I ordered some coin to be sent to Major Russell, thinking that there was a considerable sum. I will be able, I think, in a few days, to send him some $10,000 in coin to assist in this operations.
Do not yield an inch to anybody, but do all you can to secure these cargoes and to fulfill our obligations under the contracts made with the Secretary of War, with Major Washington, and other disbursing officers of the Government,in pursuance of which three vessels and cargoes are now in our waters. The specified time for the payment under these contracts has arrived; in the other cases no time is specified,and, at all events, these are the orders, and you will be guided by them until Lieutenant-General Smith is heard from.
I was surprised to learn that Major Russell has been ordered to San Antonio when these immense interests were left unattended to on the Rio Grande. I am happy to learn he is now at his post, where he will remain until further orders, as his services are more important there than they can be elsewhere.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, Ala., August 4, 1863.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,
Commanding Department of the West, Hdqrs. Morton, Miss.:
SIR: I telegraphed you yesterday,and now write to advise you that we have as yet no companies of volunteers organized, or drafted militia. As previously informed, the militia of Alabama embraces only those between twenty-eight and forty-five years of age, and these are all appropriated under the conscript act of Congress and the late call of the President, excepting that class who have been discharged by putting in substitutes. Some of these, with a few exceptions, are volunteering, but none of these companies have as yet tendered their muster-rolls. I ordered a draft on the 25th ultimo,which only embraced those who had substitutes, and the most of them are seeking pretexts in every manner to avoid duty, even to a resort to a habeas corpus before ignorant justices of the peace, who have no jurisdiction of their cases. The 8th instant was appointed the day for their rendezvous at convenient points, to be organized into companies,and I have ordered that they might have until that day to volunteer, if they wish to do so.
The militia regiments, however, are so depleted that there are only squads of a few men to be found in a number of them subject to the draft. The aggregate of these in the entire State would make but a few regiments, if it were possible to collect them in any reasonable time, or collect them at all.
The Legislature of Alabama, at its last session, surrendered the militia officers of the State who were within the conscripts age, and the whole system is now so completely disorganized that it is almost impossible, in most localities, to enforce an order by military power. In view of these facts, I await with anxiety the assemblage of the State Legislature, called for the 17th instant, for upon its prompt and patriotic action will depend all further efficiency of the State militia. What sort of a body we may have assembled, and whether it will be equal to the crisis, I am not prepared to say.
I recommended at the last session a reorganization, and that all ablebodied