Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/482

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

under this reëlection took date from his former commission, so that he is a captain of the year 1861.

3d. On the 16th April, 1862, the conscript law was passed at the first session of the Permanent Congress, and by its first section all companies whose original term of service was for twelve months were allowed the privilege of reorganizing and electing officers, "who shall be commissioned by the President." But Congress did not extend to the officers thus reëlected the privilege of back date to their commissions, which had been accorded by the Provisional Congress to those who voluntarily reënlisted under the bounty and furlough laws.

Only two companies of the Eleventh Regiment volunteered reënlistment, of which Captain Green's was one, and Captain Franklin's the other. The remaining companies were reënlisted by conscription. Captain Franklin is no longer in the service. Under the laws as they stand on the Statute Book, Captain Green's commission is the only one in the regiment that bears date in 1861. The remaining commissions, being all under the conscript act of 1862, are necessarily subsequent to its passage.

It is due to candor to observe that the conclusion reached by the Senate in its resolution that Captain Lowry was the senior captain is in conformity with a general order issued by the War Department on the 9th July, 1862 (Gen. Orders No. 47, Par. 4), but many complaints having been made against the effects of this order, the whole subject was carefully investigated by me, and that order was modified on the 5th March, 1863, by Gen. Order No. 24, Par. 1. When, therefore, in the following May, the question of seniority between Captains Green and Lowry was presented to me for decision the question of law was no longer open, and nothing remained but to ascertain the facts, which were found to be in accordance with the foregoing narration.

I now respectfully send again to the Senate the nomination of Captain Green, to the office for which it has not been suggested he is incompetent, which he held for many months, and to which, according to my best judgment, he has rights vested in him by the laws. I am confident the Senate would never have consented to prejudice those rights if they had been in full possession of the facts.

Jefferson Davis.

Executive Department, Richmond, 4th May, 1864.