Confederate States of America. Congress.

Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865 (Volume 4) online

. (page 1 of 104)
Online LibraryConfederate States of America. CongressJournal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865 (Volume 4) → online text (page 1 of 104)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


NjI'''- RESEARCH LIBRARIES

3 3433 08176384 I






/



t^'v^V-



\Xn\^



58th Congress, [ SENATE. i Document

2d Session. \ \ No. 234.



JOURNAL



OF THE



CONGRESS OF THE CONFEDERATE

STATES OF AMERICA,

1861-1865.



VOLUME IV.



Februart I, 1904.— Ordered to be printed.



WASHINGTON:

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.

1904.

Cheeked



THE NEW YORK

PUBLIC LIBRARY

3:i514S

ASTOFT, LENOX AND
TILDE.-^ FCUNDATICN3.



JOURNAL



OF THE



SENATE OF THE SECOND CONGRESS OF THE CONFEDERATE
STATES OF AMERICA.



FirKt .lession.
Held at Richmond, Va., May 2, 1864, to June 14, 1864.

Second session.
Held at Richmond, Va., November 7, 1864, to March 18, 1865.



SENATE



THE CONFEDERATE STATES



SECOND CONOR ESS, FIRST SESSION, MAY 2, 1864, TO JUNE 1 4, 1864.

The first session of the Second Congress commenced this da}', con-
formably to the Constitution and laws of the Confederate States, and
the Senate assembled at the city of Richmond.

MONDAY, May 2, 1864.

** Present.

From the State of—
Alabama Robert Jemison, jr.

Arkansas Charles B. Mitchel.

Florida Augustus E. Maxwell.

Georgia Benjamin PI. Hill.

Kentucky Henry C. Burnett.

Louisiana T. J, Semmes.

Edward Sparrow.

Mississippi A, G. Brown.

Missouri Waldo P. Johnson.

North Carolina - William T. Dortch

South Carolina James L. Orr.

Tennessee . . Landon C. Haynes

Gustavus A. Henr

Texas W.S.Oldham.

Louis T. Wig-fall.

V'iRGiNiA Allen T. ( -aperton.

R. M. T. Hunter.

5



6 JOURNAL OF THE [May 2, 1864.

The Hon. R. M. T. Hunter, President of the Senate pro tempore,
resumed the chair.

Mr. Dortch presented the credentials of the Hon. William A. Gra-
ham, elected a Senator by the gfeneral assembly of the State of North
Carolina for the term of six years, from and after the 17th da}' of
February, A. D. 186J:; which were read, and the oath prescribed b}^
the Constitution having been administered to Mr. Graham, he took
his seat in the Senate.

Mr. Jemison presented the credentials of the Hon. Richard \V.
Walker, elected a Senator b}' the general assembl}- of the State of
Alabama for the term of six j-ears, from and after the 17th da^^ of Feb-
ruary, 1861; which were read, and the oath prescribed by the Con-
stitution having been administered to Mr. Walker, he took his seat in
the Senate.

Mr. Brown presented the credentials of the Hon. John W. C. Watson,
elected a Senator by the general assembly of the State of Mississippi
for the term of .six years, from and after the 17th day of Februar\',
1861; which were read, and the oath prescribed by the Constitution
having been administered to Mr. Watson, he took his seat in the Senate.

The Hon. James ]\I. Baker, from the State of Florida, whose creden-
tials were presented at the last session, attended; and the oath pre-
scribed bv the Constitution having been administered to Mr. Baker,
he took his seat in the Senate.

The Hon. Ro})ert W. Johnson, from the State of Arkansas, whose
credentials were presented at the last session, attended; and the oath
prescribed by the Constitution having been administered to Mr. John-
son, he took his seat in the Senate.

The Hon. William E. Simms, from the State of Kentucky, whose
credentials wei'e presented at the last session, attended; and the oath
prescribed by the Constitution having been administered to Mr. Simms,
he took his seat in the Senate.

On motion ))y Mr. Orr,

The Senate proceeded to the election of a President pro tempore; and

The Hon. R. M. T, Hunter was duly elected.

On motion by Mr. Orr,

The Senate proceeded to the election of a Secretary; and on count-
ing the ballots, it appeared that James H. Nash was dul\' elected.

Mr. Nash attended; and the prescribed oaths were administered to
him by the President pro tempore.

Mr. Henry submitted the following resolution: which was considered
and agreed to:

Resolied, That LafayeUe H. Fitzhugh be appointed 8ergeant-at-Arms of the Senate,
and that James Page be appointed Doorkeeper of the Senate and .loiin Wadsworth,
Assistant Doorkeeper.

