number of days each officer has been absent from his command, with or without, or on sick leave; the number of times each officer has been observed to have been absent from his command when on march or in action; when and where each officer has been observed to have performed signal acts of service; when and where negligent in the performance of duty and inattentive to the security and economy of public property; printed blank forms of which said reports shall be furnished by the Secretary of War for the use of the officers whose duty it is made to make such reports.
SEC. 5. Be it further enacted, That whenever any officer of a company, battalion, squadron or regiment shall have been dropped or honorably rehired in accordance with the provisions of this act, and if not competent, then the next officer in rank shall be promoted, and so on until all the commissioned officers of the company, battalion, squadron or regiment shall have been gone through with; and if there be no officer of the company, battalion, squadron or regiment competent to fill the vacancy, then the President shall, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, fill the same by appointment: Provided, That the officer appointed shall be from the same State as that to which the company, battalion, squadron or regiment belongs: And provided further, That nothing herein contained shall be constructed as limiting the power heretofore conferred upon the President by existing laws to fill any vacancy by the promotion of officers or the appointment of privates "distinguished in the service by the exhibition of extraordinary valor and skill: "And provided further, That vacancies arising under the operation of this act, in regiments or battalions which were organized under the laws of a State for the war, or for a period not yet expired, shall be filled as in case of death or resignation.
Approved October 13, 1862.
AN ACT to authorize the grant of medals and badges of distinctior courage and good conduct on the field of battle.
The Congress of the Confederate of America do enact, That the President be and he is hereby authorized to bestow medals, with proper devices, upon such and good conduct on the field of battle; and also to confer a badge of distinction upon one private or non-commissioned officer of each company after every signal victory it shall have assisted to achieve. The non-commissioned officers and privates of the company, who may be present on the first dress parade thereafter, may choose, by a majority of their votes, the soldier best entitled to receive such distinction, whose name shall be communicated to the President by commanding thus awarded him shall be delivered to his widow, or if there be no widow, to any relation the President may adjudge entitled to receive it.
Approved October 13, 1862.
AN ACT to authorize the formation of volunteer companies for local defense.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That for the purpose of local defense in any portion of the Confederate States, any number of persons not liable to military duty, may associate themselves as a military company, elect their own officers and establish rules and regulations for their own government, and shall be considered as belonging to the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, serving without pay or allowances, and entitled, when captured by the enemy, to all the privileges of prisoners of war: Provided, That such company shall, as soon as practicable, transmit their muster-roll, or a list of the names of the officers and privates thereof, to the Governor of the State, the commanding general of the department, or any brigadier general in the State or Confederate service, to be forwarded to the Secretary of War; but the President or the commander of the military district may, at any time, disband such companies: Provided, That in the States and districts in which the act entitled "An act to further provide for the public defense," approved April the sixteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, and the acts amendatory thereof, have been suspended, persons of any age, resident within such States or districts, may volunteer and form part of such companies so long as such suspension shall continue: Provided, That no person shall become a member of said company until he shall have first