War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0166 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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Army of the Confederate States. You are requested to signify your acceptance or non-acceptance of said appointment, and should you accept you will sign before a magistrate the oath of office herewith and forward the same, with your letter of acceptance, to this Department.


Secretary of War.

(Same to Brigadier Gen. Joseph E. Johnston.)


Montgomery, March 15, 1861.

His Excellency JOSEPH E. BROWN,

Savannah, Ga.:

SIR: Your communication of the 12th instant has been received. The requisition for 2,000 troops was intended for the provisional forces of the Confederate States. I beg to quote the third and fourth sections of the act of Congress to raise provisional forces, a copy of which I had the honor to inclose to you some days ago:

SEC. 3. Be it further enacted, That the President be authorized to receive into the service of this Government such forces now in the service of said States as may be tendered, or who may volunteer, by consent of their States, in such numbers as he may require, for any time not less than twelve months, unless sooner discharged.

SEC. 4. Be it further enacted, That such forces may be received, with their officers, by companies, battalions, or regiments, and when so received shall form a part of the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, according to the terms of their enlistment; and the President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of Congress, such general officer or officers for said forces as may be necessary for the service.

The proper interpretation of this act, it occurs to me, is that, whatever forces you now have organized in companies, battalions, or regiments, to the number of 2,000, will come into the Provisional Army as organized under your State regulations and commanded by their own officers. These forces, however, when mustered into the service of the Confederate States, without changing their organizations as companies, battalions, or regiments, or losing their officers, would be under the command of such genera Confederate Government as the President might assign to that duty. So far, then, as your regiments are completed, there is no difficulty in your transferring them to this Government in whatever form of organization you may determine upon, but to receive officers without men would not be, in my view, within the scope of the law. My letter of the 9th informed you that the Government needed 5,000 troops at Pensacola with as little delay as practicable, and I expressed the hope that your State would furnish 1,000 of that number. If the officers of your State now appointed, but without commands, are to enlist their men for three years, which period I understand is the basis of your military organization, it is probable the number required would not be contributed within the time it is supposed we may need them. Under these circumstances I respectfully suggest that you might raise without delay a volunteer force for twelve months amply sufficient to make up the deficiency, and that the officers appointed by you might undertake to do this. I do not well see how otherwise the embarrassments you suggest, with the attendant delay, could be obviated. You