Mr. Fitzhugh, Mr. Page, and Mr. Wadsworth severally attended;
and the prescribed oaths were administered to them severally by the
President pro tempore.

On motion by Mr. Orr,

Ordered, That the Secretary inform the House of Representatives
that a quorum of the Senate has assembled, and that the Senate have
elected the Hon. R. M. T. Hunter, a Senator from the State of Vir-
ginia, President pro tempore, and James H. Nash, Secretaiy, and are
now ready to proceed to business.

On motion by Mr. Orr,



May 2, 1864.] SENATE. 7

Ordered^ That the daily hour of meeting of the Senate be 12 o'clock
until otherwise ordered.

A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. Dalton:

Mr. President: I am directed to inform the Senate that a quorum of the House of
Representatives has assemVjled; that Thomas S. Bocock, one of the Representatives
from the State of Virginia, has been chosen Speaker, and Albert R. Lamar, of
Georgia, Clerk; and that the House is ready to proceed to business.

The House of Representatives have passed a resolution for the appointment of a
committee, jointly with such committee as may be appointed on the part of the
Senate, to wait on the President of the Confederate States and inform him that a
quorum of each House is assembled, and that Congress is ready to receive any com-
munication he may be pleased to make; and have appointed Mr. Sexton of Texas,
Mr. Rives of Virginia, and Mr. Gilmer of North Carolina the committee on their part.

Mr. Johnson of Arkansas submitted the following resolution; which
was con.sidered and agreed to:

Resolved, That a committee be appointed, jointly with the committee appointed
on the part of the House of Representatives, to wait on the President of the Confed-
erate States and inform him that a quorum of each House has assembled, and that
Congress is ready to receive any communication he may be pleased to make.

Ordered, That the committee be appointed by the President pro
tempore; and

Mr. Johnson of Arkansas, Mr. Semmes, and Mr. Brown were
appointed.

Mr, Johnson of Arkansas submitted the following resolution; which
was considered and agreed to:

Resolved, That the Senate will, at half past twelve o'clock to-morrow, proceed to
the appointment of the standing committees of the Senate.

Mr. Johnson of Arkansas, from the committee appointed on the
part of the Senate, jointl}^ with the committee appointed on the pai"t
of the House of Representatives, to wait on the President of the Con-
federate States and inform him that a quorum of each House has
assembled, and that Congress is ready to receive any communication he
may be pleased to make, reported that they had performed the duty
assigned them, and that the President replied that he would immedi-
ately make a communication to the two Houses of Congress.

On motion by Mr. Orr,

Ordered, That the Senate will, to-morroAv and thereafter during the
present session, meet in the chamber of the Virginia senate.

The following message was received from the President of the Con-
federate States, by Mr. B. N. Harrison, his Secretary:

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States of America. ■

You are assembled under circumstances of deep interest to your country, and it is
fortunate that coming, as you do, newly elected by the people and familiar with the
condition of the various localities, you will be the better able to devise measures
adapted to meet the wants of the public service without imposing unnecessary bur-
thens on the citizen. The brief period which has elapsed since the last adjournment
of Congress has not afforded sufficient opportunity to test the efficacy of the most
important laws then enacted, nor have the events occurring in the interval been such
as materially to change the state of the country.

The unjust war commenced against us in violation of the rights of the States, and
in usurpation of power not delegated to the Government of the United States, is still
characterized by the barbarism with which it has heretofore been conducted by the
enemy. Aged men, helpless women and children appeal in vain to the humanity
which should be inspired by their condition for immunity from arrest, incarceration,
or banishment from their homes. Plunder and devastation of the property of non-
combatants, destruction of private dwellings and even of edifices devoted to the wor-
ship of God, expeditions organized for the sole purpose of sacking cities, consigning
them to the flames, killing the unarmed inhabitants, and inflicting horrible outrages



8 JOURNAL OF THE [May>. 1864.

on women and children, are some of the constantly recurring atrocities of the invader.
It can not reasonably be pretended that such acts c:onduce to any end which their
authors dare avow before the civilized world, and sooner or later Christendom must
mete out to them the condemnation which such brutality deserves. The suffering
thus ruthlessly inflicted upon the people of the invaded districts has served but to
illustrate their patriotism. Entire unanimity and zeal for their country's cause have
l)een preeminently conspicuous among those whose sacrifices have been greatest. So,
the Army which has liorne the trials and dangers of the war; whicli has been sub-
jected to privations and disappointments (tests of manly fortitude far more severe
than the brief fatigues and perils of actual combat), has been the center of cheerful-
ness and hope. From the camp comes the voice of the soldier patriots invoking
each who is at home, in the sphere he best may fill, to devote his whole energies to
the support of a cause, in the success of which their confidence has never faltered.
They, the veterans oi many a hard-fought field, tender to their country, without
Hmit of time, a service of priceless value to us, one which posterity will hold in grate-
ful remembrance.

