War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 1116 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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in Giles County, and wrote to the office in command of our troops near the cave and requested him to do so, and in order to make the paper official I requested the Secretary of War to approve it. He, however, referred the matter to General Heth to 'see that the cave be worked to the best advantage. " Now, it appears to me that this deprives us of the greater part of our efficiency as an organization, for it is the duty of agents of the Bureau to be properly informed from personal inspection of the pros and cons of every case, and being thus informed and responsible for results it would seem that they are the most suitable persons to decide the question of impressment, and I would most respectfully request that application be made to the Secretary of War to issue an order directing the military authorities to impress caves upon application of the officer in charge of the operations of the Niter Bureau in each State. This seems to me to be very necessary to the proper efficiency of the corps.

Most respectfully, yours,

RICHARD MORTON,

Captain, &c.

[First indorsement.]

MAY 9, 1862.

The views of Captain Morton seem to me just, and I request that instructions be given to military commanders to act upon the requisitions of officers of the Niter Bureau in charge of district.

J. GORGAS,

Lieutenant-Colonel.

[Second indorsement.]

ADJUTANT-GENERAL:

Make the order suggested below.

G. W. R.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

Milledgeville, May 8, 1862.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 28th ultimo in reply to my letter to you upon the subject of the conscription act. I should not trouble you with a reply were it not that principles are involved of the most vital character upon the maintenance of which, in my opinion, depend not only the right and the sovereignty of the States, but the very existence of State government. While I am always happy as an individual to render you any assistance in my power in the discharge of the laborious and responsible duties assigned you, and while I am satisfied you will bear testimony that I have never, as the Executive of this State, failed in a singled instance to furnish all the men and more than you have called for, and to assist you with all the other means at my command, I cannot consent to commit the State to a policy which is in mu judgment subversive of her sovereignty and at war with all the principles for the support of which Georgia entered into this revolution. It may be said it is no time to discuss constitutional questions in the midst of revolution, and that State rights and State sovereignty must field for a time to the higher law of necessity. If this is a safe principle of action it cannot certainly apply till the necessity is shown to exist, and I apprehend it would be a dangerous