War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0167 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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will, I feel assured, do this Department the justice to believe that it has every disposition, as far as possible, to accommodate itself to the rather peculiar condition of things in your State, but you will see at once that it has no power to receive into the service of the Government less than an organized company. This, of course, excludes officers without command.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.

FRIDAY, March 15, 1861. *

The convention met in secret session, Mr. Hull in the chair, when the following communication from His Excellency Governor Brown was taken up, read, and on motion of Mr. Glenn, of Fulton, referred to the Committee on Military Affairs, to wit:

SAVANNAH, March 15, 1861.


While in session at Milledgeville an ordinance was passed by the convention which made it my duty to raise two regiments of regular troops in Georgia, which regiments were expected to be turned over to the General Government of the seceding States when formed and to become a part of the Regular Army of the Confederacy. The ordinance made it my duty, as far as practicable, to officer the regiments with Georgians who were lately officers in the U. S. Army and who had or might resign with the patriotic purpose of entering the service of this State. I was also directed to preserve the relative rank of all such officers. In obedience to the commands of the convention I proceeded as fast as possible with the organization of the regiments. In the selection of officers I not only appointed every officer of the U. S. Army from Georgia who had at the time resigned, but I appointed every one on the active-list in the Army and Navy from Georgia. Some were in Oregon or Washington Territory, some on the coast of Africa, and one probably in India. These had not resigned, but I felt it my duty to reserve a place for each of them till he could be heard from. I preserved the relative rank of each by appointing no one of a lower grade over any one of a higher grade, and I advanced each as far as it was in my power to do. The whole number, however, was not sufficient to officer the two regiments. I was obliged, therefore, to fill part of the places with gentlemen from civil life. This I did by the appointment of such gentlemen as were, in my judgment, best qualified for the discharge of the duties of the respective positions assigned them. I may be here excused for remarking that my conduct has been criticized and censured by some one because I appointed certain gentlemen from civil life to higher positions than I give some of the officers of the Army. It is true that I have appointed gentlemen who were not officers in the U. S. Army to higher positions than I have given to some who were officers in the Army. Had I pursued a different course, and appointed no one from civil life till I had given each army officer a place, I must have excluded gentlemen of anything like high position, who had age and experience, from any place in the regiments, as they could not have accepted positions below the lowest grades of army officers. As an instance, I appointed General Charles J. Williams, of Muscogee, who served with distinction in the war with Mexico, is the present speaker of the House of Representatives of the State, and a brigadier-general, to the position of lieutenant-colonel of the First Regiment, and Colonel E. W. Chastain, a member of this convention, who has been a Representatives in the Congress of the late United States from this State, and who commanded a regiment in the Florida, war, as lieutenant-colonel of the Second Regiment. I certainly could not, with any degree of propriety, have tendered either of these gentlemen a place below a young gentleman recently graduated at West Point, who occupied the position of a second lieutenant only in the U. S. Army. I might mention other instances when such an appointment would have been equally improper. Had I refused to appoint any gentleman of position similar to those above mentioned and given all the first places to army officers, I


* From Journal of the Georgia Convention.