War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0968 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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will have a reasonable assurance that we will get trustworthy men, such as will preserve the reputation which the Virginia troops have heretofore won in this war. I am opposed to the whole to the whole system of substitutes. In a time like this there is a duty to be performed by all classes-the men of wealth not only, but also the poorer classes. Each has a personal duty to perform in driving back the invader from our soil. This personal duty should not be avoided or shunned under any pretense whatsoever, when our country is in as great peril as it now is. Wealth should not be allowed to purchase exemption from exposure on the field, or in the service of the country, or in the camp. Every inducement which can operate upon the poor men of the country to risk themselves in this greatly increased power and influence upon the property holders and men of wealth. These latter classes should set an example to the former and they should be willing to do what the poorer classes are require by necessity to do. I suggest further that promotions after the first election of officers shall be made by seniority; that is to say, that as a vacancy occurs the officers below be promoted to the positions. This recommendation is indorsed by our distinguished and gallant Jackson, of the Stonewall Brigade, who says in a letter dated February 26:

Please see if you cannot get our Legislature to modify its military bill so as to require vacancies after the first election of officers to be filled by promotion, except in the lowest grade, as in the Confederate service. Do that as far as practicable, that lax discipline, resulting from electioneering for office, may be avoided. We must make our cause superior to every other temporal consideration. The system of every vacancy filled by election is a bad one. We may expect an inefficient set of officers from such a system; and inefficient officers must have inefficient commands; and where our system would result in disaster to our arms the Confederate might result in victory.

These suggestions coming from so high a source are worthy of consideration. Another difficulty in the execution of the bill arises from the fact that I am required to fill up the cavalry regiments by draft, but no provision is made to supply the men so drafted with horses. A large not have the means to procure horses, and some means must therefore be provided to meet such cases. Your law was passed on the 10th day of February, and on the 11th the adjutant-general, after consultation with me, applied to Adjutant-General Cooper for the necessary orders tot he commandants of divisions to enable me to procure the required information as to the number who had re-enlisted and the number who declined to re-enlist for the war, with the places of their residence. A verbal answer was received through a clerk from the War Department to this note. General Richardson again wrote on the 12th, and a reply was received from Colonel Chilton stating that General Cooper would forward the blanks as soon as they were printed, and as soon as printed they were forwarded by special messengers. The orders were not received until last Thursday night after dark. They were mailed that night and messengers with duplicates and all the necessary blank forms left for each division of the army on Saturday morning. Any charge, therefore, of negligence or inattention or indisposition to execute the law that may have been made is utterly unfounded, as the records of the adjutant-general's office and the executive journal sufficiently demonstrate. Another difficulty in the execution of the bill arises from the fact that there is a palpable conflict between it and the Congressional bill. The Congressional bill allows companies to be enlisted from the companies and regiments now in the field; and under its operation