War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0190 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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criticism, therefore, in this particular strikes me as being untenable. If you will consider the question in the light of the facts you will at once perceive how impossible it would be to adjust the rule of appointing all the officers in the State forces to that sense of justice which, you will admit, underlies the rule adopted by this Department, however, unjustly it may operate in special cases. That rule is, first, to provide for all the officers resigned from the Army of the United States because of the secession of the Confederate States. Now, if we adopted the rule to incorporate into the Army of this Government all the officers of the regular armies of the several States, every officer resigned from the service of the United States would be excluded, for there are more officers in the armies of Mississippi and South Carolina than there will be in the Army of the Confederate States.

It would, therefore, be impossible to recognize as right a rule operating with such injustice. The transportation, then, in the appointments here of officers now in the service of your State, by which their relative rank in the army of South Carolina is changed, although to be regretted, and possibly naturally creating some temporary personal dissatisfaction, ought not, legitimately, to "produce disorganization in the force" you have organized, I doubt not, with so much pains. Should your convention transfer the regular enlisted force of South Carolina to this Government, it is more than probable a large proportion of that force would be employed in the manner you suggest; and when so transferred this force would constitute a part of the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, and would retain, with their officers, during the period of service, whatever organization-whether of companies, battalions, or regiments-they might have had before being mustered into service, except, possibly, the company organization, which without a change of officers might be resolved either into battalions or regiments under orders from this Department.

With great consideration, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.


Montgomery, March 26, 1861.

Lieut. C. H. CRAIGE,

"Sons of the South," of Memphis, Tenn., Montgomery, Ala.:

SIR: The Secretary of War instructs me to express his deep regret in formally announcing to you that this Department is constrained by considerations which it cannot disregard to decline the patriotic offer of your excellent corps, as made to the President of the Confederate States, to take service in the Provisional Army of this Confederacy. The chief reason inducing his decision, as personally explained to you, is that unless there should occur hostilities of some considerable duration the forces derived from the States of the Confederacy are deemed ample for the defense of the country and all needful military operations. It would have afforded this Government great satisfaction to have been able consistently with the public interests to accept the services of the "Sons of the South" without reference to future contingencies; and next to that it would gratify the Secretary of War if he could say that in the event of war so gallant a corps