Legally exempt. The Department did not retain in the Army, but discharged from it, all foreigners not domiciliated who had volunteered at the expiration of their term of enlistment, and in May last announced in orders that "foreigners who have not acquired a domicile in the Confederate States" were legally discharged from the Army under this construction of the act, and the same interpretation serves as a shelter to a very large number of aliens who previously were regarded as permanent residents of these States.
In July orders were published by the Department prohibiting the reception of unnaturalized foreigners as substitutes. In September orders were issued to the effect that all enrolling officers are hereby expressly prohibited to the effect that all enrolling officers are hereby expressly prohibited from enrolling as conscripts foreigners not domiciled in the Confederate States. "By domicile is meant permanent residence. " And again, in Orders No. 82 it is said "foreigners not domiciled in the Confederate States are not liable to enrollment. Domicile in the Confederate States consists in residence with intention permanently to remain in those States and to abandon domicile elsewhere. Long residence of itself does not constitute domicile. A person may acquire domicile in less than one year, and he may not acquire it in twenty years' residence. If there is a determination to return to the native country and to retain the domicile there, no length of residence can confer domicile. "
There can be no mistake of the principle upon which this Department in administering the legislation of the Confederate Congress has proceeded. As Mer Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland has no minister near this Government, nor any other accredited diplomatic agent here to call in question this principle, the Department feels under no obligation to discuss or defend it.
By a reference to the Orders, No. 82, Article X, you will find that "applicatio must in all cases be made to the enrolling officer, from whose decision an appeal may be taken to the commandant of conscripts. The Department will not consider the application until it has been referred by the latter officer. " The exemption act comprehends large classes of citizens who are not included among those from whom military service is required. Their claims to exemption are brought under the revision of this Department by this regulation. The alien who has not acquired a domicile is subject to the same regulation and may seek his protection in this form. The commandant of conscripts is a field officer and has been selected for his ability, among other qualifications, to determine questions that might arise under this act. The alien is not deprived of any privilege that has been conceded to a citizen. Mr. Haley had it in his power to bring his case before the Department, and from his failure to do so the presumption is that he has acquired a domicile in these States. The Department has exposed in this with more particularly its principles and mode of proceeding than in its former communication to you, but it is not able to perceive that any material omission was then made. It has nothing to detract from that communication.
In reference to your remark upon the discourtesy to which you have been subject, the Department is entirely unable to make any application of it. It has listened to your remonstrances and expostulations with the same degree of patience as if you had been regularly accredited to this Government, and it has afforded you in respectfully terms full information of whatever it was necessary for you to know to perform your duties, or what duties might consider to be your duties.