War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0608 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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my part in the glorious strife and contributed to the final blessed consummation. What has the aspect of a studied indignity offered me? My noble associate in the battle has his preferment connected with the victory wan by our common toils and dangers. His commission bears the date of the 21st of July, but care seems to be taken to exclude the idea that I had any part in winning our triumph. My commission is made to bear such a date that my once inferiors in the service of the United States and the Confederate States shall be above me; but it most not be dated as of the 21st of July, nor be suggestive of the victory of Manassas. I return to my first position. I repeat, my right to my rank as general is established by the act of Congress of the 14th of March, 1861, and the 16th of May, 1861, and not by the nomination and confirmation of the 31st of August, 1861. To deprive me of that rank it was necessary for Congress to repeal those laws. That could be done by express legislative act alone. It was not done, it could not be done by a mere vote in secret session upon a list of nominations. If the action against which I have protested be legal, it is not for m e to question the expediency of degrading one who has served laboriously from the commencement of the war on this frontier and borne a prominent part in the only great event of that war, for the benefit of persons neither of whom has yet struck a blow for this Confederacy.

Your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON,

General.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, September 12, 1861.

His Excellency A. B. MOORE,

Governor of Alabama:

SIR: It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge your communication of the 3d of September and to answer your inquiries. The proper construction of the act of March 6, 1861, to provide for the public defense, relating to the volunteer and militia service under Confederate authority, has necessarily exercised this Department to no limited extent, and in reaching my conclusions in regard to its different parts I have not at all times relied upon my own judgment, but have freely consulted with the Attorney-General of the government.

First. With regard to the election of officers originally and the filling of vacancies among officers afterward in the volunteer and militia troops accepted and mustered into the Confederate service, the decision of this Department is that all such vacancies, whether original or occurring through death or resignation, after the troops have been mustered into service, must be filled by election-if a company officer, by the company; and if a field officer, by the battalion or regiment-and for the reason that whether said troops are called out for the mere purpose of State defense or fort that of Confederate service, and though styled volunteers, they are but a part of the militia of the States, having the right, under the laws of all the States, to elect their officers, which laws are guaranteed by the Constitution of the Confederate Government. All such troops come to this Government through State intervention, whether volunteering or drafted under requisition made by Confederate authority, and the laws of the States must obtain with regard to them in the respect mentioned. It is only