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Committee on Commerce.-Messrs. Curry, of Alabama; Trippe, of Georgia; Cooke, of Missouri; McDowell, of North Carolina; Lyons, of Virginia; Sexton, of Texas; Villeré, of Louisiana; H. W. Bruce, of Kentucky, and Chambers, of Mississippi.
Committee on Post-Offices and Post-Roads.-Messrs. Chilton, of Alabama; Conrow, of Missouri; Royston, of Arkansas; Johnston, of Virginia; Davidson, of North Carolina; Clark, of Georgia; Welsh, of Mississippi; Hilton, of Florida, and Herbert, of Texas.
Committee on Territories and Public Lands.-Messrs. Wilcox, of Texas; Marshall, of Louisiana; Jenkins, of Virginia; Freeman, of Missouri; Foster, of Alabama; Batson, of Arkansas; Lewis, of Georgia; Ewing, of Kentucky, and Menees, of Tennessee.
Committee on Indian Affairs.-Messrs. Singleton, of Mississippi; Elliott, of Kentucky; Hanly, of Arkansas; Dupré, of Louisiana; Goode, of Virginia; Tibbs, of Tennessee; Wright, of Texas; Arrington, of North Carolina, and Ralls, of Alabama.
Committee on Patents.-Messrs. Bell, of Missouri; Lander, of North Carolina; Read, of Kentucky; Chilton, of Alabama; Staples, of Virginia; Marshall, of Louisiana; Hilton, of Florida; Strickland, of Georgia, and Wright, of Texas.
Committee on Claims.-Messrs. W. Smith, of Virginia; Clopton, of Alabama; Burnett, of Kentucky; Villeré, of Louisiana; Clapp, of Mississippi; McLean, of North Carolina; Munnerlyn, of Georgia; Farrow, of South Carolina, and Gardenhire, of Tennessee.
Committee on Accounts.-Messrs. McQueen, of South Carolina; Foster, of Alabama; Kenan, of North Carolina; Strickland, of Georgia, and Hanly, of Arkansas.
Committee on Rules and Officers of the House.-Messrs. Jones, of Tennessee, Perkins, of Louisiana; Boteler, of Virginia; Lewis, of Georgia, and Smith, of North Carolina.
Committee on Pay and Mileage.-Messrs. Burnett, of Kentucky; Singleton, of Mississippi, and Bridgers, of North Carolina.
Committee on Enrolled Bills.-Messrs. Elliott, of Kentucky; Chambers, of Mississippi, and Tibbs, of Tennessee.
Committee on Printing.-Messrs. Barksdale, of Mississippi; Jenkins, of Virginia; A. R. Wright, of Georgia; Menees, of Tennessee, and Dupré, of Louisiana.
Committee on Flag and Seal.-Messrs. Boteler, of Virginia; W. R. Smith, of Alabama, and Gray, of Texas.
Committee on Public Buildings.-Messrs. Lyons, of Virginia; Pugh, of Alabama, and Currin, of Tennessee.
Mr. Clopton introduced
A bill to be entitled "An act to regulate the appointment of officers;" which was read the first and second times and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. Chilton offered
A resolution of inquiry as to raising 200,000 additional troops, and to provide arms, etc.;
which was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.
Mr. Hanly offered the following resolution; which was adopted, to wit:
Resolved, That the Honorable J. P. Johnson, who is now in this city, contesting the seat of the Honorable A. H. Garland, the Representative from the Third district in the State of Arkansas, be, and he is hereby, invited to a seat upon the floor of this House during the continuance of such contest, except in secret session.
Mr. Royston offered the following resolution; which was read and laid upon the table, to wit:
Resolved, That under existing circumstances it is inexpedient for Congress to enter upon a general system of legislation, and that it will therefore at present legislate only upon such subjects as are necessary for an economical support of the Government to provide for the general defense of the Confederacy, the prompt and energetic prosecution of the war, and the recognition of the independence of the Confederate States.
On motion of Mr. Hanly, the memorial of J. P. Johnson to represent the Third Congressional district of Arkansas was taken up and referred to the Committee on Elections.
Mr. Dawkins presented a certain ordinance of the State of Florida in reference to compensation to E. E. Blackburn, late United States marshal, and his assistant marshals, for taking the census of the northern district of Florida in 1860; which was read and referred to the Committee on Claims.
Also, a memorial from certain citizens of the State of Florida, praying a change of the mail route from Waldo Station to Etaniah, instead of from Starke Station to Etaniah, in the State of Florida; which was read and referred to the Committee on Post-Offices and Post-Roads. Mr. Gartrell offered the following resolution; which was read and agreed to, to wit:
Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed to inquire into the expediency of increasing the pay of the noncommissioned officers and privates engaged in the military service of the Confederate States, and report by bill or otherwise.
Mr. Crockett introduced
A resolution in relation to the recent disasters to our Army, and to provide for its increase;
which was read and laid on the table.
