War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0220 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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[First indorsement.]

Adjutant-General report. Has the order referred to been canceled?

J. A. S.,

Secretary.

[Second indorsement.]

ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, December 5, 1862.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.

There is no evidence in this office of the original order referred to.

JASPER S. WHITING,

Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Third indorsement.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, December 8, 1862.

No such order appears upon the records of this office.

R. G. H. KEAN,

Chief of Bureau of War.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, December 2, 1862.

Hon. E. S. DARGAN,

Mobile, Ala.:

SIR: Your letter of the 26th ultimo relative to the cases of Beckham and Stallworth have been received. Cases founded upon the misery and confusion of families, when poverty, infirmity, disease, bereavement, neglect of business, and family distress in aggravated and sometimes in combined forms plead for the discharge of a soldier from the service, are abundant in this Department. But the fact that every army we have in the field is opposed by a superior force and that the fate of the Confederacy is suspended upon the events of a few weeks is the only answer that can be made to considerations of that nature. The cases you present for exemption must be determined by the written law. The opinion of the Department is that the conscription acts and their persons from the Army 16 was executed to provide for the further defense of the country and the absolute necessity of keeping in the service our gallant Army and of placing in the field a large additional force, &c. It enacts "that the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to call out and place in the military service * * * for three years * * * all white men who are residents * * * between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five at the time the call or calls may be made, who are not legally exempted from military service. " The conscription act of October 11 enacts in similar terms "that the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to call out and place in the military service of the Confederate States for three years * * * all white men * * * residents * * * between the ages of thirty-five and forty-five at the time or times legally exempted from military service. "

The act of 21st of April on the subject of exemption is the complement to the act of April 16 on the subject of conscription. The