War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 1006 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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AN ACT to regulate the destruction of property under military necessity, and to provide for the indemnity thereof.

The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the military authorities of the Confederate Army are hereby authorized and directed to destroy cotton, tobacco, military and naval stores, or other property of any kind whatever, which may aid the enemy in the prosecution of the war, when necessary to prevent the same, or any part thereof, from falling into the hands of the enemy.

SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That the owners of property destroyed under the operation of this act, as well as those persons who shall voluntarily destroy their property to prevent the same from falling into the hands of the enemy, are hereby authorized to perpetuate the testimony of such destruction, in the manner prescribed by an act of the Provisional Congress, entitled "An act to perpetuate testimony in cases of slaves abduced or harbored by the enemy, and of other property seized, wasted or destroyed by them," approved thirtieth August, be entitled to indemnity out of the proceeds of property sequestered and confiscated under the laws of the Confederate States, in such manner as Congress may hereafter provide.

Approved March 17, 1862.

[MARCH 17, 1862. -For Benjamin to Shorter, in relation to "the prompt and patriotic response" made by Alabama, to the call of the Government for troops, &c., see Series I, VOL. X, Part II, p. 333.]


Austin, March 17, 1862.

[Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:]

SIR: I dislike to be so troublesome in trespassing upon your valuable time. I deem it, however, essential that you should at once know the difficulties surrounding this department in raising infantry for the war. Every mail brings me letters and assurances of authority from your Department issued to parties to raise cavalry in this State. On yesterday I was notified that J. H. Burnett, of Crockett, Tex., had authority from you to raise, in addition to a regiment, as many more men as should offer to him their services. I also learn Colonel Darnell has now nineteen companies (cavalry). I am notified by Mr. L. A. Abercrombie, of Huntsville, Tex., that he has authority to raise a regiment or battalion of infantry for the war. I also received the within notice this morning. I am pressing on the requisition made upon me the 3d [2d] of February, and am threatening the people with a draft. Is it fair to do this, when it would appear that our State is likely to have many more men in the field than you admit to be the proper quota? I shall await with anxiety an answer to the many letters I have addressed you on this subject. The camps of instruction are established and the soldiers are beginning to rendezvous.

Yours, very respectfully,