War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 1170 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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to force her to the alternative of permitting any department of her constitutional government to be disbanded and destroyed, or to defend the existence and integrity of her government by force.



Montgomery, Ala., June 24, 1862.


Secretary of War:

SIR: I have had no reply to my letter of the 30th ultimo, and to-day have to report the arrival of Major William G. Swanson, supervisor and commandant of the camps of conscription to be established in this State. He calls upon me to furnish enrolling officers of the State, and exhibits the instructions from General Cooper, in which he is directed to "allow for enrolling conscripts the compensation allowed for enrolling the militia of the State. " Unfortunately for an efficient enrollment of conscripts there is no compensation allowed by our laws for the enrollment of the militia of the State, and the ordinary enrolling militia officers, even if they were still in their places at home, would not be efficient for the work. I propose, in order to dispatch the business and at the same time to secure thorough work, to subdivide the State into ten or eleven divisions and appoint a superintending enrolling officer for each division, with the rank and pay of captain of infantry. These officers will be directed to appoint not exceeding three enrolling officers in each county, with the rank and pay of first and second lieutenants. The ranking officer will be directed to appoint no exceeding three enrolling officers in each county, with the rank and pay of first and second lieutenants. The ranking officer of the county will be returning officer for the county to the captain of the division, who will consolidate and report the returns to the superintendent and commandant of the camp. In some of the counties not more than one or two enrolling officers will be found necessary. It is important to fix much as competent men at this season of the year are not disposed to undertake this work, thankless and delicate as it may be considered, without knowing beforehand that they are to be compensated for their labor, and the amount of that compensation. I therefore deem it important to invite your approval of the plan herein suggested, and to advise me in case of approval as to the mode in which the compensation to enrolling officers will be made, so I may fully communicate particulat the time of their appointment. I shall await your reply before I make any appointments, which I am willing to do to aid the cause in which we are all engaged. I have no information as to Major Johnston's assignment as quartermaster. Should he be rejected, I ask to be consulted in reference to the appointment to be made in that department.

Your obedient servant,


P. S. -I beg to add that while it may be troublesome to the State to undertake the enrollment, I am persuaded that it can be more efficiently made by our own officers than by imported officers from the Army, unknown to the people, some of whom will be apt, from their manner and bearing, to give occasion to complaints, and tend to render the execution of the conscript laws obnoxious to the people.

J. G. S.