War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0741 Chapter XVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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Richmond, September 21, 1861.


Mayor of Mobile, Ala.:

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 16th instant I am directed by the Secretary of War to say that the Government is aware of the deficiency of powder at the forts below Mobile, and is using every effort to supply it as promptly as possible.

The garrison at Ship Island has been withdrawn, to prevent the possibility of its being cut off by the enemy.

This Department will be pleased to receive your suggestions on all occasions.



Chief of Bureau of War.


New Orleans, La., September 21, 1861.

Major General JOHN L. LEWIS,

And the other Field Officers of the First Division of Militia of Louisiana:

GENTLEMAN: I have examine the proceedings of your meeting held on the 19th instant, of which a copy was presented to me by your committed. I immediately addressed a letter to President Davis, and inserted the resolution of request for the appointment of an additional engineer and artillery officer at New Orleans.

I must decline complying with the request contained in your first resolution. Passing by the consideration of the question of my power or right to declare martial law, I cannot perceive, in the present state of public affairs, any justification for the adoption of so stringent a measure. Martial law suspends the functions of the civil magistrate, and makes the will of him who declares it the supreme and only law. If he has the power-the military force-to compel subjection to his will, no one can question the propriety or necessity of any of his orders. It is true it may be restricted in its operations as to locality, but it cannot be modified as to character. It may be declared in a district or portion of country, and has in some instances been accompanied with qualifications of its operation; but these qualifications may be laterad or dispensed with at the pleasure of the person who has the supreme power. It is therefore the substitution of the uncontrolled rule of one man for the government of law as administered by civil officers. I do not think the exigencies of the State and its people at the present moment demand or require the assumption and exercise of such power. I have in contemplation issuing general orders for the enrolling and organization of the militia, in the enforcement of which I shall expect, and know I will receive, your active co-operation.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Governor of Louisiana.

NEW ORLEANS, September 22, 1861.


Acting Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

DEAR SIR: * * * I am looking anxiously for the officers you promised to send us. A gentleman by the name of Smith, I believe from New