Confederate States of America. Congress.

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

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accordance with the Constitution to make the commander of an army independent
of the Commander in Chief, in the discharge of any of the duties of his office, and
looking only to the effect of such a system, it plainly creates in this branch of the
service as many independent executi\ es as there are generals commanding armies in
the field, and thus destroys that unity of design and concert of action which are
indispensable elements of success in war. The generals commanding armies would
be, by this section, vested with the right to derange the organization of their com-
mands as settled by the Commander in Chief by removing from their appropriate
functions the commanders of corps, divisions, and brigades, whom the Executive had
selected and the Senate had ajiproved as specially fitted to lead the troops in battle.

That the general commanding the army has under the terms of this section the
right of assigning general officers under his command to the duties of the general
staff, witliout reference to tlie authority of the Executive, is plain from the other
sections which declare tliat the President is to appoint, with the advice of the Senate,
the staffs of all general officers, other than those who connnand armies.

Nor does this section restrict the connnanding general in relation to the brancli of
service or the grade of the officers whom he is permitted to assign to coinmissary
and ordnance duties of the general staff. It is only necessary that they be below
the rank of brigadier-general. The commanding general would have the j>owcr,
therefore, to assign a captain commissary to be chief of ordnance, or a lieutenant of
infantry to be chief connnissary, without check or control from the President or
Senate, while the President would be with.out power to appoint subordinates to the
officers thus selected by the general of an army, without submitting tlieir nomina-
tions for the approval of the Senate. Not only, therefore, is all order (if authority
interverted by these provisions, but the officers assigned to duty by the commanding
generals, not being permanent members of the general staff, would be independent
of its chief, and inextricable confusion would necessarily result.

This section, so far from responding to the title of the bill by providing a general
staff, in reality breaks up that which now exists, subdivides it into a number of
small bodies irresponsible to the head of the department, and destroys the possibility
of any regular, consistent, and intelligent cooperation in the action of our forces, so
essential to success. Its effect is to create a staff for generals, not a general staff.

If a contest should arise l)etween the quartermaster-generals, the commissaries-
general, or the chiefs of ordnance of generals A and B, in any district of country
for supplies or means of transportation, wdio is to determine between these rivals,
each equal in authority, and each dependent on a separate chief? How are the
chiefs of tho.se ioureaus in Richmond to apportion the supplies in store according to
the wants of the different armies, without authority to exact from them reports and
returns? If it be said that these officers would become temporarily responsible to
the heads of Dejiartments, how is this responsibility to be enforced, if the orders oi
the general and those of the chief of the Department should conflict? If ordnance
depots are provided at different jtoints for different commands, how is the officer in
charge of these depots to act, if ordered by the chief of ordnance of a general in the
field .to make a different disposal of the stores, from that ordered by the head of the
Department in Richmond?

If such a bill shoukl become a law, in vain would the War Department seek to
exact rigid obedience to law or orders from the irresponsible staff created under its
provisions. In vain would it seek for the information necessary for its guidance, or
attempt to change the relative strength of arnues to meet the varying movements of
the enemy. The staff officers could be made the ready and safe means of thwarting
the Government ni its orders for the removal of troops from one command to reen-
force threatened {wsitions in another, and could be easily rendered subservient to
the natural but dangerous propensity of most commanders to retain all the troops
under their own control for the safety of their own commands, without reference to
more urgent needs at other points.

It IS scarcely necessary to add to these considerations more than a bare allusion to
the tendency of such bodies of officers, when dependent for their own promotion on
the favor of their special chiefs, to resort to agencies less commendable than the
zealous discharge of their legitimate duties for the attainment of their desires.

II. Another very objectionable feature of the bill proposed is its effect on the offi-



108 JOURNAL OF THE [May 30, 1864.

cers of the general ptaff other than those who may he selected as the favorites of
commanding generals.

Numhers of zealous, meritorious, and valuahle officers have made the duties of the
general staff objects of special study, have embraced the staff as a branch of the pro-
fession in which, uniler existing laws, they are entitled to promotion for merit and
long service, just as the line officers have a right to promotion in their branch.

