War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0054 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

and to render uniform the rules governing troops in the service, have led to some unexpected criticism that is much to be regretted. The efficiency of the law has been thus somewhat impaired, though it is not believed that in any of the States the popular mind has withheld it sanction from either the necessity or propriety of your legislation. It is only by harmonious as well as zealous action that a government as new as ours, ushered into existence on the very eve of a great war, and unprovided with the material for conducting hostilities on so vast a scale, can fulfill its duties. Upon you who are fully informed of the acts and purposes of the Government, and thoroughly imbued with the feelings and sentiments of the people, must reliance be placed to secure this great object. You can best devise the means for establishing that entire co-operation of the State and Confederate governments which is essential to the well-being of both at all times, but which is now indispensable to their very existence. And if any legislation shall seem to you appropriate for adjusting differences of opinion, it will be my pleasure as well as duty to co-operate in any measure that may be devised for reconciling a just care for the public defense with a proper deference for the most scrupulous susceptibilities of the State authorities.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury will exhibit in detail the operations of that Department. * It will be seen with satisfaction that the credit of the Government securities remains unimpaired, and that this credit is fully justified by the comparatively small amount of accumulated debt, notwithstanding the magnitude of our military operations. The legislation of the last session provided for the purchase of supplies with the bonds of the government, but the preference of the people for Treasury notes has been so marked that legislation is recommended to authorize an increase in the issue of Treasury notes, which the public service seems to require. No grave inconvenience need be apprehended from this increased issue, as the provision of law by which these notes are convertible into 8 per cent. bonds forms an efficient and permanent safeguard against any serious depreciation of the currency. Your attention is also invited to the means proposed by the Secretary for facilitating the preparation of these notes and for guarding them against forgery. it is due to our people to state that no manufacture of counterfeit notes exists within our limits, and that they are all imported from the Northern States.

The report of the Secretary of War, which is submitted, contains numerous suggestions for the legislation deemed desirable in order to add to the efficiency of the service. + I invite your favorable consideration especially to those recommendations which are intended to secure the proper execution of the conscript law, and the consolidation of companies, battalions, and regiments when so reduced in strength as to impair that uniformity of organization which is necessary in the Army, while an undue burden is imposed on the Treasury. The necessity for some legislation for controlling military transportatoads and improving their present defective condition forces itself upon the attention of the Government, and I trust you will be able to devise satisfactory measures for attaining this purpose. The legislation on the subject of general officers involves the service in some difficulties, which are pointed out by the Secretary, and for which the remedy suggested by him seems appropriate.

In connection with this subject, I am of opinion that prudence dictates some provision for the increase of the Army in the event of

---------------

*See August 18, p. 59.

+See August 12, p. 42.

---------------