War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0114 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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Richmond, October 10, 1862.


The importance, it might properly be said necessity, of a measure which has heretofore been recommended induces me at this time to renew the request for your attention to the want of some provision by which brigadier and major generals may be appointed when, by the casualties of service, commanders of brigades and divisions have become temporarily disabled.

Under the law as it now stands if a brigadier be wounded the command of the brigade devolves upon the senior colonel, who may or may not be competent for such command, but whose presence is required with his regiment, and most of all under the circumstances usually existing where casualties like that referred to occur.

To illustrate this necessity I will cite an instance of an army corps from which seven brigadiers are now absent, six of whom have been recently wounded. There is an obvious objection to multiplying the number of general officers, but it may be readily removed by providing for the subsequent reduction whenever there are supernumeraries present for duty; and I would suggest that the determination as to who should be discharged might be made to depend upon the inquiry and report of an army board, to be organized according to established law and usage.



Raleigh, N. C., October 10, 1862.


Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: Allow me to call your attention to the subject of disposing of conscripts in this State. When I entered upon the duties of my office I found the thing at quite a low ebb, few ever coming into camp, and Major Mallett found the greatest difficulty in hunting them up. I immediately took the matter into my own hands, issued a proclamation and orders to my militia officers and procured General Martin to issue an order promising them all that they might choose their regiments if not already filled. The good effect of this was instantly manifest, the number coming in was trebled, and a cheerful spirit of alacrity prevailed everywhere. I mentioned the matter to the President in your presence and understood it to be approved by both; and yet on my return home I find Major Mallett has received orders to send all the conscripts to certain brigades without regard to their wishes or to the promises made them by a Confederate general. This has produced the greatest dissatisfaction, and rightly, too. What the particular exigencies of the service are I do not know. They must be great indeed to justify bad faith toward the soldiers on the part of the government. If such is t be the policy, as I do not wish to become a party to such transactions, I shall countermand the orders issued to my militia officers and turn the whole over again to Major Mallett and leave him to hunt up the conscripts as best he can. Allow me to say generally that I think the Department commits a serious error in declining to receive the advice of anybody save the general in command of the department. With the