[MAY 27,28, 1861. -For proceedings of the Military Board of Arkansas, in relation to raising troops and the defense of the State, see Series I, VOL. LIII, p. 691.]
NEW ORLEANS, May 27, 1861.
L. P. WALKER:
The Fourth Regiment has been mustered into your service. Do they go to Ship Island? If not, say where, and issue orders for transportation. The Fifth and Sixth Regiments ready to be mustered into service.
THO. O. MOORE.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, May 27, 1861.
JAMES PHELAN, Esq.,
Aberdeen, Miss., and
Judge WILLIAM M. BROOKS, Marion, Ala.:
GENTLEMEN: Your letters of the 13th and 23d of May, addressed to the President, have been referred to this Department for answer. In reference to the change of policy of this Department with regard to volunteers received into the Confederate service, of which you complain, I have to say that the proclamation of Mr. Lincoln calling for enrollments for three years and enlistments for the war, indicating a determination on the part of the Government at Washington to prepare for a protracted struggle, demanded adequate preparations on our side to meet the issue thus presented, which, happily, the amendatory acts of Congress investing this Department with the discretionary power to receive volunteers for the war enabled us to do. You will readily perceive that while the enemy by their movement were yearly increasing the effectiveness of their forces by changing their character more and more from that of raw recruits and militia into that of regulars and veterans, we should have been maintaining throughout the war, without this change of policy, an inexperienced and undisciplined army. Nor is this all. The largest relative expense of an army is incurred during the year of its several enrollment and equipment. While, therefore, the enemy by their system were diminishing their relative annual expenditures, we should have been laboring continually through the twelve months' system under the heaviest relative annual outlay. But apart from these considerations there exists another reason still more controlling, demanding the change of policy of which complain. The arms in possesartment are not superabundant, and it was an object of the first importance to husband those at our command as far as possible. This point was gained through the act of Congress permitting volunteers to be accepted for the war. By receiving volunteer tenders only for the war it must be seen we greatly economized our arms and at the same time were enabled to dispense with the further organization of the Regular Army, as the volunteers thus accepted were placed at once in process of conversion into regulars. The enormous outlay necessary to the complete organization of the Regular Army has been thus saved to the Government, for the present at least, in addition to the immense saving in respect to arms. It was, moreover, esteemed wise, in view of the policy of converting our volunteers into regulars