Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/481

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Second Congress.

jection appearing to have been based on an error), and have kept the whole subject open for further action at the present session,when you could be informed of the facts.

The resolution of the Senate is in the following words:

"Resolved, That the nomination of F. M. Green to be colonel of the Eleventh Mississippi Regiment be rejected for the reason that in the opinion of the Senate W. B. Lowry is the senior and ranking officer."

If the Senate had at the same time suspended its action on the other nominations, there could have been no difficulty in awaiting its present session for a settlement of the legal rights of the officers of this regiment, which cannot be affected by the action of the Executive, or the Senate, or of both combined, inasmuch as they are vested by act of Congress, which has the constitutional power to determine the rules of promotion in the service. But probably not perceiving, in the press of business at the close of the session, what would be the result of its action if carried into effect, the Senate confirmed the nominations of the lieutenant colonel and major, thus subordinating to two of his juniors the senior captain of the regiment, who had been in command of it to the entire satisfaction of his superior for more than nine months, and who had been adjudged to be the senior captain after an examination of the rights of the different claimants for seniority at the War Department.

I was compelled, in order to avoid this result, to decline commissioning either of the field officers confirmed by you, leaving each of the captains in his former rank of captain and leaving Captain Green in command of the regiment, till your attention had been called to the case and full information was placed within your reach.

The law and facts appear to me to admit of but one conclusion, and they are now presented as succinctly as possible.

1st. In this regiment, originally enlisted for twelve months, Captain Lowry was senior to Captain Green.

2d. Under act No. 306 of Provisional Congress (11th December, 1861) Captain Green's company reƫnlisted for the war, and he was reƫlected captain under the provisions of the 4th section, and by the terms of act No. 397, of 15th February, 1862 (which may have been overlooked by the Senate), his commission