proper that I should remark that the State has in each case been permitted to exercise this right when the troops entered the service in compliance with a requisition upon the State for organized bodies of troops. The right does not stop here, however. The Constitution does not say the State shall appoint the officers while the organizations may be forming to enter the service of the Confederacy, but while they may be employed in the service of the Confederate States. Many thousands are now so employed. Vacancies in the different offices are frequently occurring by death, resignation, &c. The laws of this State provide how these vacancies are to be filled, and it is not to be done by promotion of the officer next in rank, except in a single instance, but by election of the regiment and commission by the Governor. The right of the State to appoint these officers seems to be admitted, and is indeed too clear to be questioned. The conscription ac, if it is to be construed according to its language and the practice which your general are establishing under it, denies to the State the exercise of this right, and prescribes a rule for selecting all officers in future unknown to the laws of Georgia, and confers upon the President the power to commission them. Can this usurpation (I think no milder term expresses it faithfully) be justified under the clause in the Constitution which gives Congress power to raise armies? And is this part of the act constitutional? If not, you have failed to establish the y of the conscription act.
The fourteenth paragraph of the ninth section of the first article of the Constitution of the Confederate States declares that "a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. " This was no part of the original Constitution as reported by the convention and adopted by the States. But the convention of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, Congress at the session begun and held at the city of New York on Wednesday, the 4th of March, 1789, proposed to the Legislatures of the several States twelve amendments, ten of which only were adopted. The second amendment was the one above quoted, which shows very clearly that the States were jealous of the control which Congress might claim over their military, and required on this point a further restrictive clause than was contained in the original Constitution. The sixteenth paragraph of the preceding section expressly reserves to the States the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. in connection with this you admit that the States reserved the right to call forth their own militia to execute their own laws, suppress insurrections, or repel invasions. This authority to call them forth would have been of no value without the authority to appoint officers to command them and the further authority to train them, as they cannot without officers and training be the well-regulated militia which the Constitution says is necessary to the security of a free State. The conclusion would seem naturally to follow that the State did not intend by any general words used in the grant of power to give Congress the right to take from them, as often as appointed, the officers selected by them to train and regulate their militia and prepare them for efficiency when they may be called forth to support the very existence of the State. The conscription act embraces