CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, Va., April 30, 1862.
His Excellency Governor H. T. CLARK,
Raleigh, N. C.:
SIR: Your letter of the 24th instant was received on yesterday. In reply I have the honor to say that the effect of the conscription act is to supersede calls on the States for quotas. The number of men between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five is assumed to be precisely in the ratio of population. The first effect of the act is to retain in the service all soldiers who were there on April 16, the next to fill up the regiments and companies with men liable to military duty under the act by replacing those now in service who will be exempt from age with those not now in service not so exempt, and thus to fill up and keep full the existing corps to the maximum allowed by law. If any States have not enough regiments already in the service, or heretofore authorized by this Department to be raised, to absorb the material between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five, the excess will be collected in camps of instruction, disciplined, and brought into service pursuant to section 9 of the act.
I will accept the State troops in their present organization, to be received upon the same footing with other regiments already in the Confederate service, the men over thirty-five and under eighteen to be discharged within ninety days from April 16, and their places supplied from the enrolled conscripts. The right of reorganization by election belongs only to twelve-months' men' those; whose enlistment is for a longer or shorter period remain in the service in their existing organizations. These general remarks are supposed to answer several of your specific inquires. First. The enrollment of conscripts will be made as soon as the requisite regulations can be prepared, in order to relieve the men now in service who are over thirty-fie years of age. Second. The State troops will be relieved as stated above. Third. Men over thirty-five years of age now in service will be discharged within ninety days. They or others not now in service will be at liberty to serve by voluntary enlistment, but not in lieu of conscripts, except as substitutes. Fourth. Volunteering is not stopped by the conscript bill. By section 13 persons liable as conscripts may volunteer in any company now in service. You are referred especially to regulations 8 to 11, inclusive. The act approved December 11, 1861, providing for the payment of bounty to volunteers for the war, continues in force. Fifth. Militia officers between eighteen and thirty-five are embraced by the conscription act. The quota of each State, under existing laws, will be all liable to military duty under the act of April 16. I inclose a copy of the act and regulations established for carrying it into effect. *
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
* Embodied in General Orders, No. 30, p. 1094.
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