War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0605 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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reason why some of the State appointees have been refused pay. They could not be paid, of course, unless in the service of the Confederate Government, evidenced by its commission. It is true those commissioned by the Confederate Government, under the sanction of that commission, would by paid for services render while holding the State commission, would be paid for services rendered while holding the State commission, as the first would carry wition of the last. So far as is remembered nearly the whole number of surgeons, quartermasters, and commissaries made by Your Excellency proved so unexceptionable that they were accepted and confirmed in their commissions; only a very few of them were rejected, for special and sufficient reasons. Your Excellency may rest assured that this Department has every disposition so to shape its action as to harmonize, if possible, most cordially with that of the State authorities of Virginia; and if Your Excellency has suffered any different idea to prevail in respect to this business it is deeply to be regretted.

I have the honor to remain, with high regard, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.


Manassas, September 12, 1861.


SIR: I have had the honor to receive through the War Department a copy of the proceedings of Congress on the 31st of August, 1861, confirming the nominations made by the President of the Confederate States of five generals of the Confederate Army, and fixing their relative rank. I will not affect to disguise the surprise and mortification produced in my mind by the action taken in this matter by the President and by Congress. I beg to state further, with the most profound respect for both branches of the Government, that I am deeply impressed with the conviction that these proceedings are in violation of my rights as an officer, of the plighted faith of the Confederacy, and of the Constitution and laws of the land. Such being my views, lest my silence should be deemed significant of acquiescence, it is duty as well as a right on my part at once to enter my earnest protest against the wrong which I conceive has been done me. I now and here declare my claim, that notwithstanding these nominations by the President and their confirmation by Congress, I still rightfully hold the rank of first general in the Armies of the Southern Confederacy. I will proceed briefly to state the grounds upon which I rest act of the Confederate Congress of the 6th day of March, 1861, section 8, amended by that of march 14, 1861, section 2, creates the grade of brigadier-general as the highest rank in their service, and provides that there shall be five officers of that grade. The fifth section of the last-named act enacts-

That in all cases of officers who have resigned, or who may within six months tender their resignations from the Army of the United States, and who have been or may be appointed to original vacancies in the Army of the Confederate states, the commission issued shall bear one and the same date, so that the relative rank of officers of each grade shall be determined by their former commissions in the U. S. Army, held anterior to the secession of these Confederate States from the United States.

Under these laws, about the 13th of May, 1861, R. E. Lee and myself were nominated as brigadier-generals in the C. S. Army. Samuel