Civil War and Reconstruction Governors of Alabama

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Shorter_correspondence_RSG00689_Q145250_Q145648

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9 receive, keep and distribute the Medicines or Hospital Supplies. It has occurred to me after mature consideration of the several acts of the General Assembly, that the humane purpose contemplated will be more fully reached by establishing the medical depot at the Alabama Hospital which you may organize, so that all supplies may be sent directly to the Hospital, where they will be as a general thing mostly needed, and to which place many articles would have to be reshipped if landed in the first instance at any other point. And articles designed and sent from the State for particular Regiments or Surgeons could as readily and under a more strict accountability be distributed from the Hospital by an agent appointed for that purpose by the Surgeon to the Hospital and which agent would be strictly accountable to the Surgeon.

This course I approve and reccommend and under the provisions of the act enclosed would cheerfully advance - say fifty dollars per month if so much should be required to pay for the Services of such competent clerk or other agent as the Surgeon might select and agree with. You will, I know, cooperate with me in every measure to save our public expenditures whenever it can be done without prejudice to the comfort and health of our troops. If the Surgeon of the Hospital can prevail upon the Colonels of our Ala. regiments to detail a man monthly or quarterly to the remain at the Hospital and attend to the duties of his position under the direction of the Surgeon, it would supersede the necessity of employing another Agent under pay by the State. I submit this matter for your consideration and after consultation with Dr. Clark, whom I doubt not will be assigned to the Hospital, as Surgeon, established by you. Allow me to add that what I have herein said is founded upon the beliefs that you will be able to establish the Hospital at or near the neighborhood of Manassas Junction.

There is another matter to which I wish to call your attention and that of your excellent lady. The Grand Lodge of Alabama have placed in my hands $2,500 to be applied by me to Hospital Accommodations for our troops. I have decided to appropriate $1000 of the amount to the Hospital you may organize, and have thought it best to have several hundred cotton mattrasses made up of 7/8 Osnaburgs to be paid for out of this fund, and have today ordered 5000 yards to be put out for manufacture. The difficulty with me is to know everything precisely which the Hospital may need. I will thank you therefore to send me a memorandum so soon as convenient of all such articles of furniture, bedding, &c required, and which can be better purchased here. - and of all such articles of Stores, Medicines &c. So that I may give full and proper information by circular letter to the State when the Hospital is organized. With high regards I am Very Truly Yours (Signed) John Gill Shorter.

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10

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala., Dec. 18th, 1861.

Capt. Jas. D. Webb, [check]

My Dear Sir ;

I enclose you herein a copy of an Act of our General Assembly by which I am authorized to designate a Quartermaster of any Alabama Regiment in the Army of the Potomac; who shall have the right to draw on the State Treasury for the sum of Fifteen Hundred Dollars or such less sum as may be necessary to be used in the erection of a building at Manassas, Virginia, to shelter and protect the clothing and other articles belonging to the Volunteers from this State in the Army of the Potomac.

I have taken the liberty to appoint you to execute the trust in behalf of the State, and sincerely hope it may be in your power to accept and discharge it; as from your known skill and fidelity I shall have the utmost confidence that the object contemplated by the General Assembly will be fully attained. Of course within the limitations of the Act you will use your best discretion; but I hope you will pardon me for adding that such large and manifold appropriations have been made by the General Assembly from the Treasury that if you can accomplish the object for a less amount than the limit fixed, it would be most agreable to the Treasurer.

In order that you may obtain the money with the least trouble to yourself and the accountants in the Treasury Department I herewith hand you the form of a warrant, which you can fill up in favor of Mr. Jas. S. Albright, engaged in my office, who on receipt of it will draw the money and forward you a remittance of the same by check on Richmond. Awaiting your reply. I am with high personal regards Your Friend & Obt. Servant. (Signed) John Gill Shorter.

I began here

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala. Dec. 19th 1861

Genl Thos J. Butler [check] Mobile,

Sir,

Your letter, of 7th inst, is received, and I am instructed by the Governor to say to you, that he is of the opinion, that the Regiment being formed under the act of 1852 - will be numbered the "2d Regiment" under the Militia Code of 1852.

