These troops, maintained at a small expense to the State, well armed, and prepared to act as emergency might require, constituted a valuable auxiliary to our coast defenses. They were retained in the State service until very recently, when, with the understanding that they would be accepted by the Confederate Government, to which their services had been tendered, they were discharged.
Directly connected with this subject is the disposition made by me of the arms and munitions of war belonging to the State. On the commencement of hostilities between the two governments I considered the Confederateady and efficient support to the utmost of my ability. The cause of the Confederacy was the cause of Alabama, and the resources of the State which were at my command and essential to a vigorous and successful prosecution of the war I freely placed at the disposal of the Confederate Government. The arms, upward of 20,000 stand, and other munitions of war acquired by the State in taking possession of the arsenal at Mount Vernon and Fort Morgan were, under the direction of the ordinance of 9th of March, 1861, turned over to the Confederacy, while those which the wisdom and foresight of the Legislature of 1859-'60, in anticipation of the events which subsequently transpired, had enabled me to provide, were liberally supplied to the volunteer force of Alabama in the Confederate service. Your State has given to the defense of the Confederacy full 27,000 of her men. She had organized and in the field twenty-three regiments, two battalions, at least ten companies of horse and as many of foot, while five other regiments are in process of formation, their ranks nearly full. Of these troops Alabama has armed more than 14,000 and equipped nearly half that number, besides furnishing large supplies of powder, heavy and light artillery, and other munitions of war, independent of those which resulted from the occupation of Mount Vernon. The expenditures which have been made by the State in acquisitions which the Confederacy has received, the supplies which have been furnished at the expense of your treasure to arm, equip, and subsist her troops, the expenses of the State in defending and protecting the gulf-coast in Alabama and Florida after the formation of the Confederate Government, as they resulted to the common good, constitute a just claim upon the common treasury, which will doubtless be acknowledged and paid by that Government. In this connection I would also bring to the notice of your honorable body that I have taken the responsibility of anticipating to a considerable extent the payment of the clothing commutation money to be made by the Confederate Government to the troops from this State in her service, and investing the amount in clothing for their benefit. I assumed this responsibility only under the conviction that the large amount of clothing required could not otherwise be supplied, and that the comfort and health of the troops, as well as their efficiency in the field, imperatively demanded it. The provision made by law to the volunteer to supply him with clothing was originally $21, since increased to $25, which is paid him on the first pay-day, and every six months afterward during his continuance in the service. A large proportion of the volunteer force from this State have no other means to furnish themselves with clothing than the provision thus made, and of those who entered the service during the last spring and summer not one has received more than the lowest sum I have named to provide himself with both summer and winter clothing, including blankets.
45 R R-SERIES IV, VOL I