the Treasury, covering estimates for the support of the Government from July 1st to December 31st, 1863, in compliance with resolutions adopted respectively by the Senate and House of Representatives.
I recommend that appropriation be made of the amounts for the purposes specified.
Richmond, Va., April 16, 1863.
To the House of Representatives.
Having approved and signed a bill, which originated in your body, entitled, "An Act to allow minors to hold commissions in the Army," I deem it due to many meritorious officers in the service to make a short explanation.
The bill, in my opinion, is only declaratory of the preëxisting law. No prohibition existed, prior to its passage, against the issue of commissions either in the Permanent or Provisional Army to persons under twenty-one years of age. Many of the commissioned officers of the Provisional Army have attained high rank by election and promotion before attaining the age of twenty-one years. The only objection, therefore, that I could entertain to signing the bill in question, was based on the apprehension that the approval of an act allowing commissions to be issued to minors "from and after the passage of the act," might imply that the commissions heretofore issued to minors are invalid.
It seemed, however, more proper to sign the act which in itself was unobjectionable, and to address to you this explanation, which will obviate, it is believed, the only ill consequence that could flow from the passage of the law.
Richmond, Va., April 18, 1863.
To the Senate and House of Representatives.
I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, covering an estimate of the amount required to liquidate claims to be paid for river defense service.
I recommend an appropriation of the amount for the purpose specified.