War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0444 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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great mass of men capable of duty in the Army yet remain at home, have exemption papers or are enrolled and going at large with furloughs from thirty to ninety days' duration. In some cases my officers report that furloughs have been granted till the crop was made, and in some others until the end of the war.

It was in view of these abuses and frauds upon the law that I deemed it necessary to give instructions that certificates of exemption were subject to re-examination. I have given no order at any time in conflict with the orders or instructions of the War Department, or in conflict with the orders and instructions of the officers acting under it, except in the cases above specified. In regard to the cases of furloughs granted after enrollment by enrolling officers and commandants of conscripts, General Bragg directed me not to pay any attention to furlough of enrolled men found out of camps of instructions for a longer period than thirty days. Under the instructions of the Department, as I now understand them, I am confined to the recruiting service. Of course this excludes the enforcement of the conscript law and all compulsory service, and I am limited in the field to part of Alabama, and with Mississippi overrun by the enemy in the northern range of counties, with State organization cavalry service in all that part of North Mississippi, and with a large army occupying that State (a service which the people prefer as being nearer their homes)-under all these circumstances I feel that I can no longer be of service in my present position. I therefore most respectfully request that the general will relieve me from further duty in this bureau. There is no sacrifice I would not willingly make to advance the interest of the service and promote the strength of General Bragg's army, but it is manifest that the order of the general for the organization of this bureau (as he understood the view of the Government from order of January 8) is not approved by the Government. I have in nothing transcended the power conferred or violated the principles laid down by him for my government. I have in no instance interfered with the Richmond organization except in the cases above explained. If my bureau work has practically set aside that Bureau, as the Secretary intimates in his dispatch, it cannot be because of any conflict. There may be cases in which my officers have failed to make proper reports to enrolling officers of men brought by them into the army. I know of none, and none have been reported tome from any source. I gave all I put under instructions orders to so report. If this were the gravamen of the Honorable Secretary's complaints against the bureau, it is a matter I would have promptly corrected if I had known such was the fact.

This explanation of the organization, its work, and working order of the bureau [is] due alike to the general (whose confidence I am happy to believe I possess), to the Government (whose approval I had hoped my conduct would receive), and to my own reputation.

In conclusion, I beg to repeat my request to be relieved from further labor in this bureau.


Brigadier-General, C. S. Army,

and Chief of Bureau, Army of Tennessee.

[First indorsement.]

Forwarded for the information of the War Department.

General Pillow has acted most zealously and efficiently in strict conformity with the orders of the Department and his instructions from