To the House of Representatives.
I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, conveying information, so far as practicable, in response to a resolution of the House of Representatives, requesting the President to communicate what steps have been taken to carry out the act for connecting the Richmond and Danville and the North Carolina railroads, and for the connection of the railroad from Selma, in Alabama, to Meridian, in Mississippi.
[Received April 14, 1862.]
Executive Department, April 16, 1862.
To the Senate of the Confederate States.
In compliance with your request for information, expressed in a resolution of the 14th inst., I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, covering a copy of the report of General Branch of the battle of Newbern, North Carolina.
April 17, 1862.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States.
I deem it my duty to call your attention to some practical difficulties which will occur in the execution of the law just passed for the conscription of all persons subject to military duty between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years, and to point out some omissions that it seems wise to supply. First. There are a number of troops in the service of the several States for which no provision is made. They have been organized for State defense, which is necessarily the public defense, but are not a part of the armies of the Confederacy. It would not be politic to break up these organizations for the purpose of taking out of them such of the men as are subject to conscription for distribution among other troops. I suggest that power be granted to the Executive to accept a transfer of such regiments, battalions, squadrons, or companies now in the service of the respective States as may be tendered by the States, according to any organization consistent with the Confederate laws. Second. In the tenth section of the bill there is a seeming conflict between two clauses, one of which re-