large number of slaves and a vast quantity of provisions, and in the evil of having our entire population thrown for support on the already burthened resources of other parts of the Confederacy, and in addition thereto the State would become a rendezvous for fugitive slaves from Alabama and Georgia; Therefore-
Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Florida in General Assembly convened, That the President of the Confederate States be, and he is hereby, requested to exempt all citizens of the State of Florida from conscription who shall by volunteer enlistment enter the C. S. service by the 15th day of March, 1863, to be mustered into said service expressly for the defense of the State.
Passed the House of Representatives December 11, 1862. Passed the Senate December 12, 1862. Approved by the Governor December 13, 1862.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, December 22, 1862.
Mr. BERNARD AVEGNO,
Commercial Agent of the Confederate States at Vera Cruz:
SIR: It is hoped by this Department that your position as commercial agent at Vera Cruz will afford you the opportunity to render valuable assistance in obtaining for it munitions and army supplies. Besides the general advantages offered by that city as affording in a contiguous country a neutral port of convenient access, peculiar facilities will probably at this time be afforded of introducing or procuring there such essential supplies for our armies, from the occupation of the city and a large portion of Mexico by the forces of the Emperor of the French, and the consequent necessity of the importation there under the French flag of large quantities of the articles wanted by us. I need not suggest to you the various means by which under such circumstances the supplies we need may be introduced with but little liability to the risk of seizure as contraband of war, or may be procured there from French citizens who may have brought them with a legitimate view to the supply in the first instance of the requirements of their own Government and its army. Your own experience and intelligence will best suggest or devise the most judicious and feasible modes of procedure. On the presumption that such opportunity will not be lost by you, I have caused to be made out, and you will herewith receive, lists from the heads of bureaus of this Department of the munitions, stores, and army supplies which are most desirable to be obtained. Should you succeed you will contract with the parties with whom you deal, or otherwise arrange, that the articles obtained or contracted for shall be delivered to agents or officers of this Department at Matamoras, or some other town of Mexico equally convenient to our border, to be there on receipt paid for either in sterling exchange, coin, or cotton at its value in coin at the place of delivery. Arrangements wils Department with the Treasury Department to have such payments promptly made. I should likewise add that to secure the proper quality of the articles required they should be subject to inspection and approval by some competent officer or agent of this Department either at Vera Cruz or at the point of delivery. On notice by you of such prospect of success as would justify the presence of such inspecting officer or agent, he will be
17 R R-SERIES IV, VOL II