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pajier offices, and apothecaries.

In remarkable contrast to the number of persons relieved from military service by
the exemptions above mentioned, the report of the Conscript Bureau exhibits the
fact tliat east of the Mississippi River 22,035 men have been detailed by P'xecutive
authority. In consecpience of this abuse of the j)Ower of tletail. Congress, at its pres-
ent session, passe<l an act revoking all details and limiting the exercise of tiiat i>ower
in tlie future. The third section of this act, ext'iujiting skilled artisans and mechan-
ics from all military service, which is excepted to by the Presitlent, and which has
since been repealed, was originally adojtted in const't|Uence of suggestions ct)ntained
in the rejiort of the Secretary of War. In alhuling to the end>arrassments encoun-
tered by the administrative bureaus, the Secretary says: " In addition, they have
been constrained, by the stringent legislation of Congress, to relinquish tlieir most
active and experienced agents and employees, and .substitute tliem from more intirm
and aged classes." Again: "Interferences of this kind are inevitably so prejudicial
and disturbing, that it is lioped a well-devised and jiermanent system of providing
and retaining in continuous employment a sufficient iumd)erof artisans, experts, and
lal)orers for all essential operations may be devised and established." The truth is,
that till' bill originally introduced into the Senate, exempting skilled artisans and
mechanics, was actually prepared in one of the bureaus of the War Department.
Congress, therefore, had reason to suppose that it would meet the sanction of the
Executive.

To conscribe the ministers of religion and require them to obtain details to preach
the gospel, would sho<'k the religious sentiment of the country, and inflict a greater
injury on our can.^e than can be descriht-d. The conscrijttiou of editors and of the
printers neces.^ary to the imblication of newspaiiers would destroy the independence
of the press and sui)ject it to tlie control of the executive department of tlie Oovern-
ment. The railroad officers and employees are as necessary to the prosecution of the
war as soldiers in the fielil. Physicians and apothecarit'S are essential to the health
of the people, and no complaint has reached Congress of abu.ses in this class of
exemptions. If the education of youth be regarded as conducive to the maintenance



Mar. 16, 1865.] SENATE. 729

of society and the preservation of liberty, it is not perceived that the exemption of
professors of colleges and teachers of schools can l)e justly censured. The Senate
passed a bill containing a section re[)ealing the exemption allowed to mail contractors
and drivers of post coaches; but at a subsequent stage of i^roceedings, and on the
recommendation of a committee of conference, based on the urgent remonstrances of
the Postmaster-General, the section alluded to was stricken out.

The subject of class exemptions was called to the attention of Congress by the
Executive message of November last. It was carefully considered, and an act was
passed expressive of the views of the legislative department of the Government.
The message under consideration recurs to the same subject. It is to be regretted
that the views of the legislative department of the Government have not met the
fav'ir of the Executive, and that he should deem it both necessary and proper to
express dissatisfaction with tlie matured opinion of Congress.

It is true that Congress has failed to res^jond to the reconmiendation of the President
to enact a general militia law. The subject was considered, and the failure to act
was the result of deliberation. The conscription laws enacted by Congress have
placed in the military service of the country all its aV)le-botHed citizens between the
ages of 17 and 50. The whole military material of the country, so far as legislation is
concerned, is absorbed by the conscription acts. There is none left on which a militia
law can operate except the exempted classes and the boys under 17 and the men
over 50 years of age. It was deemed expedient to allow this material to remain subject
to the control of the State authorities for the purposes of local police, to aid in the
arrest of deserters, and to enforce the administration of State laws.

