or impress at her appraised value. Very strong considerations of military exigency demand this, and it is hoped Your Excellency will acquiesce in the measure.
In relation to the exportation of cotton generally, it does not belong to the Department to determine its policy or propriety. Congress, by its legislation, has interposed no obstacles, but impliedly sanctioned it, and of course, when strictly military reasons do not forbid, the Department, acquiesces and allows the export. Nor can I deny or obstruct such legal use of the river steam-boats as the owners deem judicious, although inclined to concur with you in regard to the impolicy of the their loss, and the importance of retaining them on the inland waters. Such interposition would, as you will readily appropriately, more appropriately proceed from Your, Excellency or other State authorities.
With high regards, your obedient servant,
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
BUREAU OF CONSCRIPTION,
Richmond, April 7, 1863.
HON. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
(Through the Adjutant and Inspector General.)
SIR: The letter to the War Department. * In so far as this paper and its indorsement indicate imperfections in the administration of the conscript law by the organizations which this Bureau was instituted to superintend, they will receive my respectful and earners attention. It is already my purpose to send a capable officer of rank inspect, with the aim of detecting, and, as far possible, remedying the failures, willful or ignorant, of our very numerous subordinate agents.
Daily and minute correspondence to that end has been prosecuted by this Bureau since its establishment.
It may be that a system of carrying on this business by officers selected from the armies might been more effective. My province under my orders has been to carry on with due zeal on the one the rights secured by law and humanity to our citizens, a system long ago established supreme authority; that authority and its discretion deemed proper not to draw upon the dolby of the Army of community for a corps of agents specially selected for individual qualifications and with rank, but to intrust the business in its subordinate agencies to such material (militia officers or disabled or wounded men principally) as was most easily available without prejudice to numbers in the field. The coincidence of such available with high qualifications was not to be expected as a mater of course, or even in a majority of cases. The evidences of general painstaking by the superior officers, as evolved in correspondence, have been satisfactory to my judgment.
The numbers that have joined as volunteers upon the call of the recruiting officers afford an indication of energy on the part of officers of conscription, for the motives in many cases are doubtless those to which the recruiting officers appeal in their handbills, viz, the
* See Pillow to Falconer, March 19, p. 442.