field to instruct the adjutant of each regiment in the division in the system of signals in use in the Army.
By command of the Secretary of War:
Adjutant and Inspector General.
Richmond, Va., May 29, 1862.
His Excellency JOSEPH E. BROWN,
Governor of Georgia, Milledgeville, Ga.:
DEAR SIR: I received your letter of the 8th instant in due course, but the importance of the subject embraced in it required careful consideration, and this, together with other pressing duties, has caused delay in my reply. The constitutional question discussed by you in relation to the conscription law and had been duly weighed before I recommended to Congress the passage of such a law. It was fully debated in both Houses, and your letter has not only been submitted to my Cabinet, but a written opinion has been required from the Attorney-General. The constitutionality of the law was sustained by a very large majority of both Houses. This decision of the Congress meets the concurrence not only of my own judgment, but of every member of the Cabinet, and a copy of the opinion of the Attorney-General, herewith inclosed,* develops the reasons on which his conclusions are based. I propose, however, from my high respect for yourself and other eminent citizens who certain opinions similar to yours, to set forth somewhat at length my views on the power of the Confederate Government over its own armies and the militia, and will endeavor not to leave without answer any of the positions contained in your letter.
The main, of not the only, purposes for which independent States form unions or confederations is to combine the power of the several members in such manner as to form one united force in all relations with foreign powers, whether in peace or in war. Each State, amply competent to administer and control its own domestic government, yet too feeble successfully to resist powerful nations, seeks safety by uniting with other States in like condition, and by delegating to some common agent the combined strength of all, in order to secure advantageous commercial relations in peace and to carry on hostilities with effect in war.
Now, the powers delegated by the several States to the Confederate Government, which is their common agent, are enumerated in the eighth section of the Constitution, each power being distinct, specific, and enumerated in paragraphs separately numbered. The only exception is the eighteenth paragraph, which by its own terms is made dependent on those previously enumerated, as follows: "Eighteenth. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers," &c. Now, the war powers granted to the Congress are conferred in the following paragraphs: No. 1 gives authority to raise revenue necessary to pay the debts, provide for the common defense, and carry on the Government, &c. No. 11, "To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water. " No. 12, "To raise and
* Not found.