It is also true that the President has reconmiended the passage of a law suspending
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. This reconmiendation was the subject of
a special message in secret session. It occupied the attention of Congress for four or
five weeks. After mature deliberation the measure was laid aside as unimportant
and inexpedient. Spies can be arrested and tried summarily without suspending the
writ of habeas corpus. Conspiracies tending in any manner to the injury of our cause
were provided for by a special act passed at the present session — to define and punish
conspiracy against the Confederate States. The States of North Carolina, Georgia,
and Mississippi had expressed, through their legislatures, great repugnance to the past
legislation of Congress suspending the writ, and a large portion of the people
throughout the country was arrayed against the policy of that legislation. It was
deemed wise and prudent to conciliate op])osition at a time when dissensions are
ruinous; and as the benefits to be derived from the suspension of the writ were con-
jectural, the deliberate judgment of Congress was expressed by its silence on the
subject. It is to be regretted that the Executive does not concur in these views, and
again calls on Congress to revise its action and to suspend the writ of habeas corpus,
as a measure "almost indispensable to the successful conduct of the war." If the
facts stated in the confidential message alluded to by the President be the basis of
the opinion that the suspension of the writ ' ' is indispensable to the successful conduct
of the war," the Congress does not concur in that opinion. The writ has not been
suspended since August last. It is not perceived that the military reverses of the
country since that period were occasioned by the absence of the legislation asked for.

In regard to impressments, Congress at the i)resent session has passed a bill declar-
ing that the terms "just compensation," as used in the Constitution, entitle the owner
whose property is impressed to the market value thereof at the time and place of
impressment. This legislation was considered necessary in consequence of judicial
decisions in some of the States and because of the dithculty of procuring sui)plies on
any other terms. Indeed, it was supposed that the Executive had reached the same
conclusion, as the Commissary-General, on the 20th December, 1864, had advertised
that he would pay for supplies the price tixed by local appraisement, which is in fact
the market price. The President, in his annual message of November last, did not
call the attention of Congress to any ditticulties attendant on the execution of the
impressment laws. The present message, for the first time during this session, sug-
gests modifications of those laws, and the recommendations of the President will
doubtless receive the respectful consideration of Congress. It may well l)e doubted,
however, whether the present specie value, payable in the future, will induce the
owner of property to part with it, and whether the passage of such a measure would
not result in a general concealment of provisions, and consequent starvation of the
Army.

It is apprehended by the President that some degree of embarrassment in the man-
agement of the finances will be felt in consequence of the inadequate provision made
by Congress, and it is intimated that some of the measures recommendeil by him
were so retarded as to lose much of their value, and others after being matured were
for the same reason abandoned, because no longer applicable to our altered condition.



730 JOUENAL OF THE [Mar. 16, 1865.

The (inly financial measure abandoned after being matured was the currency bill
recommended by the Secretary of the Treasurj' and indorsed by the President in his
annual message. It may be remarked that the failure to enact any fiscal measure
which has not sufficient vitality to render it valual)le and applicaljle for the short
period of four months does not deserve much regret. The currency bill was recom-
mended to Congress and based on the condition the finances presented by the Presi-
dent in his message and by the Secretary of the Treasury in his report. It was
abandoned without regret because, at a subsequent period of the session, it was ascer-
tained that the arrears of public debt constituting cash demands on the Treasury
exceeded by nearly four hundred millions the amount originally reported to Congress
by the Secretary of the Treasury. The currency bill contempiated the reduction of
the currency to one hundred and fifty millions by a conversion of Treasury notes into
tithe certificates, payable after the war, and by an annual application of a portion of
the taxes in the nature of a sinking fund. The Treasury notes received for tithe
certificates were to be canceled. The military reverses, which impaired the credit
of the Government to sucli an extent as to destroy the salability of any of its bonds
left little hope that Treasury notes would be exchanged for tithe certificates. As
soon as the enormous increase in the arrears of debt was discovered, as above men-
tioned, all idea of reducing the currency was abandoned as impracticable. For these
reasons the connnittee of conference having charge of the currency bill agreed to
abandon it as a useless pledge of future resources without corresponding present
advantage. Indeed, if the bill had been j)assed the first day of the session it would
have expired from inanition on the 9th of January, 1865, the day on which the
Secretary of the Treasury reported to^Congress the deficit of four hundred millions and
recommended an increase of taxation to meet it.

