War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0449 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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Any contractor under the Government who shall employ any workman leaving, without proper discharge, a Government establishment, or the employment of another contractor under the Government, shall be notified at once that the detailed men and conscripts in his employment be returned to their proper officers, upon report of the facts to the chief of the bureau or department for the service of which the details were made.

By order:

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector-General.

LONDON, March 21, 1863.

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: Having just heard that there was an indirect way of sending a letter to the Confederacy to-day, I take the liberty of advising that I wrote you fully 13th and 14th instant on the subject of my business here, and have since received your valued favor of 7th of February. Immediately on receipt of it I called on Major Huse, or rather at his late address, and regret exceedingly to find that he is on the Continent. As soon as I can ascertain his address I will write him. In the meantime, on conferring with Mr. Meason, I have determined not to lose any time in getting my scheme started, or rather in arranging to get it started, and as the cotton loan is being taken with avidity, it enables Mr. Mason to assure me of the necessary funds, and I think you may confidently rely upon my carrying out the arrangement at least as rapidly as suggested in the memorandum attached to my letter of 14th instant. I think it prudent not to say more, as I will next week have a safe conveyance, and will write you fully.

Your most obedient,

W. G. CRENSHAW.

[MARCH 21, 1863. -For J. E. Johnston to Seddon, in relation to the procurement of supplies in Middle Tennessee, see Series I, VOL. XXIII, Part II, p. 718.]

HDQRS. VOL. AND CONSCRIPT BUREAU, ARMY OF TEN.,

Huntsville, Ala., March 22, 1863.

Colonel BRENT,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

If the compulsory principle of enforcing the conscript law is abandoned the law itself at once becomes a dead letter. There are but two modes of keeping up the strength of our armies, viz, the system of volunteer recruits and the compulsory system. In the early part of this war the first of these systems had exhausted itself. The conviction of this fact induced the enactment of the conscript law, which rests upon the compulsory principle as its basis. The organization of the Richmond Bureau is based upon the supposition that the moral obligation created by the law will be sufficient to bring into the Army the great mass of men liable to duty under the law. In other words, that enrollment and orders will bring them into the Army. The practical working of that Bureau has established, I think, conclusively the

29 R R-SERIES IV, VOL II