections, "An Act regulating furloughs and discharges in certain cases." I am unable to sign this act, as my judgment does not approve it, and I respectfully submit to you my reasons for withholding my signature.
By the terms of the act any sick or invalid soldier now out of camp, whether in hospital or not, shall be entitled to furlough or discharge on the ground of bodily disability, upon the certificate of any surgeon of the Confederate States, or of any surgeon of a hospital where the soldier is treated, whether such surgeon be in the Army or not. My objections to both as to the principles of this act and the practical difficulties which will embarrass its execution:
1st. I cannot but regard it as extremely unwise to grant control over any soldier, to the extent of discharging him from service, to any body of men not employed in the service of the Government, over whom it exercises no control, and who present to it no guarantee whatever for the faithful discharge of the duties imposed on them. In the medical, as in all other professions, there are incompetent as well as unworthy men. This bill proposes to place the power of discharging from the public service the whole body of absent soldiers, now amounting to probably not less than thirty thousand men, at the mercy of any physician who may call his office a hospital. The absent soldiers, out of camp, scattered over the entire Confederacy, are to be allowed to leave the service at pleasure on producing the certificate of some man who signs himself a physician in charge of a hospital. No means are provided by the bill, and in the nature of things no means can well be devised, by which it can be ascertained at the office of the Adjutant General whether the signature to the certificate is genuine or not; whether, if genuine, the signature is that of a physician, nor whether the signer, if he be a physician, have really a hospital in which the sick soldier is treated. I venture to say that there is not a man now out of camp, whether sick or well, who could not readily find means for securing such a certificate as this bill contemplates at the most trifling cost.
2d. Again, the bill applies to those only who are now out of camp. But if the principle of the bill is right, its application should be continuous and permanent, and I cannot discover any reason why it should be confined to those not in camp. If a man out of camp is to have his discharge on a certificate of a surgeon and when far removed from the supervision of commanders, why not give the same right to the soldier in camp, where the presence of the commander would at least check the issue of fraudulent certificates. And if it be right to adopt this rule at all, why is it not as well applicable to men who will be absent from camp next week as to those now absent? The special limitations of the bill to soldiers out of camp, and to those only now out of camp, indicate an intention to provide for some present exceptional emergency not defined with sufficient accuracy to prevent great mischief in the practical working of the law. If there be such emergency, to what class of cases does it extend? Does it exist everywhere, or only at one or more determinate points? The language of the bill requires to be better guarded to meet what I infer from its phraseology to be an exceptional case; and if there be such a case, I respectfully submit to Congress that it might be remedied in a less objectionable manner than is provided for in the bill.
3d. It is obvious that the intent and purpose of this bill was humane, and directed to ameliorating the condition of the sick soldier, but in very many cases the opposite effect will be produced. The sick soldier, entitled to either furlough or discharge, now obtains it through the regularly appointed officers of the Government, provided with blank forms to be properly filled up, by means of which the rights of the soldier to his transportation and allowances can be readily liquidated. But by the provisions of the bill it will very frequently occur that owing to irregularities in his papers it will be impossible that his account can be settled at the office of the paymaster; still worse, he may be exposed to the loss of his cherished honor, to be branded as a deserter by his failure to secure the proper evidence of his honorable discharge.I do not think that Congress can have been aware that some weeks prior to the passage of this bill the War Department had issued regulations, relaxing the former rules, dispensing with many of the formalities, and simplifying the means of obtaining furloughs and discharges for the sick. I annex a copy of these regulations, which go as far as, in my opinion, compatible with the necessities of the service, and which seem to me to render the legislation now proposed unnecessary.
[Received December 14, 1861.]
Executive Office, January 22, 1862.
To the Congress of the Confederate States.
