such reorganized commands had ben re-elected to the same grade of rank they held in those commands prior to their reorganization, and before the passage of the act of April 16, 1862, commonly known as the "conscription act. "
In all reorganizations of commands under this last-named act (April 16, 1862) the officers will take rank from the date of the act, and their relative rank with each other in the same grade will be regulated by the date of their former commissions in the service.
II. Officers of the Army who are dropped from the rolls, cashiered by courts-martial, or whose resignations are accepted, and who may thus become liable to military duty under the conscription acts, will, when present with their commands, be at once enrolled by their respective brigade commanders. When not so present their names will be furnished by their commanding officers to the proper enrolling officer of the district to which they belong, or in which they reside: Provided, That any officer so liable to enrollment may select in his former command any company from his own State in which to be enrolled.
Adjutant and Inspector-General.
Montgomery, Ala., March 5, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond:
SIR: I am informed credibly that there is a class of men scattered over the State liable to conscription who are hiding out and dodging the enrolling officers, but who would join Colonel Clanton's command if allowed to do so. The conscript officers, I am told, recommend that they be allowed to do so. The order from the War Department* allowing conscripts in the counties of Barbour, Pike, Henry, Dale, Coffee, and Covington to join Colonel Clanton's organization has had a most happy effect in silencing all clamors against the conscript act in those counties, and in inducing many who were hiding to come into the service. Colonel Clanton is a very popular officer in Alabama, and men in other counties who will avoid the conscript officers would readily join him if permitted to do so, and will thus be speedily brought into the camps. I am confident that such a course will be advantageous to the Army. The sooner these stragglers are gathered in the better, and by the plan recommended I think a number may be obtained whom it will be troublesome to get at in any other way. The discretion as to this matter may very properly be left with Colonel Clanton, who will properly discriminate as to the class of men he will muster into his command under the order of the War Department, if the order shall be allowed. There is no danger of his gathering more men than needed, and if he should be successful enough to raise a larger force than might be found necessary for his field of operations it will put it in the power of the Department to re-enforce Mobile by as transfer of a portion of the troops now in the vicinity of Pollard. Still, I have no idea that any supernumerary troops will be gathered by Colonel Clanton. They will all be required, most probably, in West Florida.
*See Series I, VOL. LII, Part II, p. 415.