The tax bill is regarded by the President as liberal, though inadequate. No nation
on earth ever conducted a protracted war by resources derived from taxation alone.
The message intimates a regret that the recommendation by the Secretary of the
Treasury, of a tax on agricultural income, etjual to the augmentetl tax on other
income, ])ayable in Treasury notes, was rejected by Congress. This is evidently a
mistake, as it assumes there has been an increase of taxes on other than agricul-
tural incomes. The present income taxes are those laid by the act of April, 1868, as
amended and reenacted on the 17th of February, 1864. To require the agriculturist
to pay a tax on the income derived from his farm, in addition to the one-tenth of his
gross productions, and the property tax of 9 per cent ad valorem would be mani-
festly unjust and oppressive. After the delivery of his tithe, to tax the income of
the agriculturist derived from the property producing the tithe would leave little for
family subsistence, for the purchase of supplies necessary for carrying on his agricul-
tural operations, and for the payment of the ad valorem tax on his property.
Congress, therefore, did not concur in the recommendation of the Secretary of the
Treasury, believing it to be highly inexpedient.

The reconmienilations of the Secretary of the Trea.'iury have, in the main, received
the approbation of Congress, and every disposition has been manifested to cooperate
with liim. The tax l)ill adopted very nearly approximates the rate desired by him.
He recommended 10 per cent on property. Congress has imposed a tax of 9 per
cent. A new foreign loan was authorized in secret session at his request, without
any limitation on his authority, except as to the amount. A transfer of certain ster-
ling funds al)road wa*^, by joint resolution, directed to be made from the Navy to the
Treasury. Kfforts were made to raise specie. A bill was passed in the Senate, in
secret session, to accomplish that object by the sale of certain licenses. It is under-
stood the bill was defeated in the House of Representatives by the acquiescence, if
not at tiie instigation, of the Secretary of the Treasury. It appears, from the corre-
spondi'uce sul)mitted to Congress, that the Secretary of War, as early as the 18th of
February, notified the President of the embarrassed condition of his Department,
and it is to be regretted that the Executive delil)erated on, and postponed for so long
a period as nearly twenty days, the comnmnication of that information to Congress.

If loss of time be a vice inherent in deliberative assemblies, promj)titude is a great
virtue in Executive action. There is every disposition on the part of Congress to
com[>Iy with the reconmiendations of the President, and some means of raising the
coin desired will no doubt be devised. It is unfortunate that the necessity for coin
in the Conunissary Department was not made known until the message under con-
sideration was received. The use of coin in one department of the Ctovernment is
calculated to superinduce the necessity for its use in all other departments; and
hence the policy of the ]iro|iosed measure, in a financial view, is very qdestionable.
Tlie necessity for supplies, however, overrides all other considerations. If prac-
ticable, it would be wiser to employ the specie in the purchase of Treasury notes and
then use the notes to obtain supplies.



Mar. 16, 1865.] 8ENATE. 731

Nothing is more desirable than concord and corcUal cooperation between all depart-
ments of Government. Hence your committee regret that the Executive deemed it
necessar}' to transmit to Congress a message so well calculated to excite discord and
dissension. But for the fact tliat the success of the great struggle in which the
country is engaged depends as much on the confidence of the people in the legislative
as in the executive department of the Government, the message would liave been
received without comment. Your committee would have preferred silence. It has
been induced to an opposite course, because they believe Congress would be derelict
in its duty to permit its legitimate and constitutional influence to be destroyed by
Executive admonitions, such as those contained in the message under consideration,
without some public exposition of its conduct.

The Senate proceeded to consider the said report; and
Resolved^ That they concur therein.
On motion by Mr, Maxwell,

Ordei\ed^ That the injunction of secrec}'^ be removed from the report
and that it be printed.

On mption by Mr. Barnwell,

The Senate resolved into open legislative session.

EXECUTIVE SESSION.

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

Executive Department, Confederate States of America,

Richmond, March 15, 1865.
To the Senate of the Confederate States:

Agreeably to the recommendation of the Secretary of War, 1 nominate the officers
on the accompanying list to the grades affixed to their names, respectively.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

No. 245.] War Department, Confederate States op America,

Richmond, March 4, 1865.
Sir: I have the honor to recommend the following nominations for appointment
in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States of America:

First lieutenants — aids-de-camp.

Joseph V. Thomas, of Alabama, to be aid to Brigadier-General McNair (an original
vacancy), to rank from December 11, 1864.