After mature consideration of the bill to encourage the manufacture of small arms, saltpeter, and of gunpowder within the Confederate States, I felt constrained to return it with the following statement of objections: By its provisions the bill deprives the Executive of the discretionary power to protect the Government against unnecessary or improvident contracts, and confers upon individuals who may propose to furnish to the Government any of the supplies enumerated the right to demand that their proposition shall be accepted, and that 50 per cent of the amount proposed to be invested shall be paid from the public Treasury without any other condition than that the person making such proposition shall have actually expended in the prosecution of the proposed work one-fourth of the capital to be invested in it, and that his undertaking shall not be, in the opinion of the Secretary of War, visionary or impracticable, or at points too remote for the advantage of the Confederacy. As an example of the disadvantageous operation of the bill herewith returned, the attention of Congress is called to the contemplated case of the manufacture of gunpowder. Our present necessity is not for an increase of powder mills, but for a supply of the material for the manufacture of gunpowder. The mills now in existence, and which could be readily put to work, far exceed in their capacity to manufacture our ability to supply the requisite material. Yet under the operation of this bill it would follow that any one who should propose to establish a powder mill upon unobjectionable locality, and that he had invested one-fourth the capital to be employed, would be entitled to claim an advance equal to 50 per cent of that amount for a work which the Government did not require, and which, as there is no limitation of time for the fulfillment of his contract, could not be pronounced visionary or impracticable. The power already exists to make advances equal to 33 1-3 per cent on contracts for arms or munitions of war, and experience has not shown that any larger advance is necessary to stimulate the undertaking of such contracts; on the contrary, it has not yet been found necessary in a single instance to make advances to the full amount now permitted by law. The requirement of the bill that liberal profits shall be granted and an extraordinary advance be made, coupled with the absence of any Executive discretion to refuse any contract proposed for the supplies mentioned in the bill, would inevitably expose the Treasury to heavy drafts from the class of speculating contractors.
I regret that these features of the bill compel its return, as some of its provisions would be valuable adjuncts to existing legislation in enabling the Government to aid in the establishment of manufactures of arms and the creation of artificial saltpeter beds.
Executive Office, Richmond, January 22, 1862.
To the Congress of the Confederate States.
I have considered a bill to authorize the Secretary of War to receive into the service of the Confederate States a regiment of volunteers for the protection of the frontier of Texas, and herewith return it to the Congress with a statement of my objections, which are respectfully submitted for consideration.
The bill provides that a regiment of volunteers is to be raised by the State of Texas, under the provisions of an act of the Legislature of said State, and directs that the Secretary of War shall receive the regiment to be so raised and incorporate it into the Provisional Army of the Confederate States.
By reference to the act of the Legislature of Texas, a copy of which accompanied the bill, it appears that all that discretion and control, which of necessity is vested in the Executive of the Confederate States over all troops employed in their service, are withheld by the act, the provisions of which are adopted in your bill, the posting and movement of the troops being therein confided to the Governor of the State under the plan of the Legislature.
There are other objections which are mainly important because they disturb the uniformity and complicate the system of military administration prescribed by the laws of the Confederate States.Unity and coöperation by the troops of all the States are indispensable to success, and I must view with regret this as all other indications of a purpose to divide the power of the States by dividing the means to be employed in efforts to carry on separate operations; but, if in any case it be advisable that such separate action should be taken, it seems to me palpably clear that it should be a charge against the individual State, rather than upon the common treasury of the Confederate States.
Executive Office, January 22, 1862.
To the Congress of the Confederate States.
After mature deliberation I have not been able to approve the bill herewith returned, entitled "An Act to provide for raising and organizing, in the State of Missouri, additional forces for the Provisional Army of the Confederate States."
In a message just submitted to the Congress in relation to certain forces to be raised in the State of Texas, I have stated the objections entertained to any legislative discrimination for or against a particular State, thereby disturbing the harmony of the system adopted for the common defense. In a bill very recently passed by the Congress a new plan has been established for raising and organizing troops for the Confederate service. By the provisions of this last-mentioned law you have given me authority to raise and organize troops in all the States by granting commissions in advance of the actual enlistment of the troops to officers below the grade of general officers and above that of subalterns. To the officers thus commissioned you do not give any pay or allowances until the actual organization of the companies, battalions, or regiments that the officers so commissioned were empowered to raise, and you do not allow pay, but have even prohibited the allowance of subsistence or transportation to the men enrolled in order to enable them to reach the rendezvous of their companies. By the terms of the bill now returned an exception is made in favor of the State of Missouri alone. By the provisions of the bill it is contemplated that advance commissions shall be granted to officers of all grades from the highest general officer of the Provisional Army to the lowest subaltern of a company, and that the officers, whether of the staff or the line, thus appointed shall receive pay from the date of their respective appointments without any condition rendering this pay dependent on their success in raising the troops. The general bill which has now become a law applicable to Missouri as to all the other States fixes a reasonable term within which officers commissioned in advance must succeed in raising troops, under penalty of forfeiting their commissions. The present bill removes this salutary restriction and vests in the Executive the dangerous power not only of appointing at his discretion an unlimited number of military officers irrespective of any troops to be commanded by them, but allows him to retain the officers so appointed in the public service at the public expense during the Executive pleasure.
