War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0118 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

There is another omission in the act which may give rise to pretensions prejudicial to the servic the rank to which the several medical officers shall be entitled in the Provisional Army, including those of brigadier-general, colonels, and lieutenant-colonels, no express exclusion is made of their right to command troops, as has wisely been done in the regular or permanent Army. The officers of the medical corps have long evinced the desire to have some right of command of troops in certain contingencies, and this command ought either t be expressly forbidden or the cases in which it may be exercised ought to be distinctly defined.

The chief objection to the bill, however, remains to be stated. The fifth section is designed to effect a most humane and desirable object, but its provisions are inadequate to the end proposed. The purpose of Congress is evidently to provide some additional means for the care of the sick and wounded of armies in the field. At present after each battle the wounded are necessarily left in such temporary quarters as can be procured in the vicinity, but on the movement of the army most of the medical officers attached to it are compelled to follow, and the wounded are thus left with medical aid and attendance entirely insufficient for their relief.

The fifth section of the act provides for an infirmary corps of fifty men for each brigade, officered with one first and ne second lieutenant, two sergeants, and two corporals, but no provision whatever is made for any additional medical officers, nor does the act provide for any control by medical officers over these infirmary corps, nor assign to these corps any fixed duties. Unless some provision be made on these points the present deficiency of surgical aid will continue to exist, and the infirmary corps will necessarily follow the army to which they are attached when it moves after a battle, or, if left behind, will be subject to the orders only of their own officers, who are to medical men-or conflicts will arise between these officers and the medical officers.

Entertaining the conviction, therefore, that this act in its present form, while entailing heavy expense, will fail in the beneficial effects contemplated by Congress, I deem it my duty to return it, without my approval, but with the hope that some additional legislation may be devised to accomplish the purpose contemplated by its passage.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

AN ACT to extend the term of office of certain war-tax collectors.

The Congress of the confederate States of America do enact, That in those States wherein the chief collectors of the war tax have not been able to complete the duties of their office within the year for which they were appointed, the Secretary of the Treasury shall be authorized to extend the term of their offices, respectively, for such additional period as may be required to complete the said duties, and pay them for such additional term a proportional rate of the annual salary fixed by law.

Approved October 13, 1862.

AN ACT to punish and repress the importation, by our enemies, of notes purporting to be notes of the Treasury of the Confederate States.

Whereas, manifestly with the knowledge and connivance of the Federal Government, and for the purpose of destroying the credit and