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These by the fifth act of February 17, 1864, were as follows:
$73, 803, 551.00
3, 240, 000.00
248, 098, 299.00
32, 000, 000.00
16, 820, 000.00
365, 448, 299.00
22, 583, 359.00
13, 624, 945. 00
544, 409. 50
252, 012. 93
82, 968. 38
3, 337, 853. 01
100, 554, 838. 64
141, 598, 829. 42
$364, 785, 596.00
365, 448, 299.00
730, 233, 895.00
Such was the progress toward financial ruin made by the Confederate
February 17, a sixth act repealed the act of April 21, 1862, author-
a Chap. LIV.
February 17, 1864, a seventh act authorized the Confederate President to organize such bureaus or agencies of the War Department west of the Missouri as the public service might require. The Confederate President was authorized to assign for this service such staff officers and clerks as might be necessary, the latter to be exempt from military duty and not to be allowed a salary exceeding $2.000 per annum.
Subject to the approval of the Confederate President the general commanding the trans-Mississippi Department was also authorized to assign officers and make appointments in the proposed bureaus.a
February 17, 1864, an eighth act authorized the organization of an invalid corps composed of officers, soldiers, or seamen disabled by wounds or other injuries received in the line of duty. The members were subject to such duty as they could perform, and in case of recovery they were entitled to be restored to their respective commands.
By a ninth act the Confederate President was authorizedupon the recommendation of the general commanding a department or a separate army in the fieldto fill any vacancy in the commissioned officers of a regiment or battalion by the promotion to the same, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, of any officer, noncommissioned (officer), or private who may have distinguished himself by exhibiting peculiar valor or skill on the battlefield: Provided, That the officer, noncommissioned officer, or private so recommended and nominated for promotion shall belong to the regiment or battalion in which the vacancy may have occurred.
A tenth act added to each regiment of engineer troops two quartermaster-sergeants.
An eleventh act increased the number of officers in the engineer corps of the Provisional Army from 100 to 120, the corps to consist of 3 colonels, 4 lieutenant-colonels, 8 majors, 45 captains, 35 first-lieutenants, and 25 second-lieutenants.
Six military storekeepers were also added to the Army with the rank of captains of infantry, the appointees to be selected from persons disqualified for active service by wounds or disease whilst in the army, or from persons over 45 years of age.
A twelfth act authorized the issue of 6 per cent bonds to the amount of $500,000,000 to pay the expenses of the Government not otherwise provided for, the principal and interest of the bonds to be exempt from taxation.
A thirteenth act increased the burden of taxation. On the value of property, real and personal, a tax was levied of 5 per cent; on gold and silver watches, 10 per cent; on shares in all stock companies, 5 per cent; on all gold, silver, and money held abroad, 5 per cent; on profits on spirits, flour, corn, etc., 10 per cent; on profits made by buying and selling gold, foreign exchange, etc., 10 per cent. On the amount of profits exceeding 25 per cent made during the years 1863 or 1864 by any bank, railroad, canal, insurance, or other joint stock company of any description, incorporated or not, or such excess, 25 per cent.
FINAL CONSCRIPTION. While the legislation relating to furloughs and discharges demoralized the army and led to absenteeism and reduction, another law of a Chap. LV.
« Chap. LIX. Chap. LVI.
Chap. LX. < Chap. LVIII, p. 204.
1 Chap. LXIII.
February 17, 1864, sought to increase the Army by extending the age conscription. Avoiding the blunder of short enlistments the first section of the law prescribed:
That from and after the passage of this act all white men, residents of the Confederate States, between the ages of seventeen and fifty, shall be in the military service of the Confederate States for the war. a
The second section, with the same boldness that was shown in the original conscription law of 1862, claimed that all soldiers then in the army, between the ages of 18 and 45, should be retained during the war. It read
That all the persons aforesaid, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, now in service, shall be retained during the present war with the United States, in the same regiments, battalions, and companies to which they belong at the passage of this act, with the same organization and officers, unless regularly transferred or discharged, in accordance with the laws and regulations for the government of the army. b
A proviso to this section permitted men or companies from one State serving in regiments from another to transfer to organizations of the same arm from their own State.
The third section granted a bounty of $100 to every enlisted man who should be in the service at the expiration of six months from the 1st of April, 1864; provided, that at no time during that period he should be absent without leave.
The fourth section made all persons liable to service who had purchased substitutes, as also all who had been discharged for disability, whose disability had been removed.
The fifth section required all white male residents of the Confederate States, between the ages of 17 and 18, and between 45 and 50, to enroll themselves, within thirty days east, and sixty days west of the Mississippi, at such places and under such regulations as the Confederate President might prescribe.
The object of the law, as stated in the proviso to the section, was:
That the persons mentioned in this section shall constitute a reserve for State defense and detail duty, and shall not be required to perform service out of the State in which they reside.c
Any person who failed to enroll himself without a reasonable excuse therefor, to be judged of by the Confederate President, was, according to the law, tobe placed in service in the field for the war in the same manner as though he were between the ages of eighteen and forty-five.
Having finally declared all white men, residents of the Confederate States, between the ages of 18 and 45, in the military service of the Confederate States for the war, and furthermore having ventured to extend the time of all soldiers in service to the end of the war-making a second arbitrary extension of the one-year enlistment of the volunteers of 1861---the sixth section returned to the folly of new organizations, with all the officers elected by their men. It permitted all men between the ages of 17 and 18, and 45 and 50, toform themselves into voluntary organizations of companies, battalions, or regiments, and elect their own officers-said organizations to conform to the existing law; and having so organized, to tender their services as volunteers during the war to the President; and if such organization shall furnish proper muster rolls, as now required,
a Chap. LXV, p. 211.
b Chap. LXV', p. 211.