D. A. Given, jr., of Kentucky, to be aid to Brigadier-General Buford, vice Lieu-
tenant Myers, resigned, to rank from February 22, 1865.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,

Secretary of War.
To His Excellency Jefferson Davis,

President, etc.

The message was read.

The Senate proceeded to consider the nominations (contained in the
President's message of this date) of Joseph V. Thomas and D. A.
Given, jr., to be aids-de-camp, with the rank of first lieutenants; and

Resolved., That the Senate do advise and consent to their appoint-
ment, agreeably to the nomination of the President.

The following messages were received from the President of the
Confederate States, by Mr. B. N. Harrison, his Secretar}:

Executive Department, Confederate States of America,

Richmond, March 15, 1865.
To the Senate of the Confederate States-
Agreeably to the recommendation of the Secretary of War, I nominate Capt. J. H.

Franklin, of , to be promoted to commissary, with the rank of major in the

Provisional Army of the Confederate States of America.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.



732 JOURNAL OF THE [Mar. 16, 1865.

No. 271.] War Department, Confederate States of America,

Richmond, March IS, 1865.

Sir: I have the honor to recommend the nomination of Capt. J. H. FrankHn, of

, to be promoted to commissary, with the rank of major in the Provisional

Army of the Confederate States of America, for duty with artillery, First Corps,
Army of Northern Virginia (an original vacancy), to rank from March 2, 1865.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,

Secretary of War.
To His Excellency Jefferson Davis,

Presidenl, etc.

Executive Department, Confederate States of America,

Richmond, March 15, 1865.
To the Senate of the Confederate Slates:

Agreeably to the recommendation of the Secretary of AVar, I nominate the officers
on the accompanying list to the grades affixed to their names, respectively.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

No. 270.] War Department, Confederate St.^tes of America,

Richmond, March 13, 1865.
Sir: I have the honor to recommend the following nominations for appointment
in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States of America:

('ommissarief< — majors.

A. Parker, of South Carolina, to rank from March 2, 1865.
T. H. Kellogg, of N'irginia, to rank from March 2, 1865.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,
To His Excellency Jefferson Davis, Senrtari/ of War*.

Presidetd, etc.
Executive Department, Confederate States of America,

Richmond, March 15, 1865.
To the Senate of the ( 'onfederate States:

Agreeably to the recommendation of the Secretary of War, I nominate Capt.
R. W. N. Noland, of Virginia, to be promoted to commissary, with the rank of major
in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States of America.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

No. 272.] War Department, Confederate States of America,

Richmond, March 14, 1865.
StR: I have the honor to recommend the nomination of Capt. R. W. N. Noland,
of Virginia, to be promoted to commissary, with the rank of major in the Provisional
Army of the Confederate States of America, report to Commissary-General for assign-
ment to duty, to rank from March 4, 1865.

1 am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,
To His Excellency Jefferson Davis, Secretui^ of War.

President, etc.

Executive Depart.ment, Confederate States of America,

Richmond, March 15, 1865.
To the Senate of the Confederate States:

Agreeably to the recommendation of the Secretary of War, I nominate the officers
on the accompanying list to the grades affixed to their names, respectively.

J EFFERSON DAVIS.

No. 273.] War Department, Confederate States of America,

Richmond, March 15, 1865.
Sir: 1 have the honor to recommend the following nominations for appointment
in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States of America:

(Quartermasters — majors.

E. G. Mohler, of , to rank from March 4, 1865.

W. S. Harris, of Florida, to rank from June 15, 1864.



Mar. 16. 18b5.J SENATE. 733

Assistant quartermasters — captains.

E. Sampson, of Texas, to rank from March 4, 1865.
Henry De Mahy, of Louisiana, to rank from March 2, 1865.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,

Secretary of War.
To His Excellency Jefferson Davis,

Preifldent, etc.

The messages were severally read.

Ordered, That they be referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.

