troops. You admitted in your letters that these bodies "organized by the States," when called forth by the Confederacy to repel invasion, never came otherwise than with their company, field, and general officers. Your former Secretary of War, now Secretary of State, has also admitted the right of the State to appoint the officers to command the troops sent by her into the service of the Confederacy under requisitions from you. You have not thought proper in either of your letters to give any reason why the State should be denied the exercise of this clear constitutional right. In this state of the case you still exercise the appointing power which belongs to the State, and commission the officers who are to command these troops. The laws of this State give to these gallant men the right to elect their own officers and have them commissioned by the Executive of their own State. This question is of the more practical importance at present on account of a large number of gallant officers belonging to these regiments having lately fallen upon the battle-field, whose places are to be filled by others. The troops volunteered at the call of the State, with a knowledge of their right to elect those who were to command them, and went into the field with the assurance that they would be permitted to exercise this right. It is now denied them under the conscription act. Some of them have appealed to me to see that their rights are protected. As an act of justice to brave men who by their deeds of valor have rendered their names immortal, and as an act of duty which, as her Executive, I owe to the people of this State troops now under your command permission, in all cases in which they have already been deprived of it or which may hereafter arise, to have the company, field, and general officers who are to command them appointed by election and commissioned from the Executive of Georgia, as guaranteed to them by the constitution of the Confederacy and the laws of the State. I make this demand with the greater confidence in view of the past history of your life. I have not the documents before me, but if I mistake not President Polk during the war against Mexico, and which you were the colonel of a gallant Mississippi regiment, tendered you the appointment of brigadier-general for distinguished services upon the battle-field, and you declined the appointment upon the ground that the President had no right under the Constitution to appoint a brigadier-general to command the State volunteers then employed in the service of the United States, but that the States and not the General Government had the right under the Constitution, to appoint a brigadier-general to command State troops in the service of the Confederacy, Congress certainly cannot now, under the same constitutional provision, confer upon the President the right to appoint not only the brigadier-generals, but also all the field and company officers of the State troops employed in the service of the Confederacy. May I not reasonably hope that the right for which I contend will be speedily recognized, and that you will give notice to the Georgia State troops, now under your control, who went into service under requisitions made upon the State by you, that they will no longer be denied the "practical benefits" resulting from the recognition.
You conclude your letter by saying you "cannot share the alarm and concern about State rights which I so evidently feel. " I regret that you cannot. The views and opinions of the best of men are, however,