I am not able to perceive in the present condition of public affairs in the State of Missouri the necessity which would form the only possible excuse for a grant of such power to a constitutional Executive. I receive assurances from those whose sources of information are entirely reliable that the raising and organization of troops in Missouri for service in the Confederate Army are successfully progressing, and that within a very few days the muster rolls will be received, thus placing it in my power to organize the Army in that State on precisely the same footing as in all the others, and thus avoid any need for exceptional legislation.
In addition to these objections founded on principle there would be a practical difficulty in the operation of the bill, which appears insurmountable. All the troops now in service in the State of Missouri are State troops, commanded by State officers, which have never been tendered or received in the Confederate service. In exercising the power of appointment proposed to be vested in me by the bill the best hope for success in its purpose would be founded on selecting those officers who had distinguished themselves in command and had become endeared to the troops. But this would be to deprive the State troops of their commanding officers during the whole period necessary for the enrollment and organization of the troops under Confederate laws. Missouri would thus be left comparatively defenseless whilst the reorganization was progressing. Therefore regarding this bill as impolitic and unnecessary, it is submitted for your reconsideration.
Executive Department, February 1, 1862.
To the Confederate Congress.
I return with my objections the bill passed by you entitled "An Act to provide for granting furloughs in certain cases."
Before proceeding to lay before you the special objections entertained to the provisions of this bill it is proper that I should express the firm conviction that it is, from the nature of things, impracticable to administer an army in the field by statute. The Constitution vests in the Congress the power "to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces." None can deny the wisdom of this provision, nor the propriety of the exercise of this power by the Congress in its full extent; but there is an obvious distinction between making rules for the government of the Army and undertaking to administer the Army by statute. When rules are established for the regulation of such matters as are in their nature susceptible of fixed and unvarying application, there can be no impolicy in providing them by statute. Thus we have by law fixed guides for organization, for the composition of the different corps, for the number of officers and their grades, for the respective duties assigned to the staff in its several branches, and numerous like provisions that remain in force in all localities, in the presence as well as the absence of the enemy, and uninfluenced by the exigencies of any particular occasion. But there are other matters which are essentially administrative in their character, and are not susceptible of being determined by the rigid prescriptions of statutes which executive officers are bound to obey under all circumstances and without the exercise of any discretion. Suppose Congress should attempt to fix by law of what camp equipage should always consist, or the precise kind and quality of clothing to be furnished, or the exact amount and kind of transportation to be allowed for each regiment, is it not obvious that these details depend so entirely on time, place, and circumstances, and are so essentially variable in their character, that the uniform compliance with such laws would be practically impossible? Suppose Congress should establish by law the precise proportion of infantry, cavalry, and artillery to be attached to each body of troops in service. This would not be a rule for the government of the Army, but an attempt at a. statutory administration of it which could not but be found impolitic, even if it were practicable.
Now, the act in question presents precisely the same objectionable features. It establishes a rule over which there is no discretionary power under any circumstances whatsoever by which a commanding general, in the face of superior numbers and with his capacity for defense taxed to the utmost, may find his forces still further reduced by the action of his subordinates, not only against his consent, but without his knowledge, and in ignorance of his necessities and the purposes of their Government. No more striking example could be afforded of the impolicy of such a law than is presented by our condition at this time. Our armies are in force inferior to the enemy at the two points most vital to the defense of the country. The enlistment of the twelve-months' men is soon to expire, and in order to secure their entry for a further term into service you have directed that furloughs be granted to them as far as compatible with the safety of the respective commands. If the bill in question becomes a law, it will at once be necessary to diminish the number of furloughs, which might otherwise be granted as inducement to reënlistments, and to that extent the attainment of this most desirable object must be obstructed. From the West and from the South, from many and important points urgent calls for reënforcement are received by the Department of War which it is not possible to satisfy. At this crisis, without any check or control by commanding generals, 5 per cent of their effective forces would be withdrawn under the provisions of this bill. With conflicts impending against an enemy greatly our superior in numbers, our safety is dependent on keeping in the field every effective man that can be furnished with a weapon; this bill, therefore, it seems to me, is most inopportunely presented.