In considering the state of the country, the reflection is naturally suggested that
this is the Tliird Congress of the Confederate States of America. The Provisional
Government was formed, its Congress held four sessions, lived its appointed term,
and passed away. The Permanent (Tovernment was then organized, its different
departments established, a Congress elected which also held four sessions, served its
full constitutional term, and expired. You, the Second Congress under the Perma-
nent Government, are now assembled at the time and place appointed by law for
commencing your session. All these events have passed into history, notwithstand-
ing the tiireat of our prompt subjugation, made three years ago, by a people that
presume to assert a title to govern States, whose separate and independent sover-
eignty was recognized by treaty with France and (ireat Britain in tlie last century
and remained unquestioned for nearly three generations. Yet these very Govern-
ments, in disregard of duty and treaty o])ligations which bind them to r^ognize, as
independent, Virginia and other Confederate States, persist in countenancing by
moral influence, if not in aiding by unfair and partial action, the claim set up by the
executive of a foreign gnvernment, to exercise despotic sway over the States thus
recognized and treat the invasion of tliem by their former limited and special agent
as though it weiv the attempt of a sovereign to suj)press a rebellion against lawful
authority. Ihigenerous advantage has been taken of our present condition, and our
rights have been violated, our vessels of war detained in ports to which they had
l)een invited by iiroclamations of neutrality, and in one instance our flag also insulted
where the sa(!re(l riglit of asylum was supposeil to be secure; while one of these Gov-
ernuients has contented itself with simply dej)n'cating, by deferential representations,
the coniluct of our t>nemy in the constantly recurring instances of his contemj)tuous
disreganl of neutral rights and flagrant violations of })ublic law. It may l)e that for-
eign governments, like our enemies, liave mistaken our desire for peace nnresi'rvedly
expressed for evidence of exhaustion and have thence inferred the probal)iIity of
success in the effort to subjugate or exterminate the millions of human beings who
in these States prefer any fate to submission to their savage assailants. I see no
{)rospect of an early change in the course heretofore i)ursued by these (jovernments;
but when tliis delusion shall have been dispelled, and when our independence, by
the valor and fortitude of our people, shall have been won against all the hostile
influenc(>s combined against us, and can no longer l)e ignored by oi)en foes or jjro-
fessed neutrals, this war will have left with its proud memories a record of many
wrongs which it may not misbecome us to forgive, some for which we may not prop-
erly forbear from demanding redress. In the meantime it is enough for us to know
that every avenue of negotiation is clo.sed against us; that our enemy is making
renewed and strenuous efforts for our destruction, and that the sole resource for us
as a people secure in the justice of our cause, and holding our liberties to be more
precious than all other earthly possessions, is to combine and apply every available
element of jjower for their defense and preservation.

On the subject of the exchange of prisoners I greatly regret to be unable to give
you satisfactory information. The tiovernment of the United States, while persist-
ing in failure to execute the terms of the cartel, make occasional deliveries of ])rison-
ers, and then suspend action without apparent cause. I confess my inability to
comprehend their policy or purpose. The prisoners held by us, in spite of humane
care, are perishing from the inevitable effects of imprisonment, and the homesickness
produced l)y the hopc^lessness of release from confinement. The spectacle of their
suffering augments our longing desire to relit've from similar trials our own brave
men who have spent so many weary months in a cruel and useless imprisonment,
endured with heroic constancy. The delivery, afttr a suspension of some weeks, has



May 2. 186-1.] SENATE. 9

just been resumed by the enemy, but as they give no assurance of intent to carry out
the cartel, an interruption of the exchange may recur at any moment.

