War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0415 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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SPECIAL ORDERS,

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 51.

Richmond, Va., March 2, 1863.

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XVIII. Authority is hereby granted Lieut. W. S. Hanrahan, of Company H, First Regiment North Carolina Cavalry, to recruit a company within the lines of the enemy and at such other places in North Carolina where the conscript law cannot be enforced.

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By command of the Secretary of War:

JOHN WITHERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, Va., March 2, 1863.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: The operations of Brigadier-General Pillow in executing the acts of conscription have been brought to the notice of the Department, and have formed the subject of several communications by telegram, which have probably been brought to your notice. There has been no little difficulty in organizing the arrangements for the execution of the conscription acts, and the plans adopted have been the result of much deliberation and after a consultation with those who were immediately concerned in the management of the Army. The Adjutant and Inspector-General insisted that these arrangements should not be connected in any manner with the business of his office, inasmuch as conscripts did not belong to the Army proper until after muster into service. The fundamental proposition adopted by the Department in reference to the acts of exemption rendered this conclusion a proper one.

Hundreds of applications come to the Department for discharges from the Army, resting for their support upon the provisions of the act of exemption, and were sustained in many instances by Congressional recommendations. Many of the members of Congress seemed to believe that the exemption acts did apply to the Army. To separate the Army proper from conscription was therefore a measure of policy. There are too political considerations connected with the enforcement of the acts of conscription that were not to be overlooked, and justified the establishment of an independent organization. The Department in Orders No. 82 provided that "the commandant of conscripts will be charged with the supervision of the enrollment and disposition of conscripts". "The commandants of conscripts east of the Mississippi River will receive orders only from the War Department, and will not be interfered with by generals commanding departments or armies in the field. "

On February 7 this Department published in Orders, No. 16: "Reports have been received that officers thus sent from the Army have been practically setting aside the system, decisions, and exemptions established under the authority of the commandants of conscripts in the respective States, and are neglecting to make to those officers any returns of the conscripts gathered by them, "and thereupon renewed its command that those officers should act in subordination to the commanders of conscripts.