If from these general objections we turn to the details of the bill, other considerations are presented which would alone prevent my giving it approval. This may be stated briefly as follows, viz.:
First. The furlough for disability is to be granted upon the surgeon's certificate, not of the vital necessity for leave of absence, but of the surgeon's opinion that the patient's "health would be improved by a temporary sojourn at home." It is plain that every man in the Army, to whose health camp life was thus believed to be detrimental, could at once demand a furlough under this provision.
Second. The colonel's power to grant a furlough on such a certificate as is above mentioned is without the check or control of higher authority, and is unlimited as to time and to number of cases.
Third. Any soldier that can get the certificate of any hospital surgeon can be sent home on furlough or discharged without the knowledge or consent of any of his officers, either company or regimental. The surgeon has only to certify that the soldier "is too remote from his commanding officer to procure his certificate for a furlough or discharge without inconvenience and delay."
When troops are in the field, it is always true of a soldier in hospital, that the commanding officer's certificate cannot be obtained "without inconvenience and delay," so that the soldier, absent from camp, can always get a furlough or discharge without the knowledge of his commander.
Fourth. The large number of soldiers, that will be constantly traveling on the railroads on the proposed system of a ten days' furlough for five per cent of all the effective men, together with the sick leaves provided for, will form an average of probably not less than fifteen or twenty thousand men in constant movement. This would occupy the transportation facilities, already much too limited, to such an extent as seriously to impair the movement of troops and supplies.In whatever aspect the proposed legislation is contemplated, I cannot view it otherwise than as dangerous to the public safety, and I most earnestly recommend that, in taking it again into consideration, Congress will weigh any possible advantage that can result from this measure against the disasters, that are not only the possible, but, as it appears to me, the probable results of its adoption.
Executive Department, February 4, 1862.
To the Congress of the Confederate States.
Gentlemen: I return, with my objections, the bill entitled "An Act to repeal so much of the laws of the United States adopted by the Congress of the Confederate States as authorizes the naturalization of aliens." My objections are the following, viz.:
First. The bill does not save the rights of aliens who were domiciled in the Confederate States at the beginning of this revolution, and had already commenced the proceedings necessary to their naturalization. It would be manifest injustice to such aliens as have remained among us and have sympathized with and aided us in our struggle to cut them off from these rights, at least inchoate, and deprive them of the boon held out to them by laws to which we were assenting parties at the time they emigrated to the Confederacy.
Second. While there is perhaps no direct prescription of the Constitution making it the duty of Congress to establish a rule of naturalization, I submit that in addition to the grant of that power made to Congress the States in the permanent Constitution have surrendered the power formerly exercised by some of them of permitting aliens to vote even in State elections until naturalized as citizens of the Confederate States — Article I, Section 2. A comparison of these provisions leads to the conclusion that it was in contemplation of the States that Congress should exercise the power vested in it, and it does not appear to me to be a fair compliance with the just expectations of the States to repeal in mass all laws providing for the naturalization of aliens without substituting some other system that may commend itself to the wisdom of Congress.
These are my special objections to the act as passed, but I beg permission to say that the general policy indicated by its provisions appears to be at least questionable. That there is no present necessity for such legislation is obvious, for there has not been, and we cannot expect there will be, immigration, except on the part of such as are disposed to aid us in our struggle. To the future, which may well be left to take care of itself on this subject, it is submitted whether legislation intended to effect entire exclusion from citizenship of all who are not born on the soil will be deemed in accordance with the civilization of the age.In conclusion, it can scarcely be necessary to point out the evil effects that may be produced on aliens now serving in our Army and on those of our fellow-citizens who are of foreign birth, by what will be considered as a legislative stigma cast on them as a class.
By the President of the Confederate States.