The Volunteer - Act of 1860 has been repealed : the effect of this is to place the Regiment - lately commanded by Col. Todd - in the position it occupied before the passage of the Volunteer Act of 1860. This was, then, the first Volunteer Regiment, and will, now, be entitled to rank such. The Regiment you refer - to will be styled the Second Volunteer Regiment of Alabama Militia

Very Respy (Signed) A. B. Moore Aid de Camp.

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12

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala, Decr 19th 1861 Hon J. P. Benjamin, Secy of War Richmond, Better send no more prisoners to Tuscaloosa - accommodations exhausted - Lunatic asylum will not be leased - - To seize it would disorganize the Institution, and arouse the just indignation of a loyal and Christian people (Dispatch) John Gill Shorter Governor of Alabama.

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala, Decr 21st 1861 Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secy of War; Sir, I have the Honour to receive your letter of the 17th Inst - in relation to Mr L. M. Rowley - a citizen of Florida - Said be in prison here - with request to have his case examined, &c - and the same shall have immediate attention. With high regard, I am Respectfully Yours, (Signed) John Gill Shorter.

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala, Decr 21st /61 Hon. J. P. Benjamin, [check] Secretary of War Sir, I have your dispatch of yesterday - in which you say; "I shall send no more Prisoners to Tuscaloosa - never tho't of Seizing Asylum."

In explanation of my Dispatch of the 19th I beg to say that on that day, I received a letter from Dr P. Bryce, Medical Superintendant of the Insane Hospital at Tuscaloosa, dated the 16th inst. in which he wrote among other things, the following sentence: "Dr Searcy - the President of our Board of Trustees, told me this morning, that the officer, commanding the Guard, stated to him that he had received a dispatch - authorizing him to seize any - & every available house for the purposes of the Prisoners, and if necessary, occupy the Insane Hospital." I did not believe that such a dispatch had been issued, by your direction; but I could not doubt the verity of the statement made to me - or that such a dispatch had been received by your officer, who affirmed that he had received it.I am pleased to know that no other prisoners are to be forwarded to Tuscaloosa. It cannot accommodate more than are already there. With High regards, I am, Respectfully - Yours (Signed) John Gill Shorter -

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13

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala, Decr 23th 1861 To the Sheriff of Walker County, [check] Sir; Rumors having reached this office that there are in all probability, within the limits of your County, criminal Refugees from Tennessee - or Conspirators, giving aid and comfort to the Enemies of this State & the Confederate States, I have deemed it my duty to issue the Enclosed process. You will carefully examine it, and see that your county is not made the abode of Traitors to their Country.

The Right of free discussion, and of the citizens - peaceably, to assembled to-gether for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of Government for redress of grievances, or other purposes - by petition address, or remonstrance, must not be infringed. But- as there is a manifest difference between the peaceful assemblage of loyal citizens, for the purpose of reforming and sustaining their Government - to which they owe their allegiance - and collections - or combinations of disloyal men - whose purpose may be to overturn their State - organizations, by giving countenance and aid to the public Enemies of the State of Alabama and of the Confederate States - you are instructed to observe said distinction - and to disperse all unlawful combinations, and arrest all persons, engaged in them, with the Criminal intent to aid the Enemies of this State or the Confederacy.

Your action & diligent prosecution of your duties, under this order, is expected - & demanded by this Department. Respectfully, Yours (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala, Decr23d 1861 Gentlemen, [check] I have received your Communication of the 19th instant, and have conferred, fully, with your messenger, and, in reply, beg to assure you that the duty imposed upon me, by the Constitution - to see that the Laws shall be faithfully executed - shall be discharged - to the utmost extent of my ability. Disgraceful - as it might be - to the fair name of Alabama, and painful as would be the alternative to me, to have to proceed against any dis-affected - and disloyal Citizens within the limits of the State, you may rest assured - that the most prompt & effective measures shall be adopted for the apprehension of every man - wherever located - who engages in any open act of Rebellion against, the authorities of Alabama, or of the Confederate States.

