AN ACT to fix the date at which the bounty shall be paid to soldiers enlisting for the war.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the bounty of fifty dollars, allowed by existing laws to soldiers enlisting for the war or re-enlisting for two years or recruited, shall be payable as soon as the volunteer entitled thereto shall have been sworn into the Confederate service, and shall have been pronounced by any surgeon or assistant surgeon of the Confederate States, after inspection, as being fit and able to do military service.
Approved February 17, 1862.
February 17, 1862.
GENTLEMEN OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF DELEGATES:
An increase of the forces in the field is imperatively demanded by a proper regard for the public safety, not only of the people of Virginia, but of the Confederacy. The demand is instant and pressing, and it should be met promptly by people of all classes. We are too apathetic-too insensible to the wants and necessities of the times. The force in the field is inadequate, and if we intend to maintain the Government our people have approved and to secure our liberty and independence in the struggle now upon us, promptness, decision, and action are indispensably requisite. I desire to impress upon the minds of our people that no time is to be lost. Now is the day and now is the hour. The difficulty consists in the minds of many in procuring arms for those who are willing and anxious to take the field and risk their lives in defense of the interests and honor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Southern Confederacy. To remove this difficulty I propose: First. That the Executive be instructed to purchase such private arms as can be procured and have them repaired and fitted for infantry, cavalry, and rifle service at the earliest practicable moment. Second. That the Executive shall be instructed to have artillery made for field service. Third. That a State force (in addition to the quota called for by the President), to consist of not more than 10,000 men, be raised for State defense and be under the control and direction of the State authorities. Such a force could be well employed in the protection of the loyal people of Western Virginia and, indeed, in all parts of the State. Fourth. I renew the recommendations presented in my message of the 11th instant and respectfully urge immediate action. To secure these important and desirable ends I respectfully recommend an immediate appropriation of $100,000. The Confederate Government has a wide theater upon which to act, and it must look to the interests of all the States. It is peculiarly the province of the Executives and Legislatures of the several States to look after their local interests and to provide for them. Having now discharged my duty, I leave these recommendations for your action.
JACKSON'S RIVER, February 17, 1862.
His Excellency Governor LETCHER:
SIR: When in Richmond I had some conversation with you in relation to the extension of the Central Railroad to Covington. All that