War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0081 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

officers of the Army. The ordinary attendant of the circumstances referred to is frequent offenses against military discipline and trespass upon the property of individuals inhabiting the country.

To correct these evils it is believed to be desirable that Congress should give authority to institute a commission to attend each army in the field, to be composed of men whose character and knowledge of the modes of administering justice would give the best assurance for the punishment of crime, the protection of private rights, and the security of the citizens of the country occupied by the enemy. Could courts-martial be assembled as frequently as occasion required, their functions under existing laws being limited to the consideration of offenses defined by the Rules and Articles of War, it will be perceived that a great variety of outrages against private rights might be committed of which a court-martial could not directly take cognizance. Under ordinary circumstances offenders in such cases would be turned over to the civil courts for trial. In a foreign country, or where the courts cannot hold their sessions, this is impossible, and in the case of a marching army would, for obvious reasons, be ineffectual. The witnesses whose testimony is indispensable to conviction would generally follow the march of the army and be out of the reach of the courts.

The powers delegated by the Constitution "to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces,' and "to ordain and establish from time to time inferior courts," would seem ample to justify such legislation as is herein recommended, especially as the necessity for the ordinary forms of indictment and trial "for capital and otherwise infamous crimes" is expressly dispensable with by the Constitution "in cases arising in the land or naval forces or in the militia when in actual service in time of war. "

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

Raleigh, N. C., September 11, 1862.

Hon. G. W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: I respectfully request that you will not hereafter confer authority on persons to enlist soldiers within the limits of this State unless the applicant be indorsed by this department. Allow me, likewise, to express the hope that it will not be deemed by you incompatible with the interests of the service to revoke such authority heretofore granted to others than citizens of North Carolina. Permit me to inquire whether late enlistments of citizens of this State residing beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains, made under the authority of General E. Kirby Smith, were authorized by you. If authorized by you I request that such authority may be rescinded; if not, that you will cause such enlistment to be discontinued. I make the above requests for the following reasons: Much confusion has been produced; many soldiers have been enlisted into the service of the Confederacy from this State without the State getting credit for the same as part of her quota of troops; the operation of the act of Congress known as the conscript act is much hindered, and it is rendered difficult, if not impossible, for the State to fill up its thinned regiments already in service.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ZEBULON B. VANCE.

6 R R-SERIES IV, VOL II