face of the enemy. I therefore acquiesced in the necessity which compelled me to transfer State forces to the command of the Confederate general at Savannah, and tendered to General Lawton, who commands the Military District of Georgia, not only the conscripts in the State army, but also not conscripts for the unexpired term of their enlistment. General Lawton accepted the command with the assurance that he would interfere as little as possible with the company and regimental organizations of the troops. This assurance I trust the Government will permit him to carry out in the same spirit of liberality in which it was given. If the State regiments are broken up and the conscript belonging to them forced into other organizations against their consent it will have a very discouraging effect. If the regiments and companies were preserved and permission given to the officers to fill up their rank by recruits there would be no doubt of their ability to do so, and I think they have a just right to expect this privilege. Georgia has promptly responded to every call made upon her by you for troops, and has always given more than you asked. She has now about 60,000, in the field. Had you called upon her Executive for 20,000 more (if her just quota), they would have been furnished without delay. The plea of necessity, so far at least as this State is concerned, cannot to set up in defense of the conscription act. When the Government of the United States disregarded and attempted to trample upon the rights of the States Georgia set its power at defiance, and seceded from the Union rather than submit to the consolidation of all power in the hands of the central or Federal Government. The conscription act not only put it in the power of the Executive of the Confederacy to disorganize her e was compelled to call into the field for her own defense in addition to her just quota because of the neglect of the Confederacy to place sufficient troops upon her coast for her defense, which would have required less than half the number she has sent to the field, but also placed it in his power to destroy her State government by disbanding her law-making power.
The constitution of this State makes every male citizen who has attained the age of twenty-one years eligible to a seat in the House of Representatives of the General Assembly, and every one who has attained the age of twenty-five eligible to a seat in the Senate. There are a large number of the members of the General Assembly between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. They are white citizens of the Confederate States, and there is no statue in the State, and I am aware of none in the Confederate States' code, which exempts them from military duty. They, therefore, fall within the provisions of the conscription act. It may become necessary for me to convene the General Assembly in extra session; or, if not, the regular session will commence the first Wednesday in November. When the members meet at the capitol, if not sooner, they might be claimed as conscripts by a Confederate officer and arrested with a view to carry them to some remote part of the Confederacy as recruits to fill up some company now in service. They have no military power, and could only look to the Executive of the State for military protection, and I cannot hesitate to say that in such case I should use all the remaining military force of the State in defense of a co-ordinate constitutional branch of the Government. I can, therefore, permit no enrollment of the members of the General Assembly under the conscription act. The same is true of the judges of the supreme and superior courts, should any of them fall within the ages above mentioned, and of the secretaries of