[OCTOBER 28 and 29, 1861. -For Milton to Benjamin and Milton to Davis, in relation to organization of troops and other military matters in Florida, see Series I, VOL. VI, pp. 297, 300.]
[OCTOBER 28, 1861. -For Brown to Benjamin, protesting against the further removal of Georgia troops to Virginia, and Benjamin's reply thereto, see Series I, VOL. LI, Part II, p. 359.]
Jackson, Miss., October 29, 1861.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:
DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 19th instant this moment handed me by Colonel Haynes. * In response to your inquiry, "Why do you favor the twelve-months' men?" I answer that I have not favored the twelve-months' men. I have only administered the law of the State. The convention gave to the military board the absolute control of all the arms and military property of the State, and the military board passed an order that no arms should be given to any companies until all the companies mustered into the service of the State were armed. This order was reiterated and insisted on, and they had the right under the ordinance to control the matter. Many of the twelve-months' companies had enlisted early in the spring, and had spent from $500 to $5,000 per company of their private means in uniforming, equipping, and drilling their companies in camp at their own expense, and had the arms of the State in their hands; other companies, similarly organized and drilled, had waited in camp for months for arms to be repaired for them. Gentlemen who said they were authorized by the Confederate authority to raise regiments or companies for the war, came to me and asked that the arms should be taken from these companies and given to them. This I refused for two reasons: First, I had no power; second, it was not just to first-class companies. This was complained of by the officers who were anxious to arm their regiments for the war as favoring the twelve-moths' men. I have often appealed to the military board for arms for the troops for the war, and sometimes it was reluctantly granted. Bonham's regiments was armed by my order, and if I have gone beyond my authority in any instance it has been in the arming and equipping companies for the war. When on June 30 last the Secretary of War called on me for 3,000 troops for [the war?] they were tendered and received. The Secretary informed me that mustering officers and supplies should be sent to the encampments. This was delayed until General Hardee and General Polk sent their agents into Mississippi for troops, and many were received by those officers for twelve months who had tendered to me for the war, and the Secretary of War received companies who would arm themselves for twelve months, and ordered them to Virginia and other points, notwithstanding they had been tendered to me, under his call, for the war, and being thus received and ordered, they left the State without giving me notice. I at last ordered what companies were left into camp at the expense of the State. They have since been supplied by the Secretary of War, but not until I wrote to you calling attention to the matter. General Johnston is now calling on me for 10,000 troops for the war,