of light artillery which have been already accepted or authorized, in the order of their muster into service, as fast as the batteries can be furnished; but all our batteries are now pre-engaged for some time to come, so that it is not desirable at present to authorize new companies to be organized except where their batteries can be furnished either by the companies themselves or by the State from which they are raised.
In this latter case the organization of the companies will be left to the State authorities, the companies being then accepted from the State like any other part of its quota for the war. The Confederate law now requires that all companies, battalions, and regiments accepted directly by the Confederate Government shall elect their own officers, and the Department could therefore have no power of appointment in the case of battalions or regiments in any arm of the service. The Department does not, however, in any event, desire the organization of battalions or regiments of artillery. This arm of the service can be employed most advantageously in single companies or distinct batteries, and the organization of several companies together is therefore discouraged generally and permitted only in cases that present strong claims for exception. Your Excellency may accept, however, as many companies of heavy artillery as may be offered. The number of experiences gunners and of persons suitable to command artillery companies is so few that it is very desirable to secure all such everywhere for the artillery service so far as may be practicable. I have the honor to inclose to Your Excellency a copy of the last circular of this Department.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, February -, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the condition of this Department and of the operations of the Army so far as officially reported: The latter are so well known to the country that I shall confine myself to the occurrences that have taken place since my official report presented in December last; but the inauguration of the permanent Government seems to render it expedient that some general sketch should be given of the previous history of the Department and of its present condition for the information of those members of the Congress who had no part in the legislation of the past year. On the organization of the Department, twelve months ago, there existed in the six States that then formed the Confederacy no magazine of supplies, no establishments for the manufacture of ordnance, ordnance stores, and small-arms; nothing, in fact, except about --- in the few scattered arsenals then existing in those States. On the 6th of March a law was passed to establish the permanent or Regular Army of the Confederate States, to be composed of seven regiments, together with two corps - one of engineers and one of artillery. On the same day the President was authorized to call for volunteers for twelve months, to a number not exceeding 100,000.