War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0288 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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in many portions of the Confederacy dissatisfaction and complaint. This has been in many instances from mere invidiousness in regarding the slaves merely as property and not as a service class to be controlled from considerations of general safety. In others, where the slaves are regarded only as helpless dependents to be cared for and cherished, the claim has been asserted that similar privilege of exemption should at least be accorded to those who had many helpless children or females dependent solely on their care or labor. The latter view would alone seem entitled to consideration. It would probably relieve the law from much odium and yet only promoe public good if when, as in cases not infrequently presented, either or ten helpless whites are dependent on one male friend within the prescribed ages exemption should be accorded by law. It will be observed you have yet exhausted your power of call. The faithful execution of that mode, it is confidently hoped, will dispense with the needed of further draft on those who, from their age, are apt to be by their larger ties and interest most essential to society. Our armies may thus be adequately recruited and maintained at the maximum required by their organizations. More need scarce be desired.

The organization of the Army has been advanced by the appointment under that the act of Congress of five lieutenant-generals. They were all major-generals and selected for approved skill, conduct, and experience. They are now in active service, some commanding separate departments and others leading army corps under a general in the field. Major and brigadier generals in requisite numbers to meet the exigencies of the service have been appointed and assigned. The policy of organizing the brigades with troops and generals from the several States has been pursued, and as opportunities offer, without detriment to the service, will be carried out. The greater satisfaction of the men from each State when collected together, the generous, emulation for glory to their State and the fair apportionment of officers assured to each State according to its contribution of defenders to the country will, it is hoped, overbalance the inconvenience of separating regiments and companies previously associated and the liability to State jealousies. The policy will be persisted in to a full trial of its merits.

The military courts authorized at the last session of Congress have been constituted. In making the appointments, while qualifications were first considered, preference among the applicants was, as far as the range of choice allowed, given to those who had been wounded or disabled in service. These tribunals supply a needed much felt by our commanders in the field. The necessity of frequent courts-martial caused much embarrassment and many delays. Without them now the prompt administration of the military law may be secured, desertion and straggling checked, license of all kinds restrained, and temperance, discipline, and subordination advanced. The various branches of special service heretofore established have proved judicious and worked generally well. The battalion of sharpshooters attached to each brigade has done much to restore our superiority as marksmen, which had begun to be endangered by the guns of long range and constant practice therewith of our less skillful adversaries. On many occasions the efficiency as well as the valor of these battalions has been strikingly exhibited, and they are now felt as almost a necessity to a proper organization. The appointments of artillery officers for ordnance service and of engineers have as yet been made only in