War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0894 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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all her best officers, we shall be defeated and disgraced, and a system of electioneering and demagogism introduced into the army as fatal as a pestilence. The elective principle to any extent is out of place in our army, and when it includes the grade of field officers no man can estimate the mischief which must result. It would be far better for the Legislature to do nothing than either to do this or to adopt any diffuse and complex system, when the end may most effectively be reached by direct or simple means. Please refer to chapter 29, sections 2 to 6, inclusive, PAGE162 of Code of 1860. Might not the Governor meet the exigency under this, if there be no further legislation? I did not prepare a bill embodying my own views, lest it should be deemed officious-as probably I should-since but one scheme has been shown me by any member of the Legislature. It is plain to any mind of ordinary intelligence that gentlemen proposing to legislate upon this important subject should first inform themselves as to the working and efficiency of the existing law. Instead of that I have heard sweeping denunciations of it by gentlemen who have probably never read a PAGE. Ever since I have been in the public service it has been the standing custom, particularly of those who know nothing about it, to denounce the militia law, and alter by way of amendment, making bad worse at every session. The State has now the best militia law it ever had, and the most striking and undeniable evidence of its efficiency is afforded by the gallant army now in the field. I cannot express my anxiety and alarm at the prospect before us. Is there no remedy, are there no means by which the legislation upon this important subject can be brought within the actual requirements of the case, without the influence of the various fancies and prejudices which seem to rule everything? If it can, the serious mischiefs which threaten the case may yet be averted. I rely upon your indulgence to excuse this communication, which is prompted only by anxiety and serious alarm for the State.

Very respectfully, yours,


[JANUARY 29, 1862. -For J. E. Johnston to S. B. French, in relation to arms, &c., see Series I, VOL. V, p. 1051.]

AN ACT to transfer funds from the Quartermaster's to the Ordnance Department.

The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That $3,000,000 of the sum heretofore appropriated to the service of the Quartermaster's Department and yet unemployed be, and the same is hereby, transferred and appropriated to the service of the Ordnance Department.

Approved January 30, 1862.


Richmond, Va., January 30, 1862.

Hon. S. F. HALE,

Chairman Military Committee:

SIR: In answer to your inquiry of the - instant I have the honor to report:

First. That the construction placed by this Department on the law is, that brigadier-generals are not officers, generally, independently of