Mr. Perkins introduced
A bill to suspend the payment of duties during the war;
which was read the first and second times and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Also, a bill to carry into effect the latter part of the second clause of the sixth section of the first article of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America; which was read the first and second times. Mr. Elliott, from the Committee on Enrolled Bills, reported as correctly enrolled
A joint resolution approving resolutions passed by the legislature of Virginia, expressing her determination to vindicate her ancient boundaries;
And the Speaker signed the same.
Mr. Chilton moved to refer the bill to suspend the payment of duties during the war, introduced by Mr. Perkins, to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. Perkins moved to postpone the consideration of the bill, order it to be printed, and make it the special order for Friday next. Mr. Swan moved to amend the motion of Mr. Perkins by making it the special order for to-morrow at 1 o'clock.
The motion was lost.
The question recurred upon the motion of Mr. Perkins.
The motion was lost.
The vote was then taken upon the motion of Mr. Chilton; which was agreed to.
Mr. Marshall offered
A resolution that the President be authorized to order all tobacco, cotton, naval and other stores to be destroyed, when such destruction may be necessary to prevent them from falling into the possession of the enemy;
which was read and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. Mr. Conrad offered
A resolution enjoining all loyal citizens to destroy cotton, tobacco, rice, etc., when in danger of seizure by the enemy, etc.;
which was read and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. Mr. Kenner offered
A resolution repealing the twenty-seventh rule of the House; which was read and referred to the Committee on Rules.
Mr. Davis introduced
A bill to provide for the increase of the Army and regulate the pay of officers and privates;
which was read the first and second times and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.
Also, a bill making appropriations to provide for creating a navy and building gunboats, and purchase of arms; which was read the first and second times and referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs.
Also, a bill for the establishment of hospitals, and for other purposes; which was read the first and second times and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.
Mr. McDowell presented
A resolution of the North Carolina convention in relation to mints in the Confederacy;
which was. read and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Mr. Davidson presented a petition of the citizens of Mitchell County, N. C., asking for a mail route from Jonesborough, Tenn., to Grassy Creek, N. C.; which was referred to the Committee on Post-Offices and Post-Roads.
Also, the petition of G. F. Morris and others; which was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
On motion of Mr. Miles, Mr. Bell of Missouri was appointed to serve on the Committee on Military Affairs during the absence of Mr. Harris, a Representative from said State and a member of the committee.
On motion of Mr. Smith of North Carolina, the House then resolved itself into secret session; and having spent some time therein, again resolved itself into open session.
Mr. Russell offered the following resolution; which was read and agreed to, to wit:
Resolved, That the President be requested, if in his opinion not inconsistent with the public welfare, to communicate to the House Colonel W. B. Taliaferro's report of the battle of Carrick's Ford.
Mr. Boyce introduced
A bill authorizing the President to appoint a commander in chief; which was read first and second times and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.
Mr. Gardenhire introduced
A resolution instructing the Committee on Rules to inquire into the expediency of changing rule twenty-seven of the House; which was read and agreed to.
A message was received from the President, by the hands of his Private Secretary, Mr. Josselyn; which was read as follows, to wit: To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States:
In obedience to the constitutional provision requiring the President from time to time to give to the Congress information of the state of the Confederacy and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient, I have to communicate that since my message at the last session of the Provisional Congress events have demonstrated that the Government had attempted more than it had power successfully to achieve. Hence, in the effort to protect by our arms the whole of the territory of the Confederate States, seaboard and inland, we have been so exposed as recently to encounter serious disasters. When the Confederacy was formed the States composing it were, by the peculiar character of their pursuits and a misplaced confidence in their former associates, to a great extent destitute of the means for the prosecution of the war on so gigantic a scale as that which it has attained. The workshops and artisans were mainly to be found in the Northern States, and one of the first duties which devolved upon this Government was to establish the necessary manufactories, and in the meantime to obtain by purchase from abroad, as far as practicable, whatever was required for the public defense. No effort has been spared to effect both these ends; and though the resuits have not equaled our hopes, it is believed that an impartial judgment will, upon full investigation, award to the various departments of the Government credit for having done all which human power and foresight enabled them to accomplish.
The valor and devotion of the people have not only sustained the efforts of the Government, but have gone far to supply its deficiencies.
The active state of military preparation among the nations of Europe in April last, the date when our agents first went abroad, interposed unavoidable delays in the procurement of arms; and the want of a navy has greatly impeded our efforts to import military supplies of all sorts.
