Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/337

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First Congress.

Generals —

Samuel Cooper, Virginia, to take rank May 16, '61.
Robert E. Lee, Virginia, to take rank June 14, '61.
Joseph E. Johnston, Virginia, to take rank July 4, '61.
P. G. T. Beauregard, Louisiana, to take rank July 21, '61.

Note. — The fifth General[1] has been nominated and confirmed by the Senate, to rank from the date affixed, being that of the happening of the vacancy to which he succeeded.

J. D.

Executive Office,
Richmond, Va.,
Feb. 23, 1863.

To the House of Representatives.

I herewith transmit a communication from the Postmaster General, with accompanying papers, in reply to the resolution of your body, of October 13th, 1862, asking information relative to the telegraphic companies in the Confederate States; the expenditures of the Government in that connection, and "such other information as may be deemed useful in determining the policy and practicability of merging the telegraph in the postal system of the Confederate States."

The documents presented contain all the information that it is practicable at present to furnish. As to the propriety of merging the telegraph in the postal system, it may well be doubted whether the development of the art of telegraphing would be better promoted by withdrawing the management of the lines from private companies, and placing it in the hands of the Government, and it is also doubted whether the present is an opportune time so largely to increase the administrative labors of the Executive Departments.

The extension of Executive patronage involving the political effect of giving the Government control of the transmission of the first intelligence, as well as the question of constitutional power, were, it is to be supposed, considered by the House before transmitting the resolution, and are therefore not regarded as proper subjects for remark on this occasion.

Jefferson Davis.

  1. Braxton Bragg; see page 211.