War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0950 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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his conduct on the day of the battle. Of course, I would be pleased if you could equip all these companies; but supposing you could not, I should like to have some information from you to guide my course. If you will let me know what companies you have engaged to equip, and to what extent, or how many you can or desire to equip or raise, or whether any experienced officers or practical gunners or drillmasters could be furnished-or may not some of these companies or officers of proposed companies been intended for heavy batteries in the forts and batteries? [sic]

Very respectfully,



In obedience to the constitutional provision requiring the President from time to time to give to the Congress information of the State of the Confederacy and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient, I have to communicate that since my message at the last session of the Provisional Congress events have demonstrated that the Government had attempted more than it had power successfully to achieve. Hence, in the effort to protect by our arms the whole of the territory of the Confederate States, sea-board and inland, we have been so exposed as recently to encounter serious disasters. When the Confederacy was formed the States composing it were, by the peculiar character of their pursuits and a misplaced confidence in their former associates, to a great extent destitute of the means for the prosecution of the war on so gigantic a scale as that which it has attained. The workshops and artisans were mainly to be found in the Northern States, and one of the first duties which devolved upon this Government was to establish the necessary manufactures, and in the meantime to obtain by purchase from abroad, as far as practicable, whatever was required for the public defense. No effort has been spared to effect both these ends; and though the results have not equaled our hopes, it is believed that an impartial judgment will, upon full investigation, award to the various departments of the Government credit for having done all which human power and foresight enabled them to accomplish. The valor and devotion of the people have not only sustained the efforts of the Government but have gone far to supply its deficiencies.

The active state of military preparation among the nations of Europe in April last, the date when our agents first went abroad, interposed unavoidable delays in the procurement of arms, and the want of a navy has greatly impeded our efforts to import military supplies of all sorts. I have hoped for several days to receive official reports in relation to our discomfiture at Roanoke Island and the fall of Fort Donelson. They have not yet reached me, and I am therefore unable to communicate to you such information of those events and the consequences resulting from them as would enable me to make recommendations founded upon the changed conditions which they have produced. Enough is known of the surrender at Roanoke Island to make us feel that it was deeply humiliating, however imperfect may have been the preparations for defe still entertained that our reported losses at Fort Donelson have been