War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0616 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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valley. He will, therefore, answer any inquiry you may desire to make, and render you what information you may desire in reference to this army.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. LORING,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,

Charleston, W. Va., September 22, 1862.

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR> I observe in the late message of the Governor of the State certain wanton and unfounded charges, that, exceeding my authority as a Confederate officer, I had improperly and mischievously interfered with the non-conscripts in South west Virginia and demoralized the militia. Deprecating a controversy with the Governor, and disclaiming accountability to him for my official acts, I deem it proper to lay my action on the subject before you. In accordance with you telegram of August 15, stating that:persons in the employment of the Government are not regarded as liable to militia duty," and directing me to retain them and remit the question of liability to be determined in a conference between the Secretary of War and the Governor, I issued the following General Orders of August 17:

In accordance with instructions from the Secretary of War, persons in the employment of the Government are regarded as not labile to militia duty, and will be retained in their present occupations and employments until it is otherwise ordered and determined.

And in accordance with your telegram of August 18, stating, "The militia may volunteer before enrolling; if they volunteer for three years or the war, they are entitled to bounty;" and your letter of August 21, stating, "Until mustered into the State service, the militia can volunteer, and will receive bounty, if they enlist for three years or the war," I issued another General Order, which follows:

The general commanding announces, upon the authority of the Secretary of War, to the militia in this department between thirty-five and forty-five years of age, and not yet enrolled, that they may volunteer in the service of the Confederate States for three years or the war, and by so doing will receive a bounty of $50.

These orders contain my action on the subject referred to, and in them there is certainly nothing to warrant the misstatement of the Governor that I:issued orders to stop the enrollment in Monroe, Giles, and perhaps other counties." These orders offered to the citizens suddenly called into the public service the choice between the easier and briefer duties of the militia and the more permanent and immediately duty in the regularly constituted volunteer army then in the field and in the face of the enemy. The Governor seems to desire less that a public duty be done in an efficient way that it shall be done in his own way, and ho outrages the people whom he calls to arms when he denies to them the proud privilege of becoming volunteers, and seeks to detain them forcibly in a corps [which], though of the utmost dignity, yet whose service is temporary, local, and obliged by the laws.

I have been seriously interfered with in collecting conscripts for the army by the officers of the State Line, who have, by the written testimony of my recruiting officers, heretofore sent to you, openly received these persons into their ranks, and from it up to this time I have received no aid in expelling the enemy from this section; but I have forborne to