51 Series IV Volume I- Serial 127 - Correspondence, Orders, Reports and Returns of the Confederate Authorities, December 20, 1860 – June 30, 1862
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The mode of furnishing officers for such a force is one of some difficulty. Whether the commissioned officers should be selected by the men over whom they are to exercise command, or be appointed in some other way, I leave to the wisdom of your bodies. But I would recommend where companies, battalions, or regiments offer their services as such, to serve for the time specified in the regulations, that they be allowed to select their own commissioned officers.
In making this suggestion for a regular force I am not to be understood as expressing a want of confidence in the patriotism of our militia, and especially the volunteers. Their bravery and patriotism have been too well established to entertain a doubt that they would acquit themselves on all proper occasions in such manner as to add increased honor to their achievements in the field Experience has proved that, however efficient such troops are for sudden occasions or fort short ca not do to rely upon them to sustain a long, protracted contest. The greatest difficulties experienced by General Washington in the Revolutionary war, and by General Jackson in his Creek campaigns, arose from the expiration of the term of service of the militia under their commands. Moreover, it is probable that the principal service demanded by the State from her troops will be in garrison, and he who has seen service of that character knows how tedious and irksome such a life is to the citizen soldier.
As to the various appropriations and mode of disbursing the sums raised on the bonds of the State, I leave that to your consideration. In connection with the above subjects I cannot to earnestly impress upon you the importance of the appointment of a military board. With my inexperience in military affairs, and the inefficient military organization of the State, such a body is imperatively demanded in the present exigency. I am too sensible of my deficiency in military matters to make any suggestion as to the power and duties of such a board, but you have in your bodies military men who understand and can define the necessary extent of their powers. I would, however, recommend that it consist of four persons, to be selected by the Legislature, or in such other manner as may be deemed best by you, with such rank and pay as would be commensurate with their duties.
The condition of many families of the poorer classes in the State demand consideration. That there will be much suffering and privation, and perhaps starvation, is greatly to be feared unless some provision against these contingencies is made by the Legislature. After an anxious consideration on this subject I would recommend that the court of county commissioners of each county be empowered to levy and collect a tax in their several counties for the purpose of raising funds to purchase food for their suffering population and to appoint an agent to make the purchases. If it is found this tax cannot be collected in time for the relief o then to pledge the public property of the county, by mortgage or other pledge until ample time has been given for the collection of such tax; and when collected it shall be applied to the extinguishment of such debt of the county. The details of this measure I leave to your consideration.
I am compelled by the necessities of this department to suggest that the Governor have the authority to appoint two secretaries. The duties devolving upon the office at this time leave the Executive no leisure but to direct. The correspondence is voluminous and the
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