Mr. Wigfall, from the Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was
referred (on the 14th December last) the nomination of Maj. Gen. J. B.
Hood, to be general, with temporary rank (under act approved May
31, 1864), submitted a report (No. 2); which was read; accompanied by
the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

Resolred, That General J. B. Hood having been appointed general, with temporary
rank and command, and having been relieved from duty as commander of the Army
of Tennessee, and not having been reappointed to any other command appropriate
to the rank of general, he has lost the rank of general, and therefore can not be
confirmed as such.

On motion by Mr. Burnett,

Ordered, That a copy of the foregoing resolution be presented to
the President of the Confederate States.

Mr. Wigfall, from the Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was
referred (on the 28th ultimo) the nomination of O. M. Messick, to be
colonel Eleventh Texas Cavalry Regiment, reported, with the recom-
mendation that said nomination be rejected.

The Senate proceeded to consider said report; and

Resolved, That the Senate do not advise and consent to the nomina-
tion of O. M. Messick, to be colonel.

Mr. Wigfall, from the Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was
referred (on the 1st instant) the nomination of Thomas M. Hanckel, to
be aid-de-camp, with the rank of first lieutenant, reported, with the
recommendation that said nomination lie upon the table.

The Senate proceeded to consider said report; and

Resolved, That the nomination of Thomas M. Hanckel, to be aid-de-
camp, with the rank of first lieutenant, lie upon the table.

Mr. Wigfall, from the Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was
referred (on the 1st instant) the nomination of W. F. Perry, to be
brigadier-general, reported, with the recommendation that said nomi-
nation be confirmed.

The Senate proceeded to consider said report; and in concurrence
therewith, it was

Resolved, That the Senate do advise and consent to the appointment,
agreeably to the nomination of the President.

Mr. Wigfall, from the Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was
referred (on the 11th instant) the nomination of Maj. (xen. Stephen D.
Lee, to be lieutenant-general, with temporary rank, reported, with the
recommendation that said nomination be not confirmed.

The Senate proceeded to consider said report; and

After debate,

On the question,

Will the Senate advise and consent to the appointment of S. D. Lee,
to be lieutenant-general?

It was determined in the afiirmative, \ -k^^ ^



734 JOURNAL OF THE [Mar. 17, 1865.

On motion by Mr. Brown,

The yeas and nays being desired by one-fifth of the Senators present,

Those who voted in the affirmative are,

Messrs. Barnwell, Burnett, Graham, Hunter, Johnson of Missouri,
Maxwell, Orr, Semmes, Simms, Vest, and Watson.

Those who voted in the negative are,

Messrs. Brown, Caperton, Henry, Oldham, and Wigfall.

So it was

Resolved, That the Senate do advise and consent to the appointment
of S. D. Lee, to be lieutenant-general, agreeably to the nomination of
the President.

On motion by Mr. Caperton,

The Senate resolved into open legislative session.

FRIDAY, March 17, 1865.

OPEN SESSION.

Mr. Wigfall, from the Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was
referred the bill (H. R. 440) to increase the pay and mileage of officers
traveling under orders, reported it without amendment.

The Senate proceeded, as in Committee of the Whole, to the con-
sideration of the said bill; and no amendment being proposed, it was
reported to the Senate.

Ordered^ That it pass to a third reading.

The said bill was read the third time.

Resolved^ That it pass.

Ordered, That the Secretary inform the House of Representatives
thereof,

Mr. Wigfall, from the Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was
referred the lull (II. H. 43i>) to increase the conunutation value of
hospital rations for a limited time, reported it without amendment.

The Senate proceeded, as in Committee of the Whole, to the con-
sideration of the said bill; and no amendment being proposed, it was
reported to the Senate.

On the question,

Shall the bill be read a third time?

It was determined in the negative.

So the ))ill was rejected.

Ordered, That the Secretary inform the House of Representatives
thereof.

Mr. Brown (by leave) introduced

A bill (S. 22'.)) to regulate the assimilated rank between officers of
the Army and Nav}';

which was read the first and second times and referred to the Commit
tee on Military Affairs.

On motion by Mr. Burnett,

The Senate resolved into executive session.

The doors having been opened,

Mr. Caperton, from the committee, reported that they had examined



Online LibraryConfederate States of America. CongressJournal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865 (Volume 4) → online text (page 93 of 104)