War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0594 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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them. If you will promise to arm them promptly the assurance will greatly expedite the organization. Please answer by telegraph, and designate also the proportion of cavalry.





Richmond, June 16, 1863.

I. The following act of Congress and the regulations adopted by the Department in pursuance thereof are published for the information of all concerned:

AN ACT to establish a Niter and Mining Bureau.

SECTION 1. The Congress of the Confederate States do enact, That the officers authorized and appointed under the act entitle "An act for the organization of a corps of officers for the working of niter caves," etc., passed April 1, 1862, together with such additional officers as are authorized by the provisions of this act, shall constitute an independent bureau of the War Department, to be entitled "The Niter and Mining Bureau. "

SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That said bureau shall have charged of all the duties prescribed in the second section of said act, and shall besides be charged with all duties and expenditures connected with the mining of iron, copper, lead, coal, &c., so far as it shall be deemed necessary to supply the military necessities of the country; and the superintendent thereof shall, under the Secretary of War, have full power to make such leases of real estate and purchases of fixtures as are necessary or appurtenant to any mines it may be deemed expedient to open or work on Government account; and many also contract, subject to the approval of the Secretary of War, for such supplies, by purchase or otherwise, of all copper, lead, iron, coal, zinc, and such other materials as may be required for the prosecution of the war.

SEC. 3. Be it further enacted, That said bureau shall consist of one lieutenant-colonel as superintendent; three majors as assistant superintendents; six captains and ten lieutenants, in which shall be included the officers of the present Niter Corps, who shall have the same pay and allowances prescribed for officers of cavalry of the same grades.

Approved April 22, 1863.

II. The Secretary of War is opinion that it is necessary to accumulate supplies of iron in the various military departments for the repair of railroads, the manufacture of arms, munitions, and materials of war, and for the operations of the Quartermaster's, Ordnance, and Engineer Departments, and that experience has shown that the necessary supply cannot be obtained by purchase. Impressment, therefore, according to the act of Congress relating to impressments, has become necessary to secure a supply. It is ordered that all impressments that may be made of iron for this purpose shall be conducted by the chiefs of the Quartermaster's, Ordnance, Engineer, and Niter and Mining Bureaus, or by officers designated by them, who shall in every instance communicate to the owner the necessity that exists for the use of the property, the disposition of the officers to purchase the same, and an offer to purchase it at a price to be ascertained in accordance with the act relating to impressments if the parties cannot agree upon the same.

III. And whereas the existing necessity for iron in the departments aforesaid, and for the good of the public service, is such that all practicable measures must be taken to secure an adequate supply, it is further ordered that whenever it may become necessary to secure the full product of any mine or manufactory that the same shall be worked for the sole benefit of the Government of the Confederate States. It