The re])orts of the Departments, iierewith submitted, are referred to for fuU infor-
mation in relation to the matters appertaining to each. There are two of them on
which I deem it necessary to make special remark. The report of the Secretary of
the Treasury states facts justifying the conclusion that the law passed at the last
session for the purpose of withdrawing from circulation the large excess of Treasury
notes lieretofore issued, has had the desired effect, and that by the 1st of July the
amount in circulation will have been reduced to a sum not exceeding $230,000,000.
It is believed to be of primary importance that no further issue of notes should take
place, and that the use of the credit of the Government should be restricted to the
two other modes provided by Congress, viz, the sale of bonds and the issue of cer-
tificates bearing interest, for the price of supplies purchased within our limits. The
law, as it now stands, authorizes the issue by the Treasury of new notes to the
extent of two-thirds of the amount received under its provisions. The estimate of
the amount funded mider the law is shfiwn to Ije $300,000,000, and if two-thirds of
this sum be reissued, we shall have an addition of $200,000,000 to our circulation,
believed to be already ample for the business of the country. The addition of this
large sum to the volume of the currency would be attended by disastrous effects, and
would produce the speedy recurrence of the evils from which the funding law has
rescued the country. If our arms are crowned with the success which we have so
much reason to hope, we may well expect that this war can not be prolonged beyond
the current year, and nothing would so much retard the beneficent influence of peace
on all the interests of our country as the existence of a great mass of currency not
redeemable in coin. With our vast resources, the circulation, if restricted to its present
volume, would be easily manageable, and by gradual absorption in payment of public
dues, would give place to the precious metals, the only basis of a currency adapted
to commerce with foreign countries. In our present circumstances I know of no
mode of ])roviding for the public wants which would entail sacrifices so great as a
fresh issue of Treasury notes, and I trust that you will concur in the propriety of
absolutely forbidding any increase of those now in circulation.

Officers have been appointed and dispatched to the trans-Mississippi States, and
the necessary measures taken for the execution of the laws enacted to obviate delays
in administering the Treasury and other Executive Departments in those States, but
sutficient time has not elapsed to ascertain the results.

In relation to the most ini])oitantof all subjects at the present time — the efficiency
of our aruiies in the field — it is gratifying to assure you that the discipline and instruc-
tion of the troops have kept pace with the improvement in material and equipment.
We have reason to congratulate ourselves on the results of the legislation on this
subject, and on the increased administrative energy in the different bureaus of the
War Department, and may not unreasonably indulge anticipations of commensurate
success in the ensuing campaign.

The organization of reserves is in progress, and it is hoped they will be valuable in
affording local protection without requiring details and detachments from active
force.

Among the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary of War,
your attention is specially invited to those in which legislation is suggested on the
following subjects, viz:

The tenure of office of the general officers in the Provisional Army, and a i)roper
discrimination in the compensation of the different grades.

The provision required in aid of invalid officers who have resigned in consequence
of wounds, or of sickness contracted while in service.

The amendment of the law which deprives officers in the field of the pi'ivilege of
purchasing rations, and thus adds to their embarrassment, instead of conferring the
benefit intended.

The organization of the general staff of the Army, in relation to which a special
message will shortly be addressed to you, containing the reasons which compelled
me to withhold my approval of a bill passed by your predecessors at too late a period
of the session to allow time for returning it for their reconsideration.

The necessit}' for an increase in the allowance now made for the transportation of
officers traveling under orders.

The mode of providing officers for the execution of the conscript laws.

The means of securing greater dispatch and more regular administration of justice
in examining and disposing of the records of cases reported from the courts-martial
and military courts in the Army.

The recent events of the war are highly creditable to our troops, exhibiting energy
and vigilance coml nned with the habitual gallantry which they have taught us to
expect on all occasions. We have been cheered by important and valuable sue-



10 JOURNAL OF THE [May 3, 18(i4.

cesses in Florida, northern Mississippi, western Tennessee and Kentucky, western
Louisiana and eastern North Carolina, reflecting the highest honor on the skill and
conduct of our commanders, and on the incomparable soldiers wliom it is their
privilege to lead. A naval attack on Mobile was so successfully repulsed at the
outer works tliat the attempt was abandoned, and the nine months' siege of Charles-
ton has been practically suspended, leaving that noble city audits fortresses imperish-
able monuments to the skill and fortitude of itg defenders. The armies in northern
Georgia and in northern Virginia still oppose with unshaken front a formidable
barrier to the progress of the invader; and our generals, armies, and people are
animated by cheerful confidence.

Let us then, while resolute in devoting all our energies to securing the realiza-
tion of the bright auspices which encourage us, not forget that our humble and
most grateful thanks are due to Him, without whose guidance and protecting care
all human efforts are of no avail, and to whose interposition are due the manifold
successes with which we have been cheered.

JEFFEKSON DAVIS.

EiCHMOND, May 2, 1864.

The message was read.

Ordered^ That it lie upon the table and be printed.

The President pro tempore laid before the Senate the reports of the
Secretary of War, the Secretar}' of the Treasury, the Secretary of the
Navy, the Postmaster-General, and the Attorney-General.

