War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 1021 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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Richmond, Va., March 25, 1862.


In answer to your resolution of the 21st instant, calling upon the President for information in regard to the protection of our principal cities from iron-plated vessels by means of obstructions and submarine batteries, and whether any additional appropriations are needed for these objects, I have to state generally that the channels of approach to our principal cities have been and are being obstructed according to the means at hand; that submarine batteries have been and are being prepared, and that no additional appropriations for these objects are considered to be needed. Until recently the character of the enemy's iron-plated vessels was not well enough known to arrange obstructions specially for them, but the same principle obtains and the obstructions already prepared can be strengthened when necessary. For the want of insulated wire we are deprived of that class of submarine batteries exploded at will be electricity, which promises the best results. Experiments upon several kinds of such as are exploded by impact have been in progress since an early period of the war. These torpedoes can be rendered harmless by the enemy in most cases by setting adrift floating bodies to explode them, as is said to have been done on the Mississippi River, and as they cannot be put in place so long as all the channels are required for sue by our own boats no great degree of importance is attached to them. They may serve, however, to gain time by making the enemy more cautious; and most of our sea-coast defenses have already received, or will as soon as practicable receive, a certain supply of them.


AN ACT to provide a staff and clerical force for any general who may be assigned by the President to duty at the seat of Government.

The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That whenever the President shall assign a general to duty at the seat of Government, the said general shall be entitled to the following staff, to wit: A military secretary, with the rank of colonel; four aides-de-camp, with the rank of major; and such clerks, not to exceed four in number, as the President shall, from time to time, authorize. The pay and allowance of the military secretary and aides-de-camp shall be the same as those of officers of cavalry of like grade; and the salaries of the clerks shall not exceed $1,200 per annum for each. Such offices, office furniture, fuel and stationery, shall be provided for the said general as the duties of his office may render necessary, to be paid for out of the appropriation for the contingent expenses of the War Department.

Approved March 25, 1862.


March 25, 1862.


Reports are now coming in from the boards of exemption created by your act of the 18th day of February last, and the results they exhibit are absolutely startling. The number exempt on account of physical disability indicates that family physicians are not the proper persons to grant certificates. Family associations and friendships