While this deficiency of competent officers exists in some cases, there is a large excess in others. Numerous regiments and companies have been so reduced by the casualties of war, by sickness, and other causes as to be comparatively useless under the present organization. There are companies in the Army in which the number of officers exceeds that of privates present for duty, and regiments in which the number of such privates does not exceed that which is required for a single effective company. The cost of supporting the Army, already a very heavy burden on the resources of the country, is thus increased to an extravagant extent. But this is of secondary importance compared with the inefficiency which results from this condition of things. Some legislation which shall provide for the consolidation of companies and regiments when thus reduces in numbers, and where conscripts cannot be obtained from a State in sufficient numbers for filling the racks, is of pressing necessity, and a deep sense of duty impels me to repeat that no consideration for the officers who may be unfortunately deprived of commands ought or can safely be permitted to obstruct this salutary reform.
It may be proper to remark that the necessity for this consolidation and the consequent discharging of tried and meritorious officers will obviously be increased by all legislative action permitting new organizations to be formed of men, who, by the provisions of the conscript law, were directed to be incorporated into existing companies and regiments.
AN ACT to encourage the manufacture of clothing and shoes for the Army.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the President is hereby authorized to import, duty free, cards or card cloth, or any machinery or materials necessary for increasing the manufacture of clothing for the Army, or any articles necessary for supplying the deficiency of clothing or shoes, or materials for shoes, for the Army.
SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That any machinery, or parts of machinery or materials imported as aforesaid, may be worded on Government account, or leased or sold, at the discretion of the President.
SEC. 3. Be it further enacted, That the President may extend the privileges of this act to companies or individuals, subject to such regulations as he may prescribe.
SEC. 4. That the clothing required to be furnished to the troops of the Provisional Army under any existing law may be of such kind, as to color and quality, as it may be practicable to obtain, any law to the contrary notwithstanding.
Approved October 8, 1862.
AN ACT to refund to the State of Louisiana the excess of the war tax overpaid by her.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the sum of seventy thousand dollars be and the same is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be paid to the State of Louisiana, the same being the estimated excess of the war tax overpaid by her; the said payment to be made