War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0969 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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the Secretary of War has authorized numbers of persons to raise companies and battalions to be mustered into the Confederate service direct. I give an illustration of the manner in which this works: A first lieutenant in Captain Deyerle's company, of the Twenty-seventh Virginia Regiment, having received such authority from the Secretary of War, is now enlisting his company from the Twenty-seventh, Forty-second, and Forty-eighth Virginia Infantry Regiments. If this system is to continue it is plain that our regiments in the service are to be disorganized and destroyed. I give this as one, and a fair one, out of many cases which have been reported to me. Your bill requires me to preserve the organization now in the field by regiments. How is this to be done if parties authorized by the Secretary of War to do so are to be allowed to enlist companies out of regiments who have months yet to serve? In the illustration I have given, the regiments go out of service in the months of May, June, and July, if I am correctly informed. If the companies thus created are to be mustered into service so soon as they are formed, it is easy to perceive that our regiments must be broken up. When I spoke about the difficulty I was informed by the Secretary of War (to whom the bill was submitted before its introduction into the House) that he had then stated to the committee that the two bills were in conflict, and if the Legislature desired him to suspend his policy in this respect he would do so. He stated that a resolution was subsequently introduced condemning his policy, which was voted down by a large majority-all of which was news to me. While the War Department was consulted in regard to these military bills, all of which were considered in secret session, the Executive and the adjutant-general of the State were left in entire ignorance of all that was doing upon so important a subject. Whether this was the result of accident or design I do not pretend to know, nor have I considered it of sufficient importance to prompt an inquiry.

Respectfully,

JOHN LETCHER.

RICHMOND, March 4, 1862.

The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

In response to the resolution of the House of yesterday, calling on the President to committee "what additional means in money, men, arms, and munitions of war are in his judgment necessary, or may be within the present year, for the public service, including operations on land and water," I have to reply that the military forces, whether land or naval, which will be required must depend upon the operations of the enemy and upon contingencies which cannot be foreseen. Taking our present condition as the basis of the calculation, it may be stated in general terms that our land forces should be increased by the addition of, say, 300,000 men in the field and those for whom call has already been made; that the Navy should be increased by a number of vessels suited to river and harbor defense, say fifty iron-clad propellers, and a fleet of, say, then of the most formidable war vessels to protect our commerce upon the high seas, with the requisite armaments and crews. For this additional force, land and naval, there would be required, say, 750,000 shall-arms of all kinds, and of siege, and field, and sea-coast artillery, say, 5,000 guns; of powder, say, 5,000 tons in addition to that which can be made within the limits of the Confederacy. The manufacture of