< Chap. LXV, sec. 5, p. 211.
and deposit a copy thereof with the enrolling officer of their district (which shall be equivalent to enrollment), they may be accepted as minute men for service in such State; but in no event to be taken out of it.
For this purpose thirty days were allowed East and sixty days W'est, of the Mississippi.
The last part of the section prescribed that those who failed to form voluntary organizations should enroll themselves and assemble at designated rendezvous, where, in the discretion of the Confederate President and under regulations prescribed by him, they might still be organized into companies, battalions, and regiments with, singularly to say, the same right as before of electing their company and regimental officers. All troops organized under this act for State defense while in actual service were accorded the same pay as troops in the field.
The needless concession of the right to elect their officers, at a time when competent captains and colonels could easily have been selected from the regiments in the field, was alone sufficient to destroy the efficiency and discipline of the new organizations.
A still graver fault was, however, committed. Wholly abandoning the principle of voluntary enlistments, the date of this law, February 17, was such that with proper foresight and statesmanship the new organizations could speedily have been formed into an army of the second line, which, opportunely brought to the support of the hardpressed troops in the field, might possibly have insured the triumph of the Confederate arms. But, since the days of the Declaration of Independence, American statesmen, North and South, have never comprehended the necessity or advantages of military reserves.
The sixth section of this law shows that more than two months before the opening of the great campaign of 1867, which was destined to destroy the last hope of the Rebellion, the same Confederate Congress that adopted the principle of conscription in April, 1862, and had successively extended it till every white man between the ages of 17 and 50 was declared to be “in the military service of the Confederate States for the war," was capable, while organizing the last reserves, of voluntarily enacting that “in no event" should they“ be required to perform service out of the State” in which they might reside. This mistake of legislation, which, fortunately for the Union, destroyed the last chance of reenforcement and concentration, doomed the Confederate armies in the field to waste away by death, disease, and desertion until, overwhelmed by numbers, they were finally compelled to surrender.
Failure to report at the place of rendezvous without sufficient excuse, to be judged of by the Confederate President, was made liable to the punishment of being “placed in service in the field for the war."
The eighth section prescribed that as far as practicable all duties of prorost and hospital guards, clerks, etc., in the various supply departments should be performed by men between the ages of 18 and 45, who, upon examination by a board of army surgeons, should be reported as unable to perform active service in the field; if the number thus procured was insufficient, the deficiency was to be made up by individuals between the ages of 45 and 50,organized under the fifth section of the act.
The ninth section prescribed that any officer convicted of retaining in his employment persons in violation of the eighth section of the act should be cashiered. Military commanders convicted of failing to enforce this act were to be dismissed from the service.
a Chap. LXV., sec. 6, p. 212.
EXEMPTIONS FROM CONSCRIPTION.
The tenth section repealed all former exemptions. The first clause exempted all persons unfit for military service under rules prescribed by the secretary of war.
The second clause exemptedthe Vice-President of the Confederate States, the members and officers of Congress, and of the several State legislatures, and such other Confederate and State officers as the President or the governors of the respective States may certify to be necessary for the proper administration of the Confederate or State Governments, as the case
may be, a
The third clause exempted ministers of religion, editors of newspapers and their employees, the public printer and his employees, superintendents and physicians of asylums, physicians, apothecaries, presidents of colleges, and teachers of schools, the presidents and teachers to have been so engaged for the preceding two years.
The fourth clause, looking to the support of the army, exempted one person as overseer on each plantation employing 15 able-bodied field hands between the ages of 16 and 50, upon condition of giving his bond that within the twelve months next ensuing he would deliver at some railroad depot or other point designated by the secretary of war 100 pounds of bacon, or its equivalent in pork, and 100 pounds of net beef (delivered on the hoof) for each able-bodied slave on the plantation, whether employed in the field or house.
The bacon and beef were to be paid for at prices fixed by the commissioners appointed under the impressment act. The party exempted was further required to bind himself during its continuance to sell all surplus provisions to the government or to the families of soldiers at prices fixed as above.
The Secretary of War under the Confederate President was also authorizedto grant exemptions or details on such terms as he may prescribe to such overseers, farmers, or planters as he may be satisfied will be more useful to the country in the pursuits of agriculture than in the military service: Provided, That such exemptions shall cease whenever the farmer, planter, or overseer shall fail diligently to employ, in good faith, his own skill, capital, and labor, exclusively, in the production of grain and provisions, to be sold to the Government and the families of soldiers at prices not exceeding those fixed at the time for like articles by the commission' rs of the State under the impressment act. 6
The eleventh section authorized the Confederate Presidentto grant details, under general rules and regulations to be issued by the War Department, either from persons between forty-five and fifty years of age, or from the Army in the field, in all cases when in his judgment justice, equity, and necessity require such details, and he may revoke such orders of details whenever he thinks proper.c
The twelfth and last section, in order to insure impartiality, prescribed that no member of the boards of surgeons for the examination of persons liable to military service should be appointed from the
« First Cong., C. S. A., Sess. IV, sec. 10, 1 Ibid., sec. 4, p. 214.
(Ibid., p. 215.