Civil War and Reconstruction Governors of Alabama

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Shorter_correspondence_RSG00689_Q145250_Q145648

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335 myself, nor, indeed, any other officer of the State, is authorized to make these payments, no fund having been appropriated, which can properly, be applied to this purpose. Under these circumstances, it is hoped, that the necessary provision for the payment of these claims, will, at once, be made. Gen. Green will receive - & receipt for the same, & the State will assume the responsibility & trouble of disbursing it. I would, also, beg leave to call your attention to the fact, that the implements - spades, shovels, &c, sent with the Slaves, - have been retained for the use of the Engineer Department. Do not understand me as complaining of this; far from it! Under the circumstances, I see no other course which could be adopted; but there can be no good reason assigned for not making compensation to the owners. It may be a small matter for the State to insist on, but the necessity of these implements, for plantation-use, & the absolute impossibility of procuring them, at almost any price, has given an additional value to them, in the eye of the planter; & scarcely a day passes, without complaints, which are exceedingly difficult to answer. It, of course, would be impossible to return them to their respective owners; & all that could, reasonably be expected is, that a fair average value be allowed, which, I think would give satisfaction in a majority of cases.

In relation to the wagons - which have been & will be retained - after the discharge of the Teams, unless some course is adopted, which will secure their identification, it is next to an impossibility that justice can be done their owners. A good wagon cannot - now - be purchased for less than four hundred to five hundred dolls. & extremely difficult to be obtained, at even - these prices; while an old or inferior article is not worth one fourth of the money. In some case, the wagons have been changed, & the owner, who sent a good - or new one, has found, in its palce, an old - inferior - or worn-out wagon. I suppose, that this could be easily remedied by marking & painting the name or initials of the owner, with the name of the County, on Each wagon retained after the Team is discharged. By pursuing this course, there would be no difficulty. I enclose you a circular, which I have forwarded to our impressment agents, in relation to providing subsistence for the Slaves which now are at Mobile, as well as those which are going thither under the last requisition. I should have much prefered to have bought the amount of bacon, required for their subsistence, but it could not be purchased, at least - not in time to meet the exigency, & I saw no other course than the one I have adopted. I would beg-leave to call your particular attention to the clauses of the circular in Bracketts, & to request that you will have them strictly executed. The owners have received my personal assurance, that the meat sent-forward by them, at my solicitation, to subsist their Slaves, should be applied - solely, to the support of those, whose owners have forwarded it.

The failure to do this would subject me to the imputation of bad Faith, & cause much dis-satisfaction. The Slaves which have been raised under the last requisition, were impressed for a term, not longer than Sixty days after their arrival at Mobile - oven, or Choctaw-Bluffs; & the owners were assured in the order - given by me to the agents, that, under no contingency, wd this pledge be violated. Without giving this assurance it is questionable if, at this season of the year, the labor could have been supplied. The Agents - whose duties are not only onerous & responsible, but disagreeable & thankless, would have resigned, leaving me without any adequate means of procuring the slaves. Under any - and all circumstances, therefore, I must insist, that the negroes, under the last requisition be not detained for a period - longer than I have specified. I earnestly hope that Sixty days will find Mobile impregnable, & the works at the other points fully completed; but if not, I can if apprized, in time, have other laborers ready to supply their place. In this connection, I have also to ask the discharge of all the Slaves - teams & drivers, which arrived at Mobile, any time prior to December, discharging those first, who have been the longest in the service. Trusting that you will take the necessary steps to carry-out the views I have expressed; and assuring you of my readiness, in aiding you, in the defense of that portion of the State assigned to your command, I am, Very resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. For two Dispatches, in this connection, see following page.

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336 copy } Mobile, July 5th, 1862. To His Excy Jno Gill Shorter, Montgomery Ala, The works at Choctaw - & Oven-Bluffs, require one hundred & fifty hands, to finish the soddage, & drainage; for these, this Department will pay seventy five cents a day, They must be had.