In the accomplishment of this purpose, I would not hesitate, should it become necessary, to use the Military power of the State, until the last Traitor is hunted down - and brought to merited punishment.

I cannot but indulge the hope, that the misguided - - if not ignorant & - mis-informed men - in the localities you mention, may repent of their foolish and unpatriotic declarations, and, quietly submit to the laws of the State and unite, with other loyal Citizens, in upholding & maintaining its authority

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14 If, however, they are wickedly bent and resolved upon open hostility to the State of Alabama - or The Confederate States but a short period can elapse before their purpose and complication will be tested in such mode as to determine the duty - and cause them to feel the power of the Executive arm.

I send you a copy of military order No. 1, issued from this department on Yesterday - before the arrival of your messenger here; this will be rigidly enforced - and - after the expiration of sixty days - will be renewed - most likely for every thirty days - So as to organize and discipline the State Militia for any emergency which may arise. All vacant offices must be - immediately - filled - up - by elections duly ordered, and persons elected required to take the oath of office before appearing on parade _ or, otherwise, go into the Ranks - as Privates. The Commissions to all those persons - who may refuse to take the oath issued from this office - will be vacated, and no others - afterwards issued - except upon Certificate showing that the officer - elected has taken and subscribed the oath -.

Your own reflection will enable you to see how impotent must be the efforts of a few indiscreet - if not bad - menin view of this Miltary order, and the results, which will speedily follow it.

The General assembly have ordered three Thousand copies of the military Code _ with its amendments - to be republished. I have ordered the immediate prosecution of this work. The Press will begin it this week, and I hope to have it distributed within a short period.

Respectfully, Yours, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter Messrs F. A. Gamble, - J. W. Stampton, L. E. Gilbert, D. L. Stovall, Jno M. Wallace, Jasper - Walker Co. Ala-

Executive Department Montgomery, Alabama. Decr 24th 1861. Col. M. R. Winsey [check] Houston, Winston Co. Ala. Sir. Your letter of the 6th. inst. was received at the heel of the session, when a pressure of business prevented a reply. Commissions for the officers - named by you - were issued - & forwarded on the 13th Inst. You will see, by Military order, No. 1, from this Department - that Regimental Musters are to be had within Sixty days. At the expiration of that time - I will order musters every thirty days - or sooner. No officer will be allowed to appear on parade, who has not taken the oath prescribed by the Military Code. All Commissions which have been issued to parties who refuse to take the oath, will be vacated, on notice to this Department and they left subject to duty - as other Privates in the ranks, If - re-elected, they shall not be recommissioned, if their names are reported here until they do take the oath, and certificates of the fact are forwarded

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13 15

I despatched - to day, by a special messenger, writs of arrest for all disloyal persons - in the County of Winston, and some other adjoining counties, under cover of Instructions to the Sheriffs of the Counties. Those sent to the Sheriff of your County - you will, doubtless, see; I will lend him the aid of the Military power, - if required to enable him - fully and efficiently - to perform his duty. Respectfully - Yours. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter -

Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Decr 25th 1861 Hon. J. P. Benjamin. [check] Secretary of War, Sir, In further reply to yours of the 17th inst., I have to inform you, that I have submitted the matter - in reference to the prisoner Rowley, to the attorney-General- M. A. Baldwin, of this State, who saw Maj. Calhoun _ Qr master, C. S. and he informs Col. Baldwin that no specifications, were forwarded by Maj Genl Bragg, - under whose orders, Rowley was committed to prison, and that no further information can be obtained here,

The prisoner has been transferred to Tuscaloosa Yours Very Respectfully, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter

Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Decr 25th 1861 Hon. J. P. Benjamin. [check] Secretary of War, Sir: The untimely death of Col. E. C. Bullock, of the 18th Alabama Regiment, now in Camp - near Mobile, bring up the question - how are vacancies in the field-offices of this Regiment to be filled? The Companies were organized by the Election of Company-officers by the men, and were turned-over-by the State - to the Confederacy - as Companies. They were - then - organized into a Regiment and the Fieldofficers were appointed by the President. The Companyofficers were commissioned by the State - and were furnished - in response to a requisition on the State for 3000 troops, but the field-officers were - or are to be commissioned by the President.

