War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 1166 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

same time, is most remarkable in everything except the name and the appointment of the officers. Excuse me for calling your attention to another point in this connection. As you admit that the militia have always been called forth that the States have always appointed the officers, I presume you will not deny that when the President, by authority of Congress, has made a call upon the State for organized bodies of soldiers and they have been furnished by the State from the body of her people, they have entered the service as part of the militia of the State employed in the service of the Confederate States under the fifteentparagraphs of eighth section of the first articles of the Constitution. Your message to Congress recommending its passage shows that there was no necessity for the act to enable you to get troops, as you admit that the Executives of the States had enabled you to keep in the filed adequate forces, and also that the spirit of resistance among the people was such that it needed to be regulated and not stimulated. You say:

I am happy to assure you of the entire harmony of purpose and cordiality of feeling which have continued to exist between myself and the Executives of the several States, and it is to this cause that our success in keeping adequate forces in the field is to be attributed.

Again you say:

The vast preparations made by the enemy for a combined assault at numerous points on our frontier and sea-coast have produced the result that might have been expected. They have animated the people with a spirit of resistance so general, so resolute, and so self-sacrificing that it requires rather to be regulated than to be stimulated.

If, then, the Executives of the States by their cordial co-operation had enabled you to keep in the field adequate forces, and the spirit of resistance was as high as you state, there was no need of a conscription act to enable you to raise armies. Since the invasion of the Confederacy by our present enemy you have made frequent calls upon me as Governor of this State for organized bodies of troops. I have responded to every call, and sent them as required, organized according to the laws of the State and commanded by officers appointed by the State, and in most instances fully armed, accoutered, and equipped. These bodies were called forth to meet an emergency and assist in repelling an invasion. The emergency is not yet passed, the invasion is not yet repelled, and they have not yet returned home. If your position be correct they constitute no part of the land or naval forces, as they were not organized nor their officers appointed by the President, as is the case with the armies of the Confederacy, but they were called forth as bodies organized and their officers appointed by the States. Hence they are part of the militia of Georgia employed in the service of the Confederate States, as provided by the two paragraphs of the Constitution above quoted, and by paragraph 16 of section 9 of the first article, which terms them militia in actual service in tie of war or public danger. They entered the service with only the training common to the citizens of the State. They are no well-trained troops. But having gone in as bodies organized by the State or as militia, you say they remain militia and go home militia. In this case we seem to agree that the State under the express reservation in the Constitution has the right to appoint the officers. I have the written opinion of Mr. Benjamin, then Secretary of War, about the time of the last call for twelve regiments, concurring in this view and recognizing this right of the State. And it is