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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 4, vol 1, Part 1 (Blockade Runners)
Page 997 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

encampment for drill, &c. An assistant quartermaster-general will be in readiness at the place of general rendezvous to provide all the necessary outfit and subsistence. These regiments will elect their own officers. The staff of each regiment will recommend, which always amounts to an appointments, the regimental quartermaster, commissary, surgeon, &c. Any one wishing further information will receive it promptly by addressing me at Bonham, Fannin County, Tex. To give this a wider circulation in Texas I hope the patriotic editors of newspapers in the counties designated will insert it in their papers.

SAML. A. ROBERTS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Provisional Army, C. S.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

March 14, 1862.

To the SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

Not being able to approve, I return with my objections, in accordance with the duty imposed by the Constitution, an act entitled "An act to create the office of commanding general of the armies of the Confederate States. " The act creates an office which is to continue during the pleasure of the President, but the tenure of office of the general to be appointed is without any other limitation than that of the office itself. The purpose of the act, so far as it creates a military bureau the head of which, at the seat of government, under direction of the President, shall be charged with the movement of troops, the supply and discipline of the Army, I fully approve; but, by what I cannot regard otherwise than as an inadvertence on the part of Congress, the officer so appointed is authorized to take the field at his own discretion and command any army or armies he may choose, not only without the direction but even against the will of the President, who could not consistently with this act prevent such conduct of the general otherwise than by abolishing his office. To show that the effect of this act would be highly detrimental to the Army, it might be enough to say that no general would be content to prepare troops for battle, conduct their movements, and share their privations during a whole campaign if he expected to find himself superseded at the very moment of action. But there is another ground which to my mind is conclusive. The Constitution vests in the Executive the command in chief of the armies of the Confederacy; that command is totally inconsistent with the existence of an officer authorized, at his own discretion, to take command of armies assigned by the President to other generals. The Executive could in no just sense be said to be Commander-in-Chief, if without the power to control the discretion of the general created by this act. As it cannot have been the intention of Congress to create the office of a general not bound to obey the orders of the Chief Magistrate, and as this seems to be the effect of the act, I can but anticipate the concurrence of the Congress in my opinion that it should not become a law.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

[Inclosure.]

AN ACT to create the office of commanding general of the armies of the Confederate States.

The Congress of the Confederate States do enact, That there shall be, and is hereby, created the office of commanding general of the


Page 997 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 4, vol 1, Part 1 (Blockade Runners)
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