his commanding officer to produce his certificate for a furlough or discharge without inconvenience and delay. " When troops are in the field it is always true of a soldier in hospital that the commanding officers' certificate cannot be obtained "without inconvenience and delay," so that the soldier absent from camp can always get a furlough or discharge without the knowledge of his commander.
Fourth. The laldiers that will be constantly traveling on the railroad on the proposed system of a ten-days' furlough for 5 per cent. of all the effective men, together with the sick leaves provided for, will form an average of probably not less than 15,000 or 20,000 men in constant movement. This would occupy the transportation facilities, already much too limited, to such an extent as seriously to impair the movement of troops and supplies.
In whatever aspect the proposed legislation is contemplated, I cannot view it otherwise than as dangerous to the public safety, and I most earnestly recommend that in taking it again into consideration Congress will weigh any possible advantage that can result from this measure against the disasters that are not only the possible, but, as it appears to me, the probable, results of its adoption.
A BILL to be entitled "An act to provide for granting furloughs in certain cases. "
SECTION 1. The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That whenever the surgeon attached to any regiment, battalion, or separate post shall certify that any private or non-commissioned officer of such regiment, battalion, or separate post is incapable of performing military duty by reason of sickness, and that the health of said private or non-commissioned officer will, in his opinion, be improved by a temporary sojourn at home, the colonel of other officer commanding such regiment, battalion, or separate post may grant a furlough to said private or non-commissioned officer for such time as may be thought proper by said colonel or other commanding officers: Provided, That upon the certificate of the principal surgeon of any Government hospital that any sick or disabled soldier is too remote from his commanding officer to procure his certificate for a furlough or discharge without inconvenience and delay, such soldier may be furloughed or discharged upon the recommendation of such surgeon by the commandant of the nearest post.
SEC. 2. Whenever it shall appear from the written statement of any private or non-commissioned officer of any regiment, battalion, or separate post, approved by the captain or other officer commanding the company to which said private or non-commissioned officer is attached, that it is indispensable to the pecuniary or family interest of said private or non-commissioned officer that he should visit home, the colonel or other officer commanding such regiment, battalion, or separate post may, in his discretion, grant a furlough to said private or non-commissioned officer for a period not exceeding ten days, with an allowance of such additional time as may be required for him to reach home and return to his post: Provided, however, That said colonel or other commanding officer shall not grant furloughs for the cause and in the manner stated in this section to such number as to exceed at any time 5 per cent. of the force actually under his command.