This bill deprives the staff officers of this, the great incentive to the zealous dis-
charge of duty. It debars them from promotion to the higher grades of their own
branch of service, and bestows these prizes of honorable ambition on the officers of
the line, who will thus monopolize the promotions to the higher grades, both in the
line and staff, to the entire exclusion of the officers of the latter. Few will be willing
to remain in the staff under such circumstances. Those who consent to continue
will be those least and)itious of promotion, and the whole staff service will be impaired
in tone and efficiency.

III. The assignment of general officers to staff duties, as provided in the bill, would
leave many brigades, some divisions, and, peihaps, some corps, without their appro-
priate commanders, and no provision is made to supply the vacancies thus created.
Are their commands to be considered vacant and successors appointed? If so, what
is to become of those assigned to staff duty should the commanding general revoke
the assignment? if the contrary, )iiany brigades will be commanded by the officer
next in rank to the a.«signed brigadier, however incompetent such officer may be to
command a brigade, and tlie like would occur as to divisions and corps, in contra-
vention of the policy well considered and estalilislied that general officers are
appointed by selection for merit, and not promoted by seniority. If the command-
ing general is ordered to another command, is he to take his staff with him, or is he
to leave it for service with his successor? in either case is the whole general staff of
each army to be changed at the caprice of the new commander? This must l)e the
effect of the bill, for the power to assign necessarily implies the power to revoke, as
it would otherwise be eipiivalent to a permanent appointment that could only be
made by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate.

IV. The fourth objection to the bill is that it ai>plies one rigid rule for the imniber
of the general staff, based solely on tlu' rank of the commander, and having no ref-
erence to the necessities of a ctimmand. The staff allowed is exce-ssive in number
and rank in many instances and entirely inadecjuate in others. A law provitling a
general staff on such a basis as is assumed in this l»ill can not, from its very nature,
be executed according to its terms. The lat)or reiiuired of the staff connected with
a brigade, division, or corjis depends on the fact of its being ])art of an army or a
separate command, as well as on the mnnber of men, the extent of the country over
which operations are to be conducted, the abundance or scarcity of supplies in the
district, theexistenceoral)sence of railroad, river, or other transportation, the concen-
tration or disjiersion of the troo|)s, and the many other circumstances which control
military movements in time of war. It is impossible to apply a rigid, unbending
rule to such diverse cases.

An organization into corps meets all these difliculties, by providing for assignment
of the i)roper nundjer of ofhcers to different coimnands according to the needs of each.

V. The number and rank of the aids-de-camp allowed by the bill is believed to be
greatly in excess of those allowed by other govermiu-nts, and (luite nnsuited to the
nature of ours. They would rather impede than improve the service — they would
encourage a love of ostentation and fee<i a fondness for vain display, which should
rather be discouraged than fostereil. The experience of this war has demonstrated
that the most efficient commanders, those who have most attracteil the respect, grat-
itude, and admiration of their country, have avoided the large retinue of personal
staff which this Itdl would seem to sanction as proper or desiral)le.

VI. The objection to the enormous increase in the niimber of officers and expend-
iture that would result from the passnge (>! such a hill hecomes a matter of serious
concern when no corresponding increase ol efficiency is secured; of still graver impor-
tance, when the opposite result i'^ to he feared.

According to the hill as passed, the staff would embrace an addition of about four
hundred officers, involving an inci eased annual expenditure for i>ay, rations, forage,
and allowance, amounting to $l,i:W,72H, al)Ove the present staff as organized by
general orders under existing leiiislation.

If generals are to be allowed to change the staff of each army, to which they may
be assigned, at their pleasure, it is difficult to calculate the extent to which this
abuse would grow, tin' number of men that would he drawn from useful service to
cumber the staff, or the increase of expenditure involved.



May 30, 1864] SENATE. 109

Congress will perceive that with objections so radical it was impossible for me to
approve the bill passed at the last session, and that the subject was too important to
be treated in a hurried message within the last few hours of the close of a Congress.
Concurring in the expediency of legislation for the organization of a general staff,
I have thought a full exposition of my views on the subject would, perhaps, conduce
to the framing of a measure which would carry into effect the views of the legislative
department, while excluding the provisions which have compelled me to decline
approving that devised by vour predecessors.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Richmond, May 28, 1864.

The message was read.
Ordered^ That it lie upon the table.
On motion by Mr. Semmes,
The Senate adjourned.

SECRET SESSION.

