whom the laws of the State have not placed at my command. If you insist on the volunteer companies being raised and tendered to you at Richmond, and commissioned from your office, you cause much delay in the organization, and you place it out of my power to render you much assistance, as all I can in that case is simply to invite our people to form such companies and report them to you. if, however, you will authorize me to say to the people of this State that you make requisition upon me now for 8,000 volunteers for local defense, to be organized into companies, battalions, and regiments by the State and tendered to you as organized, and immediately mustered into Confederate service for six months, without pay or allowances, except when on actual duty, and in no case to be called out of the State or the section of the State which they have volunteered to defend, without their consent, and only to be kept in service till the exigency has passed, and then permitted to return to their ordinary pursuits till another emergency may arise, I think I can fill the requisition. I will, in that case, attempt it with all the energy I posses. I trust you will at once see the reason why this plan is more practicable than the order. If I am called on to organize and tender the volunteers as organized, I can use all the State officers in getting up the organizations, and as soon as accompany is complete I can have it mustered in before there is time for disagreement or disbanding, which would frequently occur before you could send a Confederate officer to muster them in, and they could get commissions from Richmond.
If this pan is agreeable to the President I also ask for authority to direct State officers to muster the companies into Confederate service as fast as ready. There are one hundred and thirty-two counties in the State, many of them remote from railroad, and it would cause great delay and expense to send off in every case for a Confederate officer to go probably seventy-five miles from a railroad to muster in a company, while I would order a State officer in the county to muster them in and send the company roll to me to be forwarded to you without expense.
Again, there are many difficulties that arise in organizing troops, where questions have to be referred to headquarters which could soon reach me and proper instructions could be given; but if they must be sent to you for direction at so great a distance from the company, with so many other pressing engagements much delay and confusion must grow out of it. Again, I desire to submit a request that you appoint no Confederate officer in the State to get up organizations of this character while the requisition is upon me. If you call on me for the number of troops you need it is justice to me that I have the whole matter of the organization left in my hands I fill the requisition. If you authorize Confederate officers in the meantime to come into the State to get up organizations independent of the State authorities, they naturally place themselves in antagonism to the State government, as they consider themselves its rivals organizing troops, and conflict and confusion, if not ill-feelings, are the result. All this I desire to avoid, and I trust you will agree with me that my request in this particular is reasonable. Already a few companies have been organized and tendered to the commandants of the different military posts if this State. All these I wish to have report to me, and let me include them in the number you ask for and there is then order and system in the whole organization. I also wish to know whether the troops called for can be armed by you, or what number of arms you can furnish.