and the raising of "provisional forces. " Afterward a further bill was passed to "provide for the public defense," under which requisitions were authorized for troops to serve twelve months. More recently amendatory acts have been passed, giving to this Department the discretionary power to receive forces for the war.
So long as hostilities with the North were only apparent, this Department proceeded to act simply in the line of the organization of the Regular Army, and in providing temporary forces for the recovery of our forts, arsenals, and dock-yards; but, with the reduction of Sumter, it soon became necessary to make requisitions, under the act to provide for the public defense, for troops to serve for the more extended period of twelve months. While this Department was thus engaged in receiving companies, battalions, and regiments, it was scrupulous not to accept independent corps and it always replied to such offers, as it did to Colonel Gartrell, that no troops could be received from within the limits of the Confederate States save through the several State Executives. The Congress now assembled, and in view of the proclamation of Mr. Lincoln at Washington calling for enrollments for three years and enlistments for the war, indicating preparations of the part of the enemy for a prolonged contest, our representatives, in their wisdom, passed amendatory laws authorizing this Department to receive volunteers for the war. They moreover, in order to facilitate the formation of forces capable of meeting the enemy, invested this Department with the further power of accepting direct tenders without the intervention of State executive authority.
It should not be forgotten that these things have all transpired in the course of three months, the one rule and the one line of action following rapidly upon the heel of the other and being well calculated to create the impression of a want of persistency in the Government upon the subject of military services. The determination of this Department finally reached, in view of the whole question in its multiplied relations, is that troops armed and equipped by the Government must serve for the war, but volunteer corps may be received to serve for twelve months who present themselves ready armed and equipped. It is properly the policy of the Government to arm those troops that are willing to serve for the war in preference to those who offer only for twelve months. The supply of arms is not superabundant, and from present indications it is believed that the number offering for the war will be more to exhaust our supply of arms. This result may follow without giving us all the men in the field we desire to place there, and the deficiency may be supplies by receiving troops, already armed and equipped, to serve for twelve months.
It is evident the Government at Washington is preparing for a prolonged and bloody war. The proclamation of Mr. Lincoln calling for enrollments for three years and enlistments for the was clearly shows a resolution to convert all their forces from the character of raw militia and movement Your Excellency will perceive they at one and the same time inure their troops to campaign life and the battle-field and promote economy of administration. Their calculation is that often heretofore made, and was notably practiced by the Roundheads against the Cavaliers through the genius and skill of Cromwell. It is supposed now, as then by that great captain, that the impetuosity and superior dexterity of our men in the use of arms will cause the earlier victories to lean to our side, but that trained, disciplined, and solid battalions will prove in the end triumphant. Nor will it be denied