It is our opinion here that while vacancies - in the Company-officers should be filled by Election, according to the laws of Alabama - under which the Companies were organized - the rule of promotion will apply as to the Field-offices - which were filled by Executive appointment.

In this event there will be a vacancy in the office of Major and I recommend - for appointment to that position - J. W. Whiting - a first Lieutenant and adjutant in Major Gee's Battalion - Lieut Whiting graduated in 1856, at Hampton Military Institute, in Virginia. He has been an officer in our Volunteer Corps ever since; and has been in active service from the

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16 14 day of Alabama seceeded for several months - he has had the advantages of the School of Military drill and instructions under Genl Hardee - while in command of Fort-Morgan. He is - unquestionably - a gentleman of high tone, and decided character - and a very efficient officer.

I beg to add - further - that, in my judgement, he is justly entitled to some consideration from the fact that his father was one of the unfortunate sufferers at Hampton, and lost his residence - and a portion of his slaves by the depredation of the Enemy - With high regard, I am, Your Obnt Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter = Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Decr 26th 1861

Dr. L. Garland [check] My dear Sir, At the request of some of the citizens of the Counties adjourning Tuscaloosa, I have directed the shipment of five hundred sacks of salt - belonging to the State, at Mobile - to your city to be consigned to the Quarter-master of the University - Knowing no other person or officer in your locality who was a proper person to attend to the sales. The sole purpose is to afford some relief to the people, by kicking them - if possible - out of the hands of speculators; & to do this, the State sells the Salt at actual cost and expenses - very high - it is true - but ^not^nearly so much so as it would have been had not the State become the purchaser.

As I have not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with the gentleman to whom the Salt is consigned, I must trouble you - So far as to ascertain if it will be in his power to super-intend and direct and, if not, I must ask the favour of you to appoint a proper & responsible person, who will give to it the necessary attention

I, also, enclose memorandum, intended as Instructions for who-ever may have charge of the business, and which I will thank you - personally - to hand him, and direct his particular attention to it.

You will, I know, excuse the liberty I have taken, in troubling you with these matters - So much out of your line - and for asking you to advise me of your action at your earliest convenience. Very Respectfully, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. Dr S. C. Garland, Tuscaloosa P. S. The Salt will arrive about the time this letter reaches you. [manicule] memorandum in relation to the sale of Salt in Tuscaloosa. (1) The agent of the State will obtain storage by the Week - or month - at lowest rates, and sell, for actual consumption only, at not less than $12.50 per sack. (2) The agent should use those means - which he deems most effectual - to satisfy himself that the purchaser buys for actual consumption, but sales may be made to persons for re-sale - where the purpose is the supply of their customers - at a reasonable rate of profit which the

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15 17 agent must ascertain & decide - on. (3) Agent will report amount of sales, weekly. = Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Decr 26th 1861

Richard O. Pickett, Adjt & Inspector Genl A. M. [check] Sir I enclose you, herewith, General order - No 1, issued by the Hon. A. B. Clitherall - your representative here - by my direction. I am this day, preparing a special order for Brig Genl Thos J. Butler of Mobile, directing a thorough organization of the Militia of his Brigade, & regular drills of Companies, with a view to join in the Defense of the City against an attack by the Enemy. Various other orders must be issued - from time-to-time, and a large correspondence will now spring - up, which must be despatched with energy and promptitude - in order to give all needful information to the officers, in different sections of the State - To enable them to furnish paper returns to your office - and to make effectual the purposes and ends which I have in view. Books and Records must be kept - and no little labour will be required to meet the demands on your office. And while - to discharge its duties, fully, at a perilous time like this, you should be here - at the Capitol - where the Military Code requires your office shall be kept, so that I can have the advantage and pleasure of daily communication with you. This necessity of your presence might by supplied by an efficient representative, like Judge Clitherall; but candor requires me to say - that neither the public Interest nor your - own - can be so fully advanced by another - as by yourself; and that the amount of Labour will become too onerous to be imposed upon any friend - however generous and willing he might be - to work in your stead - & for your accomodation.

