War of the Rebellion: Serial 110 Page 0648 SW. VA., KY., TENN., MISS., ALA., W. FLA., & N. GA. Chapter LXIV.

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TALLADEGA, ALA., March 28, 1864.

Honorable J. A. SEDDON,

Richmond, Va.:

DEAR SIR: Yours of 17th instant, desiring me to undertake the charge of commissioner for carrying into effect the act suspending the writ of habeas corpus and the orders under it in the army of General Johnston, was received yesterday, and I shall proceed forthwith to Dalton to the discharge of my duties. The execution of the act will be attended with some difficulty, owing to the opposition of Governor Brown, the Vic-President, and other prominent men in Georgia. My aim shall be to avoid all collision with State authorities, and so to use my office as to prevent discord and promote harmony. An early occasion will doubltess be seized to test the constitutionality of the act before the Georgia courts. If Judge Campbell, who drafted the bill that passed the House (as I understood), could find time to write and publish an editorial in the Sentinel explaining the law and replying to some of Governor Brown's objections, good would be accomplsihed. Themessage of the President not being published, nothing has appeared in the newspapers defensive of the law, while scores of malcontents have done what they could to excite odium against the law, the President, and yourself.

Allow me to thank you for the confidence reposed in me as evinced by my selection for so important and responsible a position. What you have done justifies me in throwing off a reserve that otherwise would not have been broken. With entire frankness I am emboldened by your action to say that I much prefer a position on a military court. If my services are deemed valuable by the Government in a higher station that that of private in the ranks, it is no egotism to claim, from eduction, habits of study, and modes of thought, some fitness for the place designated. For many reasons not necessary to state, I desire a more direct connection with the army than the execution of the law suspending the writ of habeas corpus will give. If, therefore, you can feel at liberty to urge or secure a transfer from my present position to a military court, I shall be under lasting obligations.

Gratefully appreciating your kindness, I have the honor to be, yours, very truly,


P. S.-A letter addressed to Dalton, care of General Johnston, will reach me.

J. L. M. C.



March 28, 1864.


MY DEAR GENERAL: Upon the reception of your letter of the 16th* I wrote to Colonel Gorgas, requesting him to send to you the 1,500 saddles and bridles which I was told when I first wrote to inquire about horses, &c., could be furnished at this time (April 1). I inclose his answer. You see what little aid we can calculate on beyond what we can create for ourselves. I very much regret this disappointment, as could you have got these equipments, they might have afforded you valuable assistance. It looks now as if Grant was really going to operate the Army of the Potomac. When it was first communicated in


*See VOL. XXXII, Part III, p. 641.