War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0165 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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MONTGOMERY, March 14, 1861.


Baton Rouge, La.:

Either twelve-months' or three-years', as they may have enlisted.



Washington, March 14, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

DEAR SIR: Your telegram about a disbursing clerk duly received and attended to without delay. * I have not yet been able to find one who is properly recommended. Major Belger, of the Quartermaster's Department, in the War Office, is in search of what is wanted, and believes he can succeed in a day or two. We are feeling our way here cautiously. We are playing a game in which time is our best advocate, and if our Government could afford the time I feel confident of winning. There is a terrific fight in the Cabinet. Our policy is to encourage the peace element in the fight, and at least blow up the Cabinet on the question. The outside pressure in favor of peace grows stronger every hour. Lincoln inclines to peace, and I have now no doubt that General Scott is Seward's anxious and laboring coadjutor in the same direction. If Seward were not a coward, and would have had an unofficial conference with us, we could have strengthened his hands. His refusal forced us to precipitate the official bombshell into the Cabinet before he was ready for it. He has already had to beg for time. I repeat that I feel the strongest conviction that if time would allow we could make our mission a success. Seward wanted time as much as we did, but his lack of nerve has lost it to him and to us. Never was administration in such a dilemma. The only question is with them which of its two horns had it better be impaled over. Since the 4th of March two of the Republican illusions have exploded-first, that it was very easy to re-enforce the forts, and second, that they could collect the revenue on floating custom-houses at sea. The great danger is that from ignorance of the true state of things in the South they may blunder us into a war when they really do not mean it. I think the great problem with the Administration is how to get out of a fight without blowing up the Republican party. They believe, and we encourage the pleasant thought, that in case of war their precious persons would not be safe in Washington. With prudence, wisdom, and firmness we have the rascals "on the hip. "

Very truly, yours,


[MARCH 15, 1861. -For resolutions of the Confederate Congress in reference to forts, dock-yards, reservations, and property ceded to the Confederate States, see Series I, VOL. LIII, p. 133.]


Montgomery, March 15, 1861.

Brigadier Gen. ROBERT E. LEE:

SIR: You are hereby informed that the President, by and with the advice of Congress, has appointed you a brigadier-general in the


* See March 5, p. 125.