War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0143 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, NAVY DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, October 25, 1862.

Hon. G. W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War:

SIR: A commission has been organized by this Department to examine the coal and ore deposits in several of the counties of Virginia with a view to the fabrication of heavy ordnance, and I desire to obtain from you such an order as will enable it to obtain labor from the military forces stationed at or near the places of its investigations. Negro labor, I am assured, cannot be obtained. This, of course, will be preferred if it can be had. I will be very glad to have such aid as you can afford. The commission is composed of Commander Pinkney, Major Mitchel Tate, and Mr. O. G. Heinrich, geologist.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. R. MALLORY,

Secretary of the Navy.

[Indorsement.]

RICHMOND, October 25, 1862.

Hon. S. R. MALLORY,

Secretary of the Navy:

Prepare circular to officers in Confederate service in command of troops and posts, requesting them to furnish such labor as the commission may require, when it can be done without injury to the public service.

G. S. R.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

Montgomery, Ala., October 25, 1862.

Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War, Richmond:

SIR: The frequent inquiries at this department as to the enrollment of commissioned officers of the State militia and the representations of want of uniformity of practice on the part of the enrolling officers induce me to request that you will favor me with a copy of the instructions given to enrolling officers upon this subject, and also an intimation of your proposed action under the late exemption act with reference to militia officers. I have given a ready and earnest support to the provisions of the act, and am not inclined to make captious objections to its exercise, but I desire uniformity in administration that the law may operate equally and alike upon all, and that I may be able to give certain and intelligible answers to the numerous inquiries addressed me upon the subject. Nor am I inclined to screen militia officers from service, especially that now their commands are so limited in consequence of the enrollment of the greater portion of the militia in the Confederate service, and I only desire that the rule for Alabama shall be identical with that for her sister States. I am induced to make this request because I find it impossible to understand the varied practice of the enrolling officers, having now before me a letter from a major-general of one division, who informs me that in one of his regiments these officers are enrolled and not in the others. In some regiments the commission exempts, regardless of date of commission or time of election. In some evidence of date of election is