War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0699 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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service discharge their duties with as much zeal, intelligence, and efficiency as any officers in the Government. There may be defects in the administration of the conscript laws and dereliction among the officers, but I have no hesitation in asserting that the country and the Government has just reason to be satisfied both with the system and the officers. As to the officers of this Bureau immediately under my eye, I have, without undue assumption great pride in testifying to their zeal, their apt intelligence, their untiring industry and absorbing devotion in the public service.

In view of the important and delicate service you have confided to my administration, I cannot refrain from the expression of my grateful acknowledgment to you and to the eminent public servant who acts as your assistant for the patient and courteous consideration you have given to all my applications, and for the enlightened, rompt instructions by which you have authorized and enabled me to execute your orders. Of the nature, the extent, the intricacy, and the delicacy of the duties to be performed by the conscription authorities, you have, and what is extremely rare in the country, a full and clear comprehension, and in their performance you have generously permitted me to avail myself habitually of your direct and minute counsels.

JOHN. S. PRESTON,

Colonel and Superintendent.

The results of the operations of the Recruiting or Conscript Bureau of the rebels, between April, 1862, when it was created, and February, 1865, are given in detail in the following report:

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

February 23, 1865.

Laid on the table and ordered to be printed.

By the Chair-

MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT.

RICHMOND, VA., February 21, 1865.

The HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

In response to your resolution of the 30th ultimo I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War relative to the accessions to the Army from each State since April 16, 1862; to the number of persons liable to conscription who have been exempted or detailed, and to the number of those between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, and not unfitted for active service in the field, who are employed in the several States in the manner indicated in your inquiry.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

COMMUNICATION FROM THE SECRETARY OF WAR.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, Va., February 20, 1865.

The PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES:

SIR: I have received the following resolution of the House of Representatives, adopted on the 30th ultimo, and referred by Your Excellency to this Department for attention:

"Resolved, That the President be respectfully requested to communicate to this House: First, the number of soldiers from each State added to the military service by enrollment, volunteering, or otherwise since the enactment of the act of April 16, 1862, commonly known as the "conscript act;" second, the number of those within the conscript age exempt or detailed, discriminating as to the classes of each in each State; third, the number of those within the ages of eighteen and forty-five years not disabled or unfit for active service in the field who are employed in the respective States in executing the law of conscription, or in connection with post commissaries and post quartermasters, or otherwise, in derogation of existing laws."

In response I have the honor to transmit herewith a report from the superintendent of conscription containing the information called for by the House.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,

Secretary of War.