I have hoped for several days to receive official reports in relation to our discomfiture at Roanoke Island and the fall of Fort Donelson. They have not yet reached me, and I am, therefore, unable to communicate to you such information of those events, and the consequences resulting from them, as would enable me to make recommendations founded upon the changed condition which they have produced. Enough is known of the surrender of Roanoke Island to make us feel that it was deeply humiliating, however imperfect may have been the preparations for defense. The hope is still entertained that our reported losses at Fort Donelson have been greatly exaggerated, inasmuch as I am not only unwilling but unable to believe that a large army of our people have surrendered without a desperate effort to cut their way through investing forces, whatever may have been their numbers, and to endeavor to make a junction with other divisions of the Army. But in the absence of that exact information which can only be afforded by official reports, it would be premature to pass judgment, and my own is reserved, as I trust yours will be, until that information is received. In the meantime strenuous efforts have been made to throw forward reenforcements to the armies at the positions threatened, and I can not doubt that the bitter disappointments we have borne, by nerving the people to still greater exertions, will speedily secure results more accordant with our just expectation and as favorable to our cause as those which marked the earlier periods of the war. The reports of the Secretaries of War and the Navy will exhibit the mass of resources for the conduct of the war which we have been enabled to accumulate, notwithstanding the very serious difficulties against which we have contended. They afford the cheering hope that our resources, limited as they were at the beginning of the contest, will during its progress become developed to such an extent as fully to meet our future wants.
The policy of enlistment for short terms, against which I have steadily contended from the commencement of the war, has, in my judgment, contributed in no immaterial degree to the recent reverses which we have suffered, and even now renders it difficult to furnish you an accurate statement of the Army. When the war first broke out many of our people could with difficulty be persuaded that it would be long or serious. It was not deemed possible that anything so insane as a persistent attempt to subjugate these States could be made, still less that the delusion would so far prevail as to give to the war the vast proportions which it has assumed. The people, incredulous of a long war, were naturally averse to long enlistments, and the early legislation of Congress rendered it impracticable to obtain volunteers for a greater period than twelve months. Now that it has become probable that the war will be continued through a series of years, our high-spirited and gallant soldiers, while generally reenlisting, are, from the fact of having entered the service for a short
term, compelled in many instances to go home to make the necessary arrangements for their families during their prolonged absence.
The quotas of new regiments for the war, called for from the different States, are in rapid progress of organization. The whole body of new levies and reenlisted men will probably be ready in the ranks within the next thirty days. But, in the meantime, it is exceedingly difficult to give an accurate statement of the number of our forces in the field. They may, in general terms, be stated at four hundred regiments of infantry, with a proportionate force of cavalry and artillery, the details of which will be shown by the report of the Secretary of War. I deem it proper to advert to the fact that the process of furloughs and reenlistment in progress for the last month had so far disorganized and weakened our forces as to impair our ability for successful defense; but I heartily congratulate you that this evil, which I had foreseen and was powerless to prevent, may now be said to be substantially at an end, and that we shall not again during the war be exposed to seeing our strength diminished by this fruitful cause of disaster-short enlistments.
The people of the Confederate States, being principally engaged in agricultural pursuits, were unprovided at the commencement of hostilities with ships, shipyards, materials for shipbuilding, or skilled mechanics and seamen in sufficient numbers to make the prompt creation of a navy a practicable task even if the required appropriations had been made for the purpose. Notwithstanding our very limited resources; however, the report of the Secretary will exhibit to you a satisfactory progress in preparation, and a certainty of early completion of vessels of a number and class on which we may confidently rely for contesting the vaunted control of the enemy over our waters.
The financial system devised by the wisdom of your predecessors has proved adequate to supplying all the wants of the Government, notwithstanding the unexpected and very large increase of expenditures resulting from the great augmentation in the necessary means of defense. The report of the Secretary of the Treasury will exhibit the gratifying fact that we have no floating debt; that the credit of the Government is unimpaired, and that the total expenditure of the Government for the year has been in round numbers one hundred and seventy millions of doilars-less than onethird of the sum wasted by the enemy in his vain effort to conquer us; less than the value of a single article of export-the cotton crop of the year.
The report of the Postmaster-General will show the condition of that Department to be steadily improving-its revenues increasing and already affording the assurance that it will be self-sustaining at the date required by the Constitution, while affording ample mail facilities for the people.
In the Department of Justice, which includes the Patent Office and Public Printing, some legislative provisions will be required, which will be specifically stated in the report of the head of that Department. I invite the attention of Congress to the duty of organizing a supreme court of the Confederate States, in accordance with the mandate of the Constitution.
I refer you to my message communicated to the Provisional Congress in November last for such further information touching the condition of public affairs as it might be useful to lay before you, the short interval which has since elapsed not having produced any material changes in that condition other than those to which reference has already been made.
In conclusion, I cordially welcome Representatives who, recently chosen by the people, are fully imbued with their views and feelings, and can so ably advise me as to the needful provisions for the public service. I assure you of my hearty cooperation in all your efforts for the common welfare of the country.
On motion of Mr. Garnett,
The message was laid on the table, and 1,000 copies of the same ordered to be printed for the use of the House.
Mr. Gardenhire presented a communication from certain ladies of the State of Tennessee in relation to a flag; which was read and referred to the Committee on Flag and Seal.
Also, a resolution to arm twenty regiments with pikes; which was read and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.
Mr. Heiskell offered
A resolution instructing the Committee on the Judiciary to inquire into the constitutionality of making Treasury notes a legal tender; which was read and agreed to.