Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/189

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Provisional Congress.

tain forces to be raised in the State of Texas,[1] 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

  1. See page 160.