Richmond, Va., March 11, 1865.
To the Senate of the Confederate States.
I have received a copy of your resolution of the 6th instant, as follows:
Resolved, That the President be respectfully requested to inform the Senate why he gives to aids-de-camp to general officers above the grade of brigadier general only the rank of first lieutenant in his nominations made to the Senate.
In response, I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War upon the same subject in response to the resolution of the House of Representatives of November 8, 1864, as follows:
Resolved, That the President be respectfully requested to inform this House whether any appointments have been made under the act entitled "An Act to provide and organize a general staff for the armies in the field to serve during the war," approved June 14, 1864; and if not, why such appointments have not been made in pursuance of said act.
The anticipation of amendatory legislation, as set forth in the annexed report, together with the discretionary power vested in the Executive by the seventh section of the act referred to, has caused me for the time being not to make appointments under said act.
In the case of aids-de-camp, it has been the practice, because of their personal and confidential relations to their chief, to appoint upon his nomination. To this practice there seems to be no paramount objection, while the rank of such officers is of the subaltern grade; but if they have high rank, for many and obvious considerations their selection cannot be controlled by the personal preferences of the general with whom they are to serve. But the suggested change in the mode of selection would impair the confidential relation which an aid should have to his chief, and be an unwelcome task to the appointing power.
The nominations of aids-de-camp have for the above reasons been continued as heretofore, though the legislative amendment expected had not been made.
Executive Office, Richmond, March 13, 1865.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States of America.
I have now under consideration the act entitled "An Act to