As you left for Home, immediately upon the adjournment of the General Assembly, and without reporting for orders at this office, I had no opportunity to confer with you, or to communicate to you my views and policy with respect to the Militia of the State, and I cannot undertake to do so in a letter.

I leave this City - on to-morrow - for a brief absence at Eufaula - to arrange some pressing business affairs and shall return to the Capitol by the 7th of January, at which time I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you in person - if you can meet me - or to have a letter in reply. With great respect_ I am Yr Ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter -

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18 16 Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Decr 27th 1861

B. C. Flannagan, Esqr [check] Sir, I have before me, your favour of the 21st inst. in relation to your son and young Mr Abell.

I fully appreciate their laudable motives, and your anxiety in their behalf - but I regret the absence - on my part - of much power to further their wishes.

Probably - an application to the Confederate Government - through some friend in Richmond, might meet a favorable response; in which case, any aid I can give them will be most cheerfully accorded by, Sir, Yours, Very Respectfully (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter = Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Decr 31st 1861 Mr H. F. Smith, [check] Sir, Your letter of the 26th inst just recd Keep an a/c of your expenses - they will be paid by the State - or - if you need any money before leaving, State the amount - and how it should be sent, and it will be remitted. Let me know the number of packages; over what roads - and to what point you wish to take them - So that transportation may be provided before you leave Very Resp'y Jno Gill Shorter, by (Signed) Jas S. Albright, Private Secy - Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Jany 3d 1862 Mr. C. E. Brame, [check] Greensboro, Ala. Sir, In reply to your esteemed favour of Decr 26th, I have to say that I will pay $35- a-piece for 100 newor uninjured Enfield rifles - with Sabre-bayonets. This is the price they are reported to bring in the Confederacy - under the blockade. I will pay the above-price for the arms - boxed and delivered here - or in Mobile. If you raise a Company of 12 months' your Command will be ordered to Kentucky. Genl Bragg will not accept troops - on the Coast - except for the War. If you can procure the arms - on the terms above - mentioned and will raise your Company - & report ready for marching orders by first of February - I will accept you, and allow your men the use of the arms. Respectfully Yours (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter =

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17 19

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala. Jan 24th 1862

Thos M. Peters. Richd O. Pickett, and others, [check] Gentlemen, I am in rec't of your recommendation of Mr Z. [?] Freeman for the position of military agent to procure arms - clothing - &c for Volunteers - under an Act of the last Session of the Legislature.

The Act- referred - to is wholly unavailable at present for the reason that the $180.000 appropriation by it are not in the Treasury. All expenditures from the Treasury, are being made out of balances of former appropriations - and it would be useless to appoint agents before the money appropriated shall have been realized by the Treasury. Very Respt,y (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter = Executive Department Montgomery, Ala. Jan 24th 1862

Hon Wm M. Smith, Selma, Ala. [check] Sir, Your favour of 28th Ult. to the State Treasurer, has been referred to this office for attention. I am happy to say that I approve and endorse all you say. The difficulty of obtaining Engraving &c. is well-known to us.

Your proposition to pay, into the State- Treasury, $50,000 - from-time-to-time, in exchange for State Bonds will be agreeable to us; and Currency will be received from your Bank - in view of the fact, that you propose to take - at least $300,000 of the Bonds - which will be advantageous to the State.

I leave- to-day- for Mobile, on business connected with the Military Defense. Respectfully Yours, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter = Executive Department Montgomery, Ala. Jan 11th 1862

Hon. Richard O. Pickett [check] Sir, Your letter of the 1st Inst., resigning the office of Adjutant & Inspector Genl A. M. alas received in due time. Under the facts and circumstances, stated in your letter - I fully concur with you as to the propriety of your resignation; but regret that I shall be deprived of the presence and assistance of a gentleman so competent to render such efficient aid in the organization of the Militia. Your resignation is accepted. Very respectfully, Your Obt Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter =

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