War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0915 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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found in the testimony of the officers were received and mustered into the service. It appears that they were received and mustered into service as volunteers from South Carolina, and that they have received and held no other commission than that derived from this State. It is further true that Governor Pickens, in whom was vested the power to appoint officers and fill vacancies, did at first, under his interpretation of the last resolution of the convention on this subject, decline to exercise the power and referred it to the President. It is equally true, as we are informed, that the President did also decline, affirming that the power was properly in the Governor; and this is substantiated by several facts-by the opinion then given by the Attorney-General, now Secretary of War; by several communications from Confederate officers, and the consequent uninterrupted and unquestioned practice of the Governor since that time.

On the 11th of July, 1861, Mr. Julius M. Rhett applied to the Secretary of War at Richmond for an appointment to a second lieutenancy in the battalion of the State regular artillery. On the 19th of the same month the following reply was sent to him from the War Department of the Confederate States of America:

JULIUS M. RHETT, Esq.,

Charleston, S. C.:

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 11th instant I am directed by the Secretary of War to say that such vacancies as are referred to in the documents that accompanied your letter are filled under State organization.

Respectfully,

A. T. BLEDSOE,

Chief of Bureau of War.

On the 25th of July, 1861, Thomas S. Mills, who was at that time assistant adjutant-general under Colonel R. H. Anderson, in the State regular regiment of infantry, received a communication from R. H. Chilton, assistant adjutant-general, Richmond, Va., which contains the following language:

In reply to your inquiry respecting the rules to be observed in filling vacancies occurring in regiment under your command, the Secretary of War derives the following decision from opinion given by the Attorney-General.

Then comes the opinion:

When troops are organized under State laws, and received into service as so organized, as, for instance, by battalions or regiments, all vacancies occurring are filled according to State laws, &c.

Now, it is submitted that the troops in question were organized under State laws and received into service as so organized by battalion and regiment and with officers commissioned by the State; that the organization was never changed in any manner whatever, for although the convention desired to turn them over as enlisted troops and negotiate for the same rank for their officers, &c., yet this was declined and has never been done by the Confederate Government; but, on the contrary, they were received and have always been regarded and treated as State organizations, both by State and Confederate authorities and officers. This was also the way in which they were regarded and treated by Brigadier Gen. R. H. Anderson, Provisional Army, as appears by his letter of 27th of July, 1861, in which he transmits a copy of instructions above quoted to Captain Simonton, assistant adjutant and inspector-general of South Carolina, and asks "very respectfully to press upon His Excellency Governor Pickens speedy promotions and appointments in the State regular artillery and infantry. " Subsequently to wit, on the 13th day of December, 1861, the present Secretary of War and former Attorney-