War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0893 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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effectual breaking up of the blockade will receive my most hearty co-operation and support.

I am, sir, yours, most respectfully,


Bank of Louisiana, New Orleans.


Richmond, January 29, 1862.


Chief of Military Department, Columbia, S. C.:

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 25th instant, the Secretary of War directs me to say that the Confederate Government has passed no law authorizing payment of troops not mustered into Confederate service. This Department is therefore without authority to pay the troops to which you refer.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Chief Bureau of War.


January 29, 1862.

His Excellency JOHN LETCHER,

Governor of Virginia:

DEAR SIR: In my last annual report (sec. 5, p. 3.) I stated the necessity for organizing a relief force for the troops in the field, and hoped that requisite measures would be promptly adopted. The Legislature met the first Monday in December. The last Monday in January has come and gone, but nothing is yet agreed upon. The experience of a lifetime, with no little active service in time past, may shield me from the charge of presumption in saying that all the legislation which is actually necessary now is perfectly simple and might be written on a single PAGE; please refer to the report. I think the whole arm-bearing force not in the field should be immediately drafted for service, organized into companies of 100 men, rank and file, and either be in commission. The first perhaps is preferable. From this force so adopted for service fill up the volunteer force now in the field by full companies, when needful, or by any less number which may be required to fill up the volunteer company by so much as it may have been reduced from any cause. As to any force which may remain after filling up the volunteer force, retain the organization by companies, even where a company has been reduced by drafts into the volunteer force. It will make the reserve more effective, and if a call upon it en masse should be made then fragments of companies may be consolidated. It is not possible to provide by legislation for every contingency that may arise. The commander-in-chief, if he has it not already, should be vested with authority to act in all such cases. I am not informed of the details of any of the several plans which it is said are before the Legislature. Senator Douglas showed me one prepared by himself, sensible and practicable, that is said to have undergone many changes, so that I do not know how it stands now.

But there is one feature which it is said has been ingrafted upon all of them which is fraught with the most fatal consequences. I am dismayed in the contemplation, for if carried out the State will lose