[JUNE 17, 1863. - Fort Bonham to Seddon, inclosing proclamation calling for local defense and special service, &c., see Series I, VOL. XXXVIII, Part II, p. 143.]
RICHMOND, VA., June 17, 1863.
General W. H. RICHARDSON,
Adjutant-General of Virginia, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have the honor, by direction of the President to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 13th instant in relation to the Virginia Military Institute. The President taken a warm interest in the efficiency and success of the military schools in the several States of the Confederacy, but having had no opportunity to form any opinion by observation of the relative merits of the systems of education pursued at these institutions, he does not desire to be understood to express any special preference for any. His Excellency is debarred from expressing any opinion as to whether the cadets at the Virginia Military Institute do better service to their country by pursuing their studies than by joining the Army, because his action in regard to the matter must necessarily conform to the law, which requires all citizens who are over either years of age to enter the service, and which leaves home no discretionary power to which case of cadets who have become liable to military to military duty can be properly referred. The President would be glad to comply with the request of the Board of Visitors, as expressed by you, that he should make suggestions as to the "character and duration of the course of instruction," &c., but the pressure of public business will only allow him to refer the Board to a report made by him in 1860 on the subject of military education at West Point, in which his views are given at length.
With assurances of the President's respect and esteem, I remain, general,
Your obedient servant,
WILLIAM M. BROWNE,
Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, Va., June 19, 1863.
His Excellency JOSEPH E. BROWN,
Governor of Georgia:
SIR: I am gratified to receive by your letter of the 13th assurance of your desire to co-operate in securing for unusual and temporary service the forces desired by the President for the defense of your State. With the mutual purpose of effecting this end in the speediest and most certain mode compatible with existing laws, I cannot doubt accord in the means of operating may be readily obtained between us. As I explained to you in my original letter, the organizations which it was thought would most effectually secure the ends proposed would be those under the act of Congress of 1861, for local defense and special service; but as these were purely voluntary, it was thought best to add to the motives for their formation the alternative of a call to the militia service, and thus to assure in any event the required force.