War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0130 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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conduct of the newly organized regiments of Georgians, and indeed of troops from all the States upon the plains of Manassas, in the battles before Richmond, upon James Island near Charleston, at Shiloh, at Richmond, Ky., and upon every battle-field whenever and wherever they have met the invading forces. If it is said that some of our old regiments are almost decimated, not having more than enough men in a regiment to form a single company; that it is too expensive to keep these small band in the field as regiments, and that justice to the officers requires that they be filled up by conscripts, I reply that injustice should never be done to the troops for the purpose of saving a few dollars of expense, and that justice to the men now called into the field as imperatively requires that they shall have the privilege allowed to other troops to exercise the constitutional right of entering the service under officers selected and appointed as directed by the laws of their own State as it does that officers in service shall not be deprived of their commands when their regiments are worn out or destroyed. Our officers have usually exposed themselves in the van of the fight and shared the fate of their men; hence but few of the original experienced officers who went to the field with our old regiments, which have won so bright a name in history, now survive, but their places have been filled by others appointed in most cases by the President. They have, therefore, no just cause to claim that the right of election, which belongs to every Georgian, shall be denied to all who are hereafter to enter the service for the purpose of sustaining them in the offices which they now fill. If it becomes necessary to disband any regiment on account of its small numbers let every officer and private be left perfectly free to unite with such new volunteer association as he thinks proper, and in the organization and selection of officers it is but reasonable to suppose that modest merit and experience will not be overlooked.

The late act of Congress if executed in this State not only does gross injustice to a large class of her citizens, utterly destroys all State military organizations, and encroaches upon the reserved rights of the State, but strikesignty at a single blow and tears from her the right arm of strength by which she alone can maintain her existence and protect those most dear to her and most dependent upon her. The representatives of the people will meet in General Assembly on the 6th day of next month, and I feel that I should be recreant to the high trust imposed in me were I to permit the virtual destruction of the government of the State before they shall have had time to convene, deliberate, and act. Referring, in connection with the considerations above mentioned, to our former correspondence for the reasons which satisfy my mind beyond doubt of the unconstitutionality of the conscription acts, and to the fact that a judge in this state of great ability, in a case regularly brought before him in his judicial capacity, has pronounced the law unconstitutional, and to the further fact that Congress has lately passed an additional act authorizing you to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, doubtless with a view of denying to the judiciary in this very case the exercise of its constitutional functions for the protection of personal liberty, I can no longer avoid the responsibility of discharging a duty which I owe to the people of this State by informing you that I cannot permit the enrollment of conscripts under the late act of Congress entitled "An act to amend the act further to provide for the common defense" until the General Assembly of this State shall have convened and taken action in its premises. The plea of necessity set up for conscription