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made have rendered the system so complicated as to make it often quite difficult to determine what the law really is, and to what extent prior enactments are modified by more recent legislation.
There is also embarrassment from conflict between State and Confederate legislation. I am happy to assure you of the entire harmony of purpose and cordiality of feeling which have continued to exist between myself and the executives of the several States; and it is to this cause that our success in keeping adequate forces in the field is to be attributed.
These reasons would suffice for inviting your earnest attention to the necessity of some simple and general system for exercising the power of raising armies which is vested in the Congress by the Constitution. But there is another and more important consideration. The vast preparations made by the enemy for a combined assault at numerous points on our frontier and seacoast have produced the result that might have been expected. They have animated the people with a spirit of resistance so general, so resolute, and so self-sacrificing that it requires rather to be regulated than to be stimulated. The right of the State to demand, and the duty of each citizen to render, military service need only to be stated to be admitted. It is not, however, wise or judicious policy to place in active service that portion of the force of a people which experience has shown to be necessary as a reserve. Youths under the age of 18 years require further instruction-men of matured experience are needed for maintaining order and good government at home, and in supervising preparations for rendering efficient the armies in the field. These two classes constitute the proper reserve for home defense, ready to be called out in case of emergency, and to be kept in the field only while the emergency exists. But, in order to maintain this reserve intact, it is necessary that, in a great war like that in which we are now engaged, all persons of intermediate age not legally exempt for good cause should pay their debt of military service to the country, that the burthens should not fall exclusively on the most ardent and patriotic.
I, therefore, recommend the passage of a law declaring that all persons residing within the Confederate States, between the ages of 18 and 35 years, and rightfully subject to military duty, shall be held to be in the military service of the Confederate States, and that some plain and simple method be adopted for their prompt enrollment and organization, repealing all of the legislation heretofore enacted which would conflict with the system proposed.
Mr. Miles, to whom was referred sundry resolutions in relation to paying the Virginia militia, reported
A bill to provide for the payment of officers of the Virginia militia; which was read first and second times and placed on the Calendar and ordered to be printed.
Mr. Russell moved to reconsider the vote by which the message of the President was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. Mr. Miles, from the Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred
A bill to keep the effective strength of the Army constantly equal to its legal number,
reported the same back, asked to be discharged from the further consideration of the same, and that the bill lie on the table; which was agreed to.
Also, from the same committee, to whom was referred
A bill to provide for the organization of troops in the service of the Confederate States to be armed with pikes when other available arms can not be obtained,
reported back the same, with the recommendation that it pass.
The rules were suspended;
The bill was taken up, engrossed, read a third time, and passed. And the title of the same being under consideration,
Mr. Miles moved to strike out the whole of the original title and to
insert in lieu thereof the following, to wit:
A bill to provide for keeping all firearms in the armies of the Confederate States in the hands of effective men.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. Foster offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That on and after Monday, the thirty-first instant, this House will have night sessions, to commence at half past seven o'clock postmeridian.
On motion of Mr. Lyons, the resolution was laid on the table. Mr. Miles, from the Committee on Military Affairs, reported and recommended the passage of
A bill to amend the eighth section of the act entitled "An act to provide for the public defense," approved March 6, 1861;
which was read first and second times, placed on the Calendar, and ordered to be printed.
Mr. Miles, from the same committee, to whom was referred
A bill to provide for the employment of negroes on Government work,
reported the same back, with the recommendation that it pass. The rules were suspended;
The bill was taken up, and having been read as follows, to wit:
With a view to secure against loss the owners of negroes in portions of the Confederacy exposed to invasion by the enemy, and to enable the Government to make available for purposes of defense the labor of such negroes: Therefore,
Be it enacted by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to employ for the service of the Confederate States, during the continuance of the war, such able-bodied negro men from the age of sixteen to fifty as may tendered by their owners, to be employed in Government works, in Government foundries, in the fabrication of saltpeter, the construction of military roads, the erection of fortifications, or in such other labor as their services may be found valuable, on condition of their being clothed and fed by the Government and returned to their owners at the end of the war or their value paid.
SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the President to have the value of such negroes fixed at the time of their employment and to provide suitable regulations and officers for their proper care and control,
Mr. Smith of North Carolina moved to amend the same by striking out the words "either in kind or value" and inserting in lieu thereof the words "or their value paid."
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. Hilton moved to amend by adding after the words "continuance of the war" the words "at not more than one-half of the current rate of hire in the locality where employed."
On motion of Mr. McLean, the bill and amendments were placed on the Calendar and ordered to be printed.
Mr. Barksdale, from the Committee on Printing, by the unanimous consent of the House, reported as follows:
The Committee on Printing, to whom was referred a resolution adopted by this House on the 25th instant, instructing an investigation of the mode adopted by the different Departments in the execution of printing for the Confederate Government, beg leave to submit the following letter from the Superintendent of Public Printing as containing the information sought:
"CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
"Hon. E. BARKSDALE,
"Chairman of the Committee on Public Printing. "SIR: Your note of this date, inclosing a resolution of Congress 'instructing the Committee on Public Printing to ascertain and inform the House what mode is adopted by the different Departments having printing done for the execution of the work, whether by private contract or by sealed proposals, and to ascertain whether the rates paid by the Government are the same a for printing done on private account,' has been received. In reply I have the honor to state that under the act entitled
'An act in relation to public printing,' approved February 27, 1861, contracts were made by the chief officers of the Executive Departments of the Government for all necessary printing in connection with their several offices,' and, together with the bonds required by law, filed in this office. These contracts were awarded to the lowest responsible bidders.
"I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
The report was agreed to.
"GEO. E. W. NELSON, "Superintendent Public Printing."
On motion, leave of absence was granted to Mr. Atkins of Tennessee. And on motion of Mr. Foster,
The House resolved itself into secret session.
The House being in secret session,
Mr. Wilcox moved that the House do now adjourn.
On which motion he demanded the yeas and nays; and
25  40
Yeas: Horatio W. Bruce, Eli M. Bruce, Burnett, Chambliss, Crockett, Davis, De Jarnette, Garland, Herbert, Hilton, Holt, Jenkins, Jones, Kenan of North Carolina, Kenner, Lander, Lyon, McLean, McRae, Miles, Moore, Pugh, Read, Welsh, Wilcox, and Mr. Speaker. Nays: Arrington, Ashe, Atkins, Ayer, Baldwin, Barksdale, Batson, Chilton, Chrisman, Clapp, Clark, Clopton, Conrad, Conrow, Curry, Farrow, Foote, Foster, Garnett, Gartrell, Graham, Gray, Hartridge, Heiskell, Holcombe, Johnston, Lewis, Lyons, Machen, Marshall, McDowell, Menees, Perkins, Royston, Russell, Sexton, Singleton, Smith of North Carolina, Strickland, and Villeré.
So the motion was lost.
A message was received from the Senate, by the hands of Mr. Nash, the Secretary of that body; which is as follows, to wit:
Mr. Speaker: The Senate have passed a joint resolution of this House of the following title, viz:
A joint resolution to authorize the suspension of the execution of an act to authorize the President to cause to be constructed certain gunboats, approved December 24, 1861.
Mr. Kenner moved that the House do now adjourn.
On which motion Mr. Wilcox demanded the yeas and nays; and The demand being sustained, the yeas and nays were recorded, Yeas..
And are as follows, to wit: Nays
Yeas: Ashe, Baldwin, Barksdale, Burnett, Chrisman, Clapp, Clopton, Conrow, Curry, Farrow, Garland, Graham, Gray, Hartridge, Herbert, Hilton, Johnston, Jones, Kenan of North Carolina, Kenner, Lander, Machen, McDowell, McLean, Miles, Perkins, and Smith of North Carolina.
Nays: Arrington, Atkins, Ayer, Batson, Crockett, Gartrell, Holt, Menees, Read, Royston, Singleton, Welsh, Wilcox, and Mr. Speaker. So the motion prevailed.
And the House adjourned until 12 o'clock m. to-morrow.
