War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0956 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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On the 11th of March appropriations were made for the support of the Regular Army and for a few troops that had been raised by the several States before the formation of the Confederacy, and which were transferred to the Confederacy and constituted what was styled the "Provisional Army. " The total amount appropriated for the purchase of arms and munitions of war was about $900,000. No appropriations were made for raising any volunteer forces, except for 2,000 men that it was supposed might be wanted for service in Charleston Harbor, and the Congress adjourned on the 16th of March to meet again on the [second Monday in May], unless sooner called together by the President's proclamation. War, though sometimes spoken of, was considered and improbable even by the large majority of the people, and the Congress by its adjournment manifested its conviction that no immediate hostilities were impending and that no necessity existed for further preparations for the public defense. The records of the Department, however, exhibit the fact that this sense of security was not shared by the Executive. An immediate and active correspondence was at once commenced between my predecessor and officers of skill and experience in the Army of the United States whose citizen-ship and principles gave assurance that they could not but be faithful to the cause of the Confederacy. The business of the Department was divided into its appropriate bureaus; officers selected for conducting each branch of that business; ordnance, engineering, quartermaster, and commissary officers selected and put to work, and active agents sought for, of sufficient skill, character, and capacity for making purchases of arms and munitions of war with the very limited amount of money placed at the disposal of the Secretary. After various unsuccessful negotiations with different persons the Department was fortunate enough to secure, on the 15th of April, two experienced officers, thoroughly skilled in ordnance duties, of active business habits and unquestionable integrity. These officers were at one dispatched abroad on a general mission for the procurement of arms and munitions of war, with instructions to spare no effort in obtaining all possible information as to every available source of supply both in Great Britain and on the Continent.

Just about this period occurred the bombardment of Fort Sumter, the proclamation of President Lincoln calling for 75,000 men and announcing his intention to blockade our ports, and the proclamation of the Executive of the Confederacy convoking Congress in extra session on the 3d of May. * Hostilities on a large scale were evidently imminent, and on the 6th of May Congress passed an act "recognizing the existence of war between the United States and the Confederate States, an concerning letters of marque, prizes, and prize goods. " On the 21st of May the first appropriations were made to provide the means for carrying on the war, amounting to about $40,000,000. In the meantime the States of Texas and Arkansas had joined the Confederacy, and the States of Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia had taken such preliminary measures as gave entire confidence that their fortunes would soon be united with those of the Confederacy. On the same day that the app made the removal of the seat of government to Richmond was ordered, and Congress adjourned to meet in this city on the 20th of July. The threatening demonstrations of the enemy on the frontier of Virginia induced the President to order the immediate removal of the different departments to this State, and early in June the Secretary of War was for


*April 29, 1861, is the correct date.