Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/325

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First Congress.

consideration of Congress. For the perfection of our military organization no appropriate means should he rejected, and on this subject the opinions of the Secretary merit early attention. It is gratifying to perceive that under all the efforts and sacrifices of war the power, means, and resources of the Confederacy for its successful prosecution are increasing. Dependence on foreign supplies is to be deplored, and should, as far as practicable, be obviated by the development and employment of internal resources. The peculiar circumstances of the country, however, render this difficult and require extraordinary encouragements and facilities to be granted by the Government. The embarrassments resulting from the limited capacity of the railroads to afford transportation and the impossibility of otherwise commanding and distributing the necessary supplies for the armies render the control of the roads under some general supervision and resort to the power of impressment military exigencies. While such powers have to be exercised, they should be guarded by judicious provisions against perversion or abuse and be, as recommended by the Secretary, under due regulation of law.

I specially recommend in this connection some revision of the exemption law of last session. Serious complaints have reached me of the inequality of its operation from eminent and patriotic citizens whose opinions merit great consideration, and I trust that some means will be devised for leaving at home a sufficient local police without making discriminations, always to be deprecated, between different classes of our citizens.

Our relations with the Indians generally continue to be friendly. A portion of the Cherokee people have assumed an attitude hostile to the Confederate Government, but it is gratifying to be able to state that the mass of intelligence and worth in that nation have remained true and loyal to their treaty engagements. With this exception there have been no important instances of disaffection among any of the friendly nations and tribes. Dissatisfaction recently manifested itself among certain portions of them, but this resulted from a misapprehension of the intentions of the Government in their behalf. This has been removed, and no further difficulty is anticipated.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy, herewith transmitted, exhibits the progress made in this branch of the public service