composed of men now enrolled in the State service, be retained in their present status; that is, in the service as State troops, to be ordered (as I have heretofore done) to any point indicated by the general commanding this department. This will save the embarrassment and delay of disbanding the troops now in service, and will keep in the field many who are exempt under the recent act of Congress. Those not in State service could then be conscripted in fill up old regiments, but under the exemption law but few could then by found liable to the conscription. If the Government claims all in the State between thirty-five and forty years, in the ten mounted companies in the State service the result will be to break up these companies without adding to the Confederate force, for the conscripts in them will claim and be entitled to exemption from service in Confederate Army, while under State laws are not exempt from State service. The same state of facts exists in regard to the infantry.
In making these suggestions permit me to assure you that I have no other end in view but to get the largest number of armed men possible in the field. We shall need them all, and all the President can send us, to keep this State from being overrun by the enemy this winter. My wish is to strengthen and not to embarrass the Confederate Government, and the only reason why I do not accept your proposition without making even a suggestion is, that I believe it will materially lessen the force with which we are to meet the enemy in Mississippi, and for this reason I ask especially that the cavalry companies now in the State service be permitted to fight through this winter as now organized. For months past they have fought the enemy thirty miles beyond the Confederate lines and have given great protection to the citizens of the northwestern corner of the State. Some of them have killed, captured, and wounded more Yankees than the company numbers. Let me again state that we need all the men we can get, and if re-enfocements are not sent I believe the State will be overrun.
JOHN J. PETTUS.
RICHMOND, VA., November 17, 1862.
General JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States:
SIR: The Secretary of War having informed me that he had resigned his office and that the resignation had been accepted, it becomes proper for me to tender my resignation of the office of Assistant Secretary of War, to take effect when his successor shall be appointed.
With much respect, your obedient servant,
J. A. CAMPBELL.
Milledgeville, November 17, 1862.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Charleston, S. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor this morning to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 15th instant, accompanied by a rescript of your communication to me under date of the 31st of October last, relative to a proposed conference between the Governors of the Southern