War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0580 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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Richmond, June 6, 1863.

When an infantry soldier is a courier, under paragraph III, General Orders, No. 7, current series, and shall keep himself provided with a serviceable horse, he will be allowed 40 cents per day for the use and risk of his horse.

By order:


Adjutant and Inspector General.


Richmond, Va., June 6, 1863.

His Excellency M. L. BONHAM,

Governor of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C.:

SIR: Under the instructions of the President, I have the honor to address you on a subject deemed by him of great moment. The numerically superior armies of the enemy confronting us in the field at all the most important points render essential for success in our great struggle for liberty and independence greater concentration of our forces, and their withdrawal in a measure from the purpose of local defense to our cities and least exposed States. Being the invaded country, it is impossible throughout the extent of our limits to maintain permanently, without dispersion, which causes weakness everywhere, adequate forces at the numerous points where we may be attacked. The recent raids of the enemy in different portions of our productive, but thinly populated, districts strikingly illustrate both our liability to distracting and desolating invasions, and the impracticability of affording from our armies, with sufficient promptness, the soldiers necessary for prevention or punishment. It becomes essential, therefore, that the reserves of our population capable of bearing arms, yet required for the useful operations of society and the maintenance in the field of our embodied forces, should be relied on for employment in the local defense of important cities, and in repelling, on emergencies, the sudden or transient invasions of the enemy. How best to organize such reserves and make them most effective has been the subject of consideration with the Department, and I venture to present some suggestions for your consideration and action.

The militia of tates might on occasion be called out, but this would be attended with the serious evil of being dilatory in execution, and by its generality be exhaustive of the already diminished population engaged in the necessary work of production and supply. The difficulty of assembling, and after discharge again reassembling them, would probably induce their retention on each call beyond the time strictly necessary. Experience, too, has not shown this kind of force to be very reliable or efficient, as it is difficult, from the want of previous preparation and co-operation, to inspire them with confidence in their leaders or themselves. Local organizations or enlistments by volunteering for limited periods and special purposes, if they can be induced, would afford more assurance of prompt and efficient action. For these the legislation of Congress has made full provisions by two laws, one entitled "An act to provide for local defense and special service," approved August 21, 1861; * the


* See VOL. I, this series, p. 579.