On motion b}" Mr. Orr,

Ordered^ That they lie upon the table.

On motion by Mr. Haynes,

The Senate adjourned,

TUESDAY, May 3, 1864.

OPEN SESSION.

Pursuant to the resolution of yesterdaj^ the Senate proceeded, b}'
])allot, to the appointment of the staiulin*^ committees provided for })y
the thirty-tirst rule of the Senate, and the following" coumiittees were
appointed:

A Committee on Foreio-n Kelations, consisting of Mr, Orr (chair-
man), Mr. Wigfall, Mr. Caperton, Mr. Johnson of Missouri, and Mr.
Simms,

A Committee on Finance, consisting of Mr. Barnwell (chairman),
Mr. Hunter, Mr. Graham, Mr. Semmes, and Mr, Jemison.

A Committee on Commerce, consisting of Mr, Oldham (chairman),
Mr. Dortch, Mr. Maxwell, IMr. Haynes, and Mr, Walker,

A Committee on Military Atfaii-s and Militia, consisting of Mr.
Sparrow (chairman), Mr. Wigfall. Mr. Burnett, Mr. Henr^-, and Mr.
Johnson of Arkansas.

A Committee on Naval Affairs, consisting of Mr, Brown (chairman),
Mr. Baker, Mr, Simms, Mr, Graham, and Mr. Johnson of (xeorgia.

A Committee on the Judiciary, consisting of Mr, Hill (chairman),
Mr. Ha3Mics, Mr. Walker, Mr. Watson, and Mr. Semmes.

A Committee on Indian Affairs, consisting of Mr. Johnson of Arkan-
sas (chairman), Mr. Johnson of Missouri, Mr. Oldham, Mr. Maxwell,
and Mr. Caperton.

A Committee on Post-Ofiices and Post-Roads, consisting of Mr.
Mitchcl (chairman), Mr. Jemison, Mr, Baker, Mr. Havnes, and Mr.
Oldham.

A Committee on Public Lands, consisting of Mr. Baker (chairman),
Mr, Henr}-, and Mr, Johnson of Arkansas.



May 4, 1864.] SENATE. 11

A Committee on Patents and Patent Office, consisting- of Mr. Maxwell
(chairman), Mr. Hill, and Mr. Ha3'nes.

A Committee on Claims, consisting- of Mr. Burnett (chairman), Mr.
Baker, and Mr. Johnson of Missouri.

A Conmiittee on Territories, consisting of Mr. AVig-fall (chairman),
Mr. Mitchel, and Mr. Barnwell.

A Committee on Accounts, consisting- of Mr. Caperton (chairman),
Mr. Dortch, and Mr. Simms.

A Committee on Printing, consisting of Mr. Watson (chairman),
Mr. Orr, and Mr. Haynes.

A Committee on Engrossment and Enrollment, consisting of Mr.
Dortch (chairman), Mr. Caperton, and Mr. Maxwell.

On motion b}' Mr. Orr,

Ordered^ That the Secretary cause a list cf the standing committees
to be printed for the use of the Senate.

On motion l)y Mr. Orr,

Ordrred, That the report of the Secretary of the Navy be referred
to the Committee on Naval Affairs; that the report of the Secretary
of the Treasury be referred to the Committee on Finance; that the
report of the Secretary of War ])e referred to the Committee on Mili-
tary Affairs; that the report of the Postmaster-General be referred to
the Conmiittee on Post-Oftices and Post-Roads, and that the report of
the Attorney-General be referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

On motion by Mr. Orr, and b}- unanimous consent,

Ordered^ That 200 additional copies of the President's message be
printed for the use of the Senate.

On motion by Mr. Orr,

Ordered^ That so much of the President's message as relates to for-
eign affairs be referred to the Counuittee on Foreign Relations; that
so much as relates to the finances be referred to the Committee on
Finance; that so much as relates to military affairs be referred to the
Committee on Military Affairs, and that so much as relates to naval
affairs be referred to the Conuuittee on Naval Affairs.

On motion by Mr. S[)arrow,

The Senate adjourned.

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 1864.

OPEN SESSION.

Mr. Johnson of Arkansas submitted the following resolution for
consideration :

Resolved {the House of Representatives concurring), That the President of the Senate
and the Speaker of the House of Representatives adjourn their respective Houses,
sine die, on Monday, the sixteenth day of May, instant, at twelve o'clock meridian.



Online LibraryConfederate States of America. CongressJournal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865 (Volume 4) → online text (page 1 of 104)