than are or may be needed for general or special transportation, and if parties are allowed to withdrawn them from their present service, and engage them in running the blockade, there is great danger that more or less of them will be lost or captured. In this opinion I fully concur, and take this occasion to enter my official protest against the policy of permitting the limited number of steam-boats in out possession to be reduced for this purpose. The propriety of exporting cotton and the conditions on which it should be tolerated or encouraged, are questions for the decision of the Confederate authorities and I presume their views have been communicated to the military commanders at our sea-ports. These questions, affecting as they do the general interest of the whole country, may be properly left to the control of the Confederate authorities at Richmond. We may also safely leave with them the various of the blockade, but the particular grievance herein brought to your attention is local in its character, and immediately concerns the interests of your command and of the State of Alabama. I hope, therefore, you will pardon me for invoking the
military power under your control to prevent the departure of these steam-boats from Mobile, at least till the propriety of the act can be examined into and decided upon by the War Department at Richmond.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. GILL SHORTER,
Governor of Alabama.
CIRCULAR.] BUREAU OF CONSCRIPTION,
Richmond, Va., March 30, 1863.
The War Department has seen reason to remind all officers engaged in recreating and conscription that the execution of the conscript act is a matter of responsibility and delicacy and the rights conferred by the acts of exemption important in a personal and public view, and that summary proceedings, in the spirit and style of the press gang. are in every way subversive of the true interests of recruiting as well as offensive to law and humanity.
This Bureau has always inculcated these principles, and although there appear to have been some, yet the superintendent trusts there are very few of the officers acting under the Bureau who have ever made themselves liable to this admonition, other agencies having been at work, and having often overstepped their proper limits.
Commandant so conscripts will make it a point to see that each and every enrolling officer understands that he is not serving his country by hasty action, practically nullifying the right of appeal from his decision. Men who present plausible grounds of exemption, as being foreigners, or over age, or claiming an examination by a full medical board where they allege that a single medical officer has erroneously held them to be physically capable of service, must not be assigned or dragged to the Army till their cases have had a fair hearing.
On questions of domicile or age the party in entitled to the benefit of his own affidavit if not rebutted by evidence or violent presumption to the contrary, but in the final decision of the cases of foreigners there must be cumulative testimony of facts, or neighbors to support the affidavit.
By order of the superintendent:
A. C. JONES,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.