Whereas, an act of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, approved this, the 28th day of November, 1861, provides that, "the State of Missouri be, and is hereby admitted, as a member of the Confederate States of America, upon an equal footing with the other States of this Confederacy, under the Constitution for the Provisional Government of the same:"
Now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do issue this, my proclamation, making known to all whom it may concern that the admission of the said State of Missouri into the Confederacy is complete, and that the laws of the Confederacy are extended over said State as fully and completely as over the other States composing the same.
|[SEAL.]||In testimony whereof, I have hereunto signed my name and caused the seal of the Confederate States to be affixed at Richmond, this 28th day of November, A.D. 1861.|
By the President:
R. M. T. Hunter, Secretary of State.
By the President of the Confederate States.
Whereas, an act of the Congress of the Confederate States of America entitled "An Act to organize the Territory of Arizona," was approved by me on the 18th day of January, 1862; and whereas, it is therein declared that the provisions of the act are suspended until the President of the Confederate States shall issue his proclamation declaring the act to be in full force and operation, and shall proceed to appoint the officers therein provided to be appointed in and for said Territory:
Now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do issue this my proclamation declaring said "Act to organize the Territory of Arizona" to be in full force and operation, and that I have proceeded to appoint the officers therein provided to be appointed in and for said Territory.
Given under my hand and the seal of the Confederate States of America at Richmond, this fourteenth day of February, A.D. 1862.[SEAL.]
By the President:
R. M. T. Hunter, Secretary of State.
RESOLUTIONS OF THANKS.
Be it resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of the people of the Confederate States are eminently due, and are hereby tendered, to Major General Sterling Price, and the Missouri Army under his command, for the gallant conduct they have displayed throughout their service in the present war, and especially for the skill, fortitude, and courage by which they gained the brilliant achievement at Lexington, Mo., resulting, on the twentieth day of September last, in the reduction of that town and the surrender of the entire Federal Army there employed.
Be it resolved further, That a copy of this resolution be communicated by the President to General Price, and, through him to the army then under his command.
Approved December 3, 1861.
Whereas, under the providence of God, the valor of the soldiers of the Confederate States has added another glorious victory, achieved at Belmont, in the State of Missouri, on the seventh day of November last, to those which had been so graciously vouchsafed to our arms, whereby the reduction of Columbus, in the State of Kentucky, has been prevented, and the contemplated descent of the enemy down the Mississippi River effectually stayed; therefore,
Be it resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are most heartily tendered to Major General Leonidas Polk, Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow, Brigadier General Benjamin F. Cheatham, and the officers and soldiers of their gallant commands for the desperate courage they exhibited in sustaining for several hours, and under most disadvantageous circumstances, an attack by a force of the enemy greatly superior to their own, both in numbers and appointments; and for the skill and gallantry by which they converted what at first threatened so much disaster, into a triumphant victory.
Resolved further, That these resolutions are intended to express what is believed to be the grateful and admiring sentiment of the whole people of the Confederacy.
Resolved further, That they be communicated to the commands of Major General Polk, Brigadier General Pillow, and Brigadier General Cheatham by the proper Department of the Government.
Approved December 6, 1861.
Be it resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are due, and are hereby tendered, to Brigadier General N. G. Evans, and the officers and soldiers under his command, for the brilliant victory achieved by them over largely superior forces of the enemy in the battle of Leesburg.
Approved December 18, 1861.
First. Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are due, and are hereby tendered, to Colonel Edward Johnson, and to the officers and men under his command, for gallant and meritorious services at the summit of Alleghany Mountain, in Virginia, on the thirteenth day of December, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, when for more than six hours they, with remarkable courage and constancy, sustained an assault made upon their position by fourfold their number, and finally drove the enemy in disorder, and with heavy loss, from the field.
Second. That the foregoing resolution be communicated to said command, by the Secretary of War, and be made known in general orders.
Approved January 10, 1862.
- *From Judah P. Benjamin, Acting Secretary of War, and A. T. Bledsoe, to Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Anderson.
- See page 139.
- To pay interest on money borrowed from certain banks in Tennessee.
- Requesting the President to communicate to Congress copies of all correspondence with Confederate commissioners abroad.
- See page 160.
- See page 160.