Mr, Hill, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was
referred the communication from Thomas C. Reynolds, governor of
the State of Missouri, in relation to the vacancy existing in the repre-
sentation of that State in the Confederate States Senate, submitted a
report (No. 3); which was read.

On motion by Mr. Johnson of Arkansas,

Ordered^ That it lie upon the table.

Leave was granted Mr, Johnson of Missouri, on his motion, to com-
municate to the governor of the State of Missouri a copy of the said
report, together with the action of the Senate thereon.

On motion by Mr, Hill,

Ordered^ That the injunction of secrec}' be removed from the first
section of the act entitled ''An act to fix the time for the assembling of
the Congress at its next regular session," etc, approved May 27, 1864.

A message from the President of the Confederate States, by Mr.
B. N. Harrison, his Secretary:

Mr. President: The President of the Confederate States, on the 27th instant, approved
and signed the following act and joint resolution:

S. 16. An act to fix the time for the assembling of the Congress at its next regular
session, and to authorize the President to convene the Congress at any place other
than the seat of government; and

S. 6. Joint resolution to authorize the removal of the public archives and of the
Executive Departments of the Government.

Ordered^ That the Secretar}^ inform the House of Representatives
thereof.

Mr, Sparrow (by leave) introduced

A bill (S. 57) to provide for the appointment of ofiicers with tem-
porary rank and command;

which was read the first and second times and considered as in Com-
mittee of the Whole,

On motion by Mr, Johnson of Arkansas, to amend the bill by strik-
ing out, section 1, lines 10 and 11, the words "such commands as he
may deem proper" and inserting in lieu thereof the words ''any
appropriate command where the commanding officer may be absent,"

On motion by Mr, Sparrow, to amend the proposed amendment b}'-
striking out the words " where the commanding officer may be absent,"

It was determined in the affirmative.



110 JOURNAL OF THE [May 30, 1864.

Oil the question to agree to tlic amendment proposed ])y Mr. John-
son of Arkansas, as amended,

It was determined in the affirmative.

On motion by Mr. Brown, to amend the bill by inserting after ^' rank
of,'' section 1, line 6, the words "major, lieutenant-colonel, colonel,

It was determined in the negative. , , n •,, , • .

On motion by Mr. Johnson of Arkansas, to amend the bill by insert-
ing after "appoint," section 1, line 6, the word "Temporary,"

1t was determined in the affirmative.

On motion by Mr. Orr, to amend the bill by striking out the words
'^President maV consider their services therein necessary," section 2,
lines 4, 5, and 6, and inserting in lieu thereof the word "temporary
exigencv may require,"

It was determined in the affirmative.

No further amendment being made, the l)ill was reported to the
Senate and the amendments were concunod in.

(>r<hr<'d. That the bill be engrossed and read a third time.

The said bill was read the third time.

Rrsolvrd, That it pass, and that the title thereof l)e as aforesaid.
(),'(hr>'<L That the Secretary rccjuest the concurrence of the House
of Representatives therein.

On motion bv Mr. Orr,

The Senate resolved into executive session.

EXECUTIVE SESSION.

Mr. Orr, from the Committee on Rules, agreeably to instructions of
the Senate, reported the following resolution; which was considered
and agreed to:

m.<:olre<l, That the following rule bt" adoi.te.! aii.l iiuihIhtcI the fifty-second rule

"^- NVhenliominatious shall be made in writing by the President of the Confederate
States to the Senate, they shall be referre.l to an appropriate eomnuttee, unless
otherwise or.lered 1)V a majority of the Senate: and nominations neither eonhrmed
nor rejected during the session at whieh they are made shall not be acted upon at
any succeeding session without being again made by the President.

On motion bv Mr. Johnson of Arkansas,

(Jn/rrcf/ That the Secretarv l)e instructed to lay the toregoing rule
l)efore the President of the C»")nfederate States and that the injunction
of secrecy )>e removed therefrom.

