Montgomery, Ala., September 19, 1862.
Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 11th instant, inclosing copy of a letter from Major W. t. Walthall advising your Department that actual or threatened resistance to the execution of the conscript act in Randolph County had been reported to him, and requesting my opinion as to the best mode of avoiding bloodshed in the execution of the law, with the offer that in case the State authorities could accomplish this object better than the Confederate officers your Department would furnish any force that might be required to act as a posse under the State officers. I would beg leave to call your attention to the fact that the enrollment of persons subject to conscription has not been committed (so far as Alabama is concerned) to State officers, but that this duty from the commencement has been discharged and directed solely by Confederate officers, and under these circumstances I question the policy of calling in State officers at this time merely for the purpose of enforcing it; the more especially as neither the Executive of this State nor any of that class of officers are invested with the power of enforcing other than its own laws. Entertaining, however, the firmest conviction as to the policy and necessity of a prompt, rigid, and equal execution of the act in every part of the State, I am of opinion that incase there is reasonable grounds to believe the statements reported to Major Walthall are true, a cavalry force should at once be ordered out sufficient to put down resistance and arrest the ringleaders. This I have but little doubt could be effected without bloodshed, but the law should be enforced at every hazard. I shall feel it my duty to exert every moral influence to sustain it; will issue my proclamation and send a special aide-de-camp with the force that may be sent in order to inculcate submission and obedience, and if possible to prevent the shedding of blood; but at the same time I deem it important that those who think they can oppose effectual resistance to the law should understand clearly and distinctly that it will be enforced.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. GILL SHORTER,
Governor of Alabama.
3 RUE DE LUXEMBOURG, PARIS, September 19, 1862.
Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Confederate States of America:
SIR: Mr. A. T. D. Gifford and myself, having been instructed by the Ordnance, Quartermaster's, and Surgeon-General's Departments, respectively, with orders to a large amount to be purchased in Europe and shipped to the Confederate States, I beg leave to lay before you the following statement:
These orders were handed to us in the months of October and November, 1861. Immediately on receipt of the two last Mr. Gifford sailed from Savannah in the steamer Bermuda, which, successfully eluding the blockading squadron, arrived on the 26th of November at Havana, and thence directly to London. I left Richmond, Va., on the 9th of November for Charleston, hoping to find a steamer for Europe, and after several days' delay proceeded to Savannah. At