War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0592 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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As you have referred to the subject of a draft, I will allude to that fact in my proclamation without saying whether there is State authority for it or not, as I think this may stimulate the volunteer spirit, as you seem justly to conclude. I shall delay my proclamation till I hear from you in reply to this letter unless your answer to my telegram of to-day (of which the inclosed is a copy) shall satisfy me that the suggestions herein contained are substantially approved by the President. If he is satisfied with this letter as the basis of the organization, and you will so say by telegraph as soon as you get it, I will proceed with the organization with the least possible delay. It may be necessary in getting up troops to accept those in the lower part of the State for the defense of that part, and those in the upper part for defense there, and possibly some about the cities for the defense of their own place. Will this be approved by the President?

I would further suggest that I be permitted to include in the organization persons between forty and forty-five years of age till the President shall have ordered them to be enrolled as conscripts, when they are to be dropped from these organizations. Many of them would be willing to volunteer, for the time, for home defense and I think it good policy to permit them to do so. as time is important, please answer promptly.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,



MILLEDGEVILLE, June 13, 1863.

Hon. J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

As you call on me for 8,000 men, organizing for local defense, to be reported to you and mustered into Confederate service for six months, I ask that the whole matter be left in my hands and that no Confederate officer be authorized to raise companies while the requisition is upon me, as this produces conflict and confusion. I shall require all companies in the State for local defense to report to me and all report the organization to you as fast as possible. With your sanction I will detail State officers to muster the companies into Confederate service as fast as organized, as I cannot always have Confederate officers at hand in every part of the State. Please answer by telegraph on both points.


I send you this dispatch fearing that the other copy may have miscarried. A prompt reply is necessary, as I cannot act till I hear from you.

Very respectfully, &c.,



Richmond, June 13, 1863.


President of the Confederate States of America:

SIR: The Virginia Military Institute is filled to its utmost capacity, and although the utmost order prevails, with an earnest, even zealous attention to study and obedience to all the rules of discipline, there