On motion bv Mr. Sparrow,

Onh're(/, That the Committee on Mihtary AHairs be discharged
from the further consideration of the communication [I'oni n • H
Lowry in relation to his a]ipointment as colonel of the Eleventh
Missi.ssippi Regiment. ^ j- .■> ,^

The following message was received from the President of the ( on-
federate Statesrby Mr. B. N. Harrison, his Secretary:

Richmond, Ya., Mni/ 24, 1864.
To the Senate of the Confederate Statef!:

Acrreeablv to the recommendation of the Secretary of the Navy, I hereby nomi-
nate'the person named upon the annexed list to the office .lesignated.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.



i



May 30, 1S64.] SENATE. Ill

Navy Depahtmknt, Confedkkatk States of America,

Richmond, May S3, 1864.
The President.

Sir: I have the honor to recoiiunend the following nomination for appointment in
the Marine Corps:

Second lieutenant.

Everard T. Eggleston, of Texae, vice Second Lieut. F. ^lacRee, proniote<l.
I am, respectfullv, vour obeclient servant,

S. R. MALLORY,

Secrctrrnj of lln- Xaoi/.

The me.s.sage was read.

Ordered^ That it be referred to the Coiiimittec on Na\'al Affairs.

Richmond, Va., Moij .10, I864.
To the Senate of the Confederate States:

Agreeably to the recoinmendation of the Attorney-General, I hereljy nominate
James H. Patterson, to be district attorney for the eastern district of Arkansas.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

DePART.MENT of JlSTICF, CONFEDERATE StATES OF AMERICA,

Richinotid, Ta., May 30, IS64.
To the President.

Sir: I have the honor to recommend that James H. Patterson l)e appointed dis-
tinct attorney of the Confederate States for the eastern district of Arkansas, in the
place of W. M. Randolph, removed for disloyalty.

GEO. DAVIS,

Attornei/- General.
The mes.sao-e wa.s read.
Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Richmond, Va., Maij 27, I884.
To the Senate of the Confederate States:

Agreeably to the recommendation of the Postmaster-General, I hereby nominate
the persons named upon the annexed list to the offices designated.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Post-Office Department, Richmond, May 26, 1864-
Sir: I have the honor to recommend for ai)pointment as postmasters, with the
advice and consent of the Senate, the following-named persons, who were appointed
during the recess of the Senate:

March 5, 1864, N. A. Bull, Orangeburg, S. C, vice J. V. Glover, resigned.
March 2i, 1864, Nathan'Seligman, Shreveport, La., vice George Tucker, resigned.
March 21, 1864, Henry Townsend, Wetumpka, Ala., vice L. F. Townsend, resigned.
March 23, 1864, Richard C. Wallace, Georgetown, S. C, vice W. McNulty, resigned.
April 1, 1864, Noah L. Cloud, Bainbridge, Ga.
April 16, 1864, Rufus AV. Daniel, Weldon, N. C.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN H. REAGAN,

Postmaster- Gen era I.
The President.

The message was read.

Orderiid^ That it be referred to the Committee on Post-Ofhces and
Post-Roads.

Richmond, Va., May 30, I864.
To the Senate of the Confederate States:

Agreeably to the recommendation of the Postmaster-General, I hereby nominate
E. A. Thomas, to be postmaster at Hollv Springs, Miss.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Post-Office Department, Richmond, Va., May 28, 1864-
Sir: I have the honor to recommend for appointment as postmaster, with the
advice and consent of the Senate, E. A. Thomas, Holly Springs, Marshall County,
Miss.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN H. REAGAN,

Postmaster- General.
The President.



112 JOURNAL OF THE [May 30, 1864.

The message was read.

Ordered^ That it be referred to the Committee on Post-Offices and
Post-Roads.

Richmond, Va., May SO, 1864.
To the Senate of the Confederate States:

Agreeably to the recommendation of the Postmaster-General, I hereby nominate
Dr. James H. Starr, to be agent of the Post-Office Department for the country west of
the Mississippi River.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Post-Office Department, Richmond, May 30, 1864.
Sir: I have the honor to recommend for appointment, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate, Dr. James H. Starr, of Nacogdoches, Tex., as agent of the
Post-OflSce Department for the country west of the Mississippi River, as authorized
by an act of Congress approved February 10, 1864.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN H. REAGAN,

Postmaster- General.
The President.

The message was read.

Ordered^ That it be referred to the Committee on Post-Offices and
Post-Roads.