THIRTY-FIFTH DAY-SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 1862.
The House met pursuant to adjournment, and was opened with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Peterkin.
The Chair announced as the committee of conference, under the resolution offered yesterday by Mr. Curry:
Messrs. Curry of Alabama, Chambers of Mississippi, and Holt of Georgia.
The Chair laid before the House a communication of the Secretary of War, informing the House that copies of all reports in regard to the battle of Leesburg, or Ball's Bluff, were submitted to the Provisional Congress, and are now to be found upon its files; which was read and, on motion, was laid on the table.
The Chair laid before the House a report, with accompanying documents, from the Secretary of the Treasury in relation to the war tax; which was read and, on motion of Mr. Kenner, referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Mr. Holt moved that the call of the States be suspended, and that the House proceed to the call of the committees.
The motion was lost.
Mr. Curry presented an account of Starke & Cardozo for stationery furnished to the Provisional Congress; which was referred to the Committee on Claims, without being read.
Mr. Pugh presented an account of Judge Acree, of Alabama, for taking the census; which was referred to the Committee on Claims, without being read.
Mr. Chilton offered
A joint resolution for raising a special committee for purposes therein named;
which was read the first and second times, and the rules being suspended, the resolution was taken up.
Mr. Hanly moved to amend by striking out in third line the word "five" and inserting in lieu thereof the word "thirteen," and inserting in fourth line, between the words "members" and "on," the words "one from each State;" so as to make it read "consisting of thirteen members, one from each State."
The amendment was agreed to.
And the joint resolutions as amended were engrossed, read a third time, and passed.
On motion of Mr. Garland, the House then took up for consideration the resolution offered by him increasing the number of the Military Committee from nine to thirteen.
Mr. Foote demanded the question thereon; which being ordered, the resolution was adopted.
Mr. Davis asked to be excused from serving on the Committee on Military Affairs; which was agreed to.
Mr. Kenner, by the consent of the House, from the Committee on Ways and Means, to whom was referred
A joint resolution to authorize the State of Virginia to pay her quota of the war tax upon the terms prescribed in the twenty-fourth section of the act levying the same at any time when the proper list shall be furnished,
reported the same back, with the recommendation that the resolution lie on the table.
The motion prevailed.
Mr. Kenner, by consent, from the same committee, reported
A bill to be entitled "An act to enable the States assuming the payment of their quota of the war tax to pay the same into the Treasury; which was read the first and second times, engrossed, read a third time, and passed.
Mr. Marshall offered
A resolution that the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed to inquire into and report on the expediency of allowing the twelve months' volunteers now in the Confederate service the privilege of extending their term of service under their present respective organization for a period not less than ninety days, whenever such extension may be deemed expedient by the President;
which was read and agreed to.
On motion of Mr. Foote,
The House then resolved itself into secret session.
The House being in secret session,
The Chair presented a message from the President; which is as follows, to wit:
EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Richmond, March 29, 1862.
To the Speaker of the House of Representatives:
I herewith transmit a report and accompanying tabular statement from the Secretary of State in answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 26th instant.
On motion, the message and accompanying documents were referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Jones moved that the Doorkeeper be allowed the services of his assistant in the House during the secret sessions of the same. The motion prevailed.
Mr. Gartrell, by unanimous consent, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to whom were referred two bills-one to make Treasury notes a legal tender, and one to make Treasury notes issued by the Confederate States of America a lawful tender in the payment of debts-and also a resolution instructing the committee to inquire into the constitutionality of making Treasury notes a legal tender, reported that the committee had duly considered the subject referred, and, without expressing any opinion upon the constitutional point involved, recommended that the bills be placed upon the Calendar, and that the committee be discharged from the further consideration of the resolution, and that the same lie on the table.
On motion, the bills were placed on the Calendar, and the resolution was recommitted to the committee.
Mr. Harris, by unanimous consent, from the Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the memorial of Ayers & Littlepage in relation to a bullet-rolling machine, reported the same back, asked to be discharged from its further consideration, and that the memorial lie on the table; which was agreed to.
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