Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/352

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

satisfactory reason is perceived for augmenting the number of companies of which it is composed, or for the organization of another regiment.

The First Regiment of South Carolina Infantry, or a part of it, I am informed, has been assigned to duty and has received instruction in the artillery service, and can be so employed without the passage of the act in question, as long as the exigencies of the service may require. It still remains, however, infantry, and could, in case of necessity, be used as such in the field. If the act should become a law, this advantage would be lost, without any apparent compensating benefit.

2. The act seems to me objectionable as being special legislation.

It is well known that the artillery service is very generally preferred by our troops to infantry service. It is believed that there would be little difficulty now in raising a regiment of artillerists from citizens exempt from conscription, while such is not the case with infantry. If the example be once set of converting regiments into artillery, it needs little foresight to predict that Congress will be beset with applications for such change from regiments now serving as infantry, and claims will be sent forward for equal favors in each of the States. Wherever siege artillery is required, the delegations of the different States will naturally expect and apply for a grant of the same favor to some infantry regiment from their State, and this result would be far from conducive to the discipline of the Army and the good of the service.

There are now numbers of our citizens who, after having volunteered in the infantry, have been found too feeble in constitution to withstand the fatigue and exhaustion of the rapid movements on which the success of our military operations depends. Such soldiers would deem it a great favor to be transferred to the service of heavy artillery, for which they would be well fitted; and their claims for this favorite service appear to be better founded than those of the enlisted men of the infantry regiment designated in the act.

If the purpose of the act be, as it apparently is, to provide for twenty-four companies of artillerists to serve together, the command of these companies would be of sufficient importance to require the appointment of a brigadier general to command them,