Confederate States of America, Kxecitive Department,

Rirhmoyid, May 38, 1864.
To the Se))ate of the Confederate States:

Agreeal)ly to the recommendation of the Secretary of War, I nominate Col. Bryan
Grimes, of North Carolina, to be a brigadier-general in the Provisional Army of the
Confederate States of America.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Confederate States of America, AVar Department,

Rlrhtiinud, May 28, 1864-
Sir: I have the honor to recommend the nomination of Col. Bryan Grimes, of
North Carolina, to l)e a brigadier-general in the Provisional .Army of the Confederate
States of America, to command the late General Daniel's brigade, Army of Northern
Virginia, to rank from May lit, 1864.

I am, sir, respectfullv, vour obedient servant,

JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.
To His Excellency Jefferson Davis,

President, etc.

The message was read.

Ordered^ That it be referred to the Committee on Militar}- Affairs.

Confederate States of America, E.xecctive Department,

Richmond, May 27, 1864.
To the Senate of the Confederate States:
Agreeably to the reconnnendation of the Secretary of AVar, I nominate L. T. Nun-

nelee, of , to be second lieutenant, Stuart's Artillery, in the Provisional Army

of the Confederate States of America.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Confederate States of America, War Department,

Richmond, May 26, 1864-
Sir: I have the honor to recommend the nomination of L. T. Nunnelee, of



to be second lieutenant, Stuart's Artillery, in the Provisional Army of the Confed-
erate States of America, for distinguished valor and skill (underact approved .\pril
16, 1862), to rank from February 27, 1864.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant, J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.
To His Excellency Jefferson Davis,

President, etc.

The me.ssage was read.

Ordered.^ That it be referred to the Committee on Military' Affairs.



May 30, 1864.] SENATE. 113

Confederate States of America, P^xecutive Department,

Richmond, May 28, 1864.
To the Senate of the Confederate Slater:

Agreeably to the recommendation of the Secretary of War, I nominate A. P. San-
grain, of Missouri, to be adjutant Twenty-seventh Arkansas Regiment, in the Pro-
visional Army of the Confederate States of America.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Confederate States of America, War Department,

Richmond, Maij 26, 1864.
Sir: I have the honor to recommend the nomination of A. P. Sangrain, of Missouri,
to be adjutant Twenty-seventh Arkansas Regiment, in the Provisional Army of the
Confederate States of America, vice Lieutenant Magenis, promoted, to rank from
March 15, 1863.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secrctanj of War.
To His Excellency Jefferson Davis,

President, etc.

The message was read.

Ordered^ That it be referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.

Confederate States of America, Executive Department,

Richmond, Maij 28, 1864.
To the Soiate of the Confederate States:

Agreeably to the recommendation of the Secretary of War, I nominate John B.
Hardeman, of Texas, to be a quartermaster, with the rank of major in the Pro-
visional Army of the Confederate States of America.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Confederate States of America, War Department,

Richmond, May 26, 1864.
Sir: I have the honor to recommend the nomination of John B. Hardeman, of
Texas, to be a quartermaster, with the rank of major in the Provisional Army of the
Confederate States of America, for duty with the brigade under command of Col. H.
Randal, Trans-Mississippi Department (an original vacancy), to date from September
1, 1863.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secrelarij of ]\''ar.
To His Excellency Jefferson Davis,

President, etc.

The message was read.

(h'dered, That it be referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.

Confederate States of America, Executive Department,

Richmond, May 28, I864.
To the Senate of tJte Confederate Slates:

Agreeably to the recommendation of the Secretary of War, I nominate John W.
Brown, of Texas, to be a commissary, with the rank of major in the Provisional
Armv of the Confederate States of America.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Confederate States of America, War Department,

Rtclimond, May 26, 1864-
Sir: I have the honor to recommend the nomination of John W. Brown, of Texas,
to be a commissary, with rank of major in the Provisional Army of the Confederate
States of America, for duty with the late Thomas (ireen's brigade, Trans-Mississippi
Department (an original vacancy), to date from September 1, 1863.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.
To His Excellency Jefferson Davis,

President, etc.

c J— VOL 4—04 — r-8



114 JOURNAL OF THE [May 30, 1864.

The message was read.

Ordered^ That it be referred to the Coniinittee on Military Affairs.

Confederate States of America, Executive Department,

Eidimoyid, May 28, 1864.
To the Senate of the Confederate States:

Agreeably to the recommendation of the Secretary of War, I nominate the officers



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