War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0226 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

to say that it is hoped the assurances generally given a few days since to a committed of your Legislature in a conference with the President will have inspired the fullest confidence in the desire of the President and this Department to do all in the power of the Government for the defense of your State, and with that end to co-operate with and advance the laudable efforts of your authorities to add to existing forces. Still, while every disposition will exist in this Department to afford arms and munitions to such State forces as may be raised, yet, in view of possible contingencies under the exigencies of the service, the Department cannot feel certain of having arms and munitions at command, and can come under no positive engagement to supply them. I am instructed, too, to say that the President does not feel authorized, under the existing provisions of the conscript law, to relinquish claim on any of the persons who are made subject to its operation and liable to be called into the Confederate service. Only those beyond the prescribed ages or exempt under the law are, by the intendment of that law, subject to be recruited and organized for retention in State service; but most valuable assistance may, and it is hoped will, be rendered by the co-operation of the State authorities as well in the enforcement of that law as by the employment of those not subject to conscription, in swelling under State authority our means of defense.

With assurances of the highest respect and esteem,

Your obedient servant,

JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., December 4, 1862.

His Excellency JOHN GILL SHORTER,

Governor of Alabama:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your communication of November 26, inclosing a copy of the joint resolutions of the Senate and House of Representatives of the States of Alabama, approved November 25, 1862. These resolutions impart great satisfaction to this Department. By devoting the officers of her militia to the service of the Confederacy, Alabama evinces now, as ever heretofore during the war, the high patriotic spirit with which she responds to all demands on the valor and resources of her people to achieve the common safety and independence of the States. Such course must meet the grateful appreciation of the whole Confederacy and confer lasting honor on her in the records of history. This Department is too sensible of the sacrifices (involved by this act of disinterestedness) on the part of the officers subjected by the resolution not to respond most cheerfully to the suggestion made by Your Excellency to lighten them by allowing thirty days within which they may volunteer into companies in service prior to the 16th day of April last. The order shall be given accordingly.

Accept assurances of the high consideration and esteem with which I remain,

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.