CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., December 16, 1862.
His Excellency JOHN GILL SHORTER,
Governor of Alabama:
Your letter of the 27th ultimo to Admiral Buchanan, inclosing the application of sixty-two of the men of the Jeff Davis legion to you, to solicit your aid and influence in obtaining a transfer of their company to the gun-boats now being built for the protection of the cities of Mobile, Selma, and Montgomery, has been sent to this Department through the Navy Department. The Army of Northern Virginia is at this time in front of the most powerful army of our enemy. It cannot be re-enforced, while that of the enemy can draw support from the recruits that the United States are constantly making. The army of the enemy is superior to ours in equipment, numbers, and supplies. It is, therefore, obvious that applications for details or removals cannot be granted. There is much homesickness in the Army, and the Department is pressed by every influence and in every form to grant discharges or to allow removals. Mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters are pleading for the return of those who they last year cheered and stimulated to go to the battle-field. The Department hopes that the Chief magistrates of the States will discourage the display of the uneasy and restless spirit that exists on this subject, and maintain to the highest elevation the patriotism of the country.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. CAMPBELL,
Assistant Secretary of War.
COLLECTOR'S OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF MISSISSIPPI, Tangipahoa, La., December 16, 1862.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of the 11th instant, in the following words, viz:
Your request for leave to obtain salt on same terms precisely as Governor of Mississippi is granted, but with the earnest injunction that only salt absolutely necessary for the people of Louisiana within your district be so obtained.
However questionable the policy inaugurated by the Governor of Mississippi may be, I found, in view of the extreme want of salt in this portion of Louisiana, and the repeated demand for the same privilege for this people as that granted to Mississippi, and the fact that the transit of both cotton and salt for Mississippi has to be made through the territory of Louisiana, that this grant might be necessary to secure the public tranquility. In the absence of the Governor or any representative of the Chief Executive of this State I deemed it to be my duty for these considerations to make the request which you have deemed proper to grant. I beg to assure you that I fully appreciate the importance of the injunction contained in your dispatch, and shall only exercise the discretion placed in my hands to the best of my ability to promote the public interests.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. H. HATCH,