War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0132 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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Augusta, Ga., October 18, 1862.

Received of Colonel A. G. Rice, for account of the Secretary of the Treasury, 201 boxes and 60 kegs, said to contain $2,539,798. 79.


Confederate States Depositary.


Richmond, Va., October 20, 1862.


President Confederate States of America:

SIR: I have examined the census returns of 1850 for the purpose of ascertaining the limit to which it is desirable to extend the age of conscription, and beg leave to submit the following statement deduced from those returns:

I find that the white population of the Confederate States in 1850, excluding Kentucky and Missouri, amounted to 4,341,948. Adding a third for the estimated increase since 1850, we have the present white population at 5,789,197.

Parts of Virginia and Tennessee being in the possession of the enemy, we may estimate the available white population at 5,000,000, and the male population at 2,500,000.

The conscript age, from eighteen to thirty-five, embraces 28. 74 per cent. of the whole, and gives 718,500 subject to conscription under existing laws.

An extension of the age to forty embraces 5. 8 per cent. more, and gives and addition of 145,000, and a further extension to forty-five adds 4. 06 per cent., or 101,500.

The first extension, together with the present conscription, will give 863,500 subject to military service, and estimating the exempts at three-sevenths, we shall have a force in the field of 493,500, or, in round numbers, half a million of men.

It is questionable whether a larger number can be fed, clothed, and armed, and I fear that a greater addition to the Army than that proposed would rather impair than increase its efficiency.

Numbers are only one element of strength. We shall gain more after reaching a certain point by proper attention to subsistence and equipments than by mere addition to the numerical strength of our forces.

Five hundred thousand men will be 5 per cent. of our entire population, black and white. This a larger proportion than European powers place in the field, and quite as large a number as a prudent regard to our resources will at present justify.

I therefore recommend that the conscript age be not extended at this time beyond forty years.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.


OCTOBER 20, 1862.

The present call will be limited to men under forty years old.