Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/593

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Second Congress.

of the best officers by returning them to duty in the field, and dropping others of inferior merit. The Secretary of War is left without discretion or choice in the matter.

The heads of the two branches of service affected by this act apprehend great embarrassment to their respective departments if it becomes a law. The machinery now organized would be impaired in its workings everywhere, and in some instances positively interrupted just at the opening of the most important campaign. Valuable and experienced officers would be withdrawn from service. Chief commissaries long accustomed to control operations in an entire State, quartermasters thoroughly informed as to the resources of their respective fields of duty, would at short intervals be dropped, and the heads of these bureaus would be embarrassed with the difficult duty in the midst of an active campaign of supplying the places with inexperienced and untried successors.

The representations made to me on the subjects embraced in this act by those under whose immediate superintendence its provisions would be executed, together with my own daily experience of the difficulties attendant on the efficient discharge of the duties of these two indispensable branches of the service, have created apprehensions of injurious effects from the passage of the act too serious to permit my approving it.

Jefferson Davis.

Richmond, Va., March 17, 1865.

To the House of Representatives of the Confederate States of America.

I return without my approval an act which originated in your honorable body, entitled "An Act to provide for the payment of arrears now due to the Army and Navy."

I have been led to believe that this act was passed in haste and without due consideration, and that some members who voted for it desire an opportunity for reconsidering their action.

The act provides for additional issue of Treasury notes to an amount not exceeding $80,000,000, to be used in payment of all arrears of pay and allowances due to persons in the military and naval service of the Confederate States; these notes "to be regarded in all respects as Treasury notes issued by virtue of the act to reduce the currency and authorize a new issue of notes and bonds, approved February 17, 1864."