Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/422

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

Richmond, Va., January 26, 1864.

To the Senate of the Confederate States.

In response to your resolution of the 16th instant, I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of War, covering information relative to the officers appointed under the act to raise troops, approved October 11, 1862.

Jefferson Davis.

Richmond, January 27, 1864.

To the Senate.

I submit to the Senate herewith the nomination of A. R. Lawton, of Georgia, to be Quartermaster General, with the rank of brigadier general, to take rank from the 13th day of April, 1861, and deem it proper to communicate the reasons which induce this course.

On the passage of the act of the 20th of March last, entitled "An Act to amend an act for the establishment and organization of the general staff for the Army of the Confederate States of America," inquiry was made to aid in the selection of the most competent person then made eligible, and the office of Quartermaster General was tendered to General Lawton, who was averse to accepting it if it involved a nomination and new appointment, for the reasons that it withdrew him from service in the field, interfered with his chances for promotion, and that, as he was then the oldest brigadier in the service, he would, by acceptance of a new commission, be deprived of his relative rank as compared with other brigadiers. There were two other officers recommended to me as specially fitted to discharge the duties of Quartermaster General, who could be spared from service in the field, and they were both major generals and could not therefore be expected to accept a lower grade in the staff than that which they held in the line.

The name of the officer then performing the duties of Quartermaster General was also presented to me with recommendations entitled to carry great respect, but my own observation of the manner in which those duties had been discharged had previously satisfied me that the public interests required an officer of greater ability and one better qualified to meet the pressing emergencies of the service during the war.

On examination of the law above referred to, its language, although not free from doubt, was held, after consultation and ad-