War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0401 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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Richmond, February 17, 1863.

With a view to determine the military state of certain persons in the Army who have left their regular commands and joined others, under the impression that they had a right so to do, but are claimed as deserters under existing laws, the following orders are published:

I. Persons who joined new companies at the expiration of their first term of service, under the act authorizing re-enlistments for the war, will be continued in their present companies, provided the facts do not shot an intention to desert their former commands; also all paroled prisoners whose term of service had expired, and who enlisted in new companies under the provisions of General Orders, No. 44, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, Richmond, of June 17, 1862, will be continued in their present companies.

II. All persons who have really deserted and have joined other companies will be returned to their original commands, and the benefit of this order is to be strictly limited to cases arising from a misconception of rights and duties under the re-enlistment and conscript laws.

III. The privilege heretofore exercised by troops on the battle-field of exchanging their small-arms and field pieces for those captured from the enemy is hereafter forbidden, and the prohibition will be strictly enforced by commanders. All such exchanges must be made by proper authority and with a due regard to the efficiency of the troops. Captured arms and artillery will be turned over to the chief ordnance officer and be assigned, whenever practicable, to the troops to whom the general shall, on testimony, award their capture.

By order:


Adjutant and Inspector-General.


Tallahassee, Fla., February 17, 1863.


President Confederate States of America, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: The maintenance of our armies in the field, of the families of those in military service of the civil government of the Confederate States, and the States separately-in a word, not only the liberty, but the lives of the people of the State, depend upon agricultural labor. The advocates of slavery, in our national councils and throughout the various forms of arguments to sustain it, have contended forcibly and truthfully that negroes have not the inclination or ability to labor successfully without the superior skill of the white man to direct and enforce their labor.

Upon slave labor the agriculture of the Southern States is mainly dependent, and consequently oversees for the management and direction of the slaves should be exempt from military service. I say oversees, not owners of slaves, because as a general rule slaves have been managed by oversees, and but few owners have manifested the industry, skill, and energy necessary to successful agriculture.

The safety of the Confederate States demands the exemption of oversees for two important reasons: First, because without them