War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0787 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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GENERAL ORDERS,

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 20.

Richmond, December 12, 1861.

The attention of officers commanding troops is called to General Orders, No. 17, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, November 7, 1861. The numerous cases presenting themselves in Richmond without other evidence of discharge than a few lines, in manuscript, merely stating that fact, entails great distress upon the discharging, from absence of proper papers securing payment of their dues, and great embarrassment to the Quartermaster's Department, striving to do justice to the Government and soldier. Humanity and justice to the soldier demand from company commanders the papers necessary to secure to the soldier his rights, both in cases of discharge and when detached from his company. It is therefore earnestly enjoined upon regimental and battalion commanders, in every instance of discharge, to see that "final statements" accompany the "discharge," filled out for his signature, before signing the latter, and where men are detached, from sickness or other causes likely to occasion long absence from their companies, that descriptive rolls be furnished. Failure in compliance with the foregoing requirements will be promptly reported to brigade commanders and made the subject of investigation and, if necessary, of a court-martial.

By command of the Secretary of War:

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector-General.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, December 12, 1861.

G. B. LAMAR, Esq.,

Savannah, Ga.:

SIR: In further reply to your letter of 2d instant I am enabled to inform you, upon information derived directly from the Commissary-General, that you are mistaken in regard to the extravagant prices alleged to be paid for coffee by the commissaries in the Confederate service. The highest price yet paid has been 41 cents, and the extreme limit has been fixed at 45 cents. I am also assured by the Commissary-General that the purchases of our commissaries are conducted with a strict regard to economy, and that the reckless purchasing to which you refer, however much it may be chargeable to others, has not been made by the C. S. Commissary Department.

I am, respectfully,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

P. S. -If you know any fact not consistent with the foregoing statement, please inform me specifically.

Yours, very truly,

J. P. BENJAMIN.

[DECEMBER 12, 1861. -For correspondence between Milton and Trapier, in relation to organizing Florida troops for the Confederate service, see Series I, VOL. LIII, p. 212.]