AN ACT to provide for keeping all firearms in the armies of the Confederate States in the hands of effective men.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to organize comns or regiments of troops, to be armed with pikes, or other available arms, to be approved by him, when a sufficient number of arms of the kind now used in the service cannot be procured; such companies, battalions or regiments to be organized in the same manner as like organizations of infantry now are under existing laws.
SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That the President may cause the troops armed and organized as herein provided, to serve as similar organizations of infantry now do, or to attach troops so armed to other regiments in the service, in numbers not exceeding two companies of troops so armed to each regiment. And the colonel of the regiment to which such companies may be attached, shall have power to detail men from such companies to take the place of men in the companies armed with firearms, whenever vacancies may occur from death, or discharge, or in cases of absence, from sickness, furlough, or any other cause; the true intent and meaning of this provision being to render every firearm in the Army available at all times, by having it always in the hands of a well and effective man.
SEC. 3. Immediately after the passage of this act it shall be the duty of the Secretary of War to furnish a copy of the same to every general in the service.
Approved April 10, 1862.
RICHMOND, April 10, 1862.
Hon. G. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Confederate States:
SIR: It is understood that it is the earnest desire of the Government to cause the railroad connection between Selma, Ala., and Meridian, Miss., to be completed at the earliest time possible, so that the Government may have the use of the road for the transportation of troops, munitions of war, provisions, &c. The Provisional Congress passed an act authorizing an advance of $150,000 to the Alabama and Mississippi Rivers Railroad Company to complete the connection, and as a member of the board of directors of that company it has been made my duty submit the security required and to receive the amount proposed to be advper, however, that I should make known to you the fact that the sum of $150,000 will not be sufficient to complete the road and place upon it the necessary rolling-stock to answer the expectations and probable wants of the Government. When the application was made to the Provisional Government for an advance of money for the completion of this most important line of road it was hoped that the amount authorized to be advanced, when added to that which the company reasonably expected to derive from stock notes held by it, would be sufficient to finish the road for use and furnish it to some extent with necessary rolling-stock. But owing to the continuance of the blockade of our ports, whereby out cotton crop has been withheld from market and sale, the company has been unable to make collections, and the continued rise in railroad iron and rolling-stock has shown that the sum proposed to be advanced when expended will leave the work still in an unfinished state. It is the opinion of experienced engineers and