these men exclusively or mainly against the marauding and disaffected classes of their vicinity might engender the worst sort of civil strife and lead to inextinguishable feuds and mutual reprisals, to the grievous affliction and waste of the whole region. It has been thought a wiser course to order General Donelson, in whose command the district lies, to send an efficient officer with an adequate command to search through the mountains [in] disaffected localities, capture or disperse all outlying bands, and seeking the aid of the enrolling officer of the district, to conscribed and send to the remote armies all of conscript ages believe to be dangerous or disloyal. At the same time, partly to co-operate with him, but mainly afterward to report similar manifestations and preserve order, it is suggested that all the loyal citizens not liable to conscription should be organized into corps "for local defense and special service," to remain quietly at their homes when no danger existed, but to be liable to be called in to service whenever occasion demanded. These, if promptly formed, might act at once with General Donelson's command, but in any event it is hoped may be constituted in time effectually to keep down any further uprising or collections of marauders. Should they prove inefficient or inadequate for such purpose, conscripts collected from the loyal portion of the neighboring people will be detailed to join and act under such organizations so long as their service may be necessary. In this mode the conscripts will be retained at command, not will they be formed into separate organizations, from which, when once formed of conscripts, experience has shown they cannot be withdrawn without difficulty and seeming injustice, especially to the officers. Sincere solicitude is felt by the Department for the relief of the district referred to, and it has dictated the measures suggested. It is hoped they will prove effectual and at the same time meet the sanction and co-operation of Your Excellency.
With high esteem, very truly, yours,
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
[MARCH 27, 1863. -For Lubbock to Davis, in relation to the transfer of the Texas frontier regiment to the Confederate service, see Series I, Vol, LIII, P. 952.]
Montgomery, Ala., March 28, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond:
SIR: I herewith hand you copy of a letter written by direction of the executive committee of [the Committee] Safety of Mobile to me in relation to the conversion of our bay and river steam-boats into steamers for running the blockade to Cuba. I also inclose copy of a letter addressed by me this day to Major Gen. S. B. Buckner, to both of which I beg to call your early attention. I will not enlarge upon the subject. It is one of importance, and the letter of P. Hamilton, esq., presents the objections to the policy in an unanswerable view.
Hoping to hear from you soon, I have the honor to be respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. GILL SHORTER,
Governor of Alabama.