Genl Forney desires your concurrence & assistance in having them immediately procured & forwarded to those points. Please answer immediately. (Signed) Chas T. Liernur, Ch'f of Engineers.

copy} Mobile, Sept 13th, 1863 To his Excellency, Jno Gill Shorter, Montgomery, Ala. I accept, with pleasure, your office to furnish labor for Choctaw & Oven Bluffs. Send, immediately, two hundred hands, each with spade - or shovel , bedding & Spare clothes - one hundred to each river. For every twenty five or thirty - send one respectable white man, not to oversee them - but to keep them from running away, to provide for their comfort, to see that their food is properly cooked, & in sufficient quantities. The negroes will be paid seventy five cents per day - the white men - two dollars. Provisions - shelter, & Medical Treatment to be furnished by me; The Force, which will be rec'd by Military Engineers at the Bluffs, & put to work, I shall be pleased to see soon. (signed) Chas T. Liernur.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 6th, 1863. Jno N Franklin, Esqr Lebanon, Ala. Sir; I am in rec't of your letter of 23d Ultimo, Stating that the Sheriff-Elect of De Kalb Co. would not be able to take the office, by - reason-of his being in the Confederate Service; & requesting me to appoint Mr Jno B. Belcher, to fill the Vacancy, The Constitution, Act. 4th, Sect 24, provides, that, if a vacancy occur in the office of the Sheriff - subsequent to an election, it shall be filled by the Governor. Section 125 of the Code, requires the Bond of the Sheriff to be filed - in the office of the Probate-Judge, within fifteen days after the Election, - or the party - elect - vacates the office , "& in such cases, it is the duty of the officer, in whose office such Bond is required to be filed, at once to certify such failure to the appointing power, & the vacancy must be filled, as in the other cases."

Until the Executive is notified by the Judge of Probate, that a vacancy exists in the office, He has no power to make the appointment. Resp'y, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. As soon as the Probate Judge declares the office vacant, the Coroner, by Section 805 - of the Code, acts as Sheriff, until a Sheriff is qualified.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. 7th 1863 (March) Brig Gen. Rains Richmond, Virginia Sir, Genl Leadbetter highly approves of your Shell, & has applied for a number, for the defence of Mobile, but the demand for the supply of Charleston & Savannah, retards their delivery.

Will you do me the favor to endeavor to obtain from Head-Quarters, an order forwarding as many as practicable, to Mobile, at the Earliest moment? Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. Govr of Ala. [left margin] indexed to here

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337 [left margin] Mar. 9th Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. March 7th 1863 Hon. F. W. Sykes, Courtland, Ala. Dear Sir, I have recently been informed that a Citizen of Laurence County, who visited me at the Capitol, some months ago, in relation to the supply of Salt for that County, had reported - that, in my interview with him, I asked him "why the people did not get Salt from their Yankee friends, whilst they were there." I do not remember the name of the gentleman. Owing to the severe pressure of business in my office, my interview with him was very brief - in which I endeavored to explain to him, the Salt Contracts - which I made in Virginia, for the benefit of North Alabama. It is probable, that I enquired if any Salt had been brought to North Alabama, during its occupation, by the Enemy, for I felt concerned on the question of Supply - but he, wholly, misapprended my views or purposes if he supposed that, by any thing I may have said, I intended to reprove the people of Laurence for not trading with the Yankees, or to intimate that they were friendly to the Yankees, or that the Yankees were their friends. I never entertained any such opinion. Nor did I ever say to the citizen of Laurence, or to any body else, at any time - or place, any thing which, by fair & just interpretation, could be tortured into such charges or insinuations.

For my vindication, I appeal to the official message which I submitted to the Legislature, at the opening of its Extra Session, in which I referred to the Raid of the Enemy into North-Alabama, & the fidelity & loyalty of her Citizens. I regret that any dis-appointment, occasioned the Citizens of Laurence, for want of a timely supply of salt, which it was not in my power to provide, should have betrayed him into such a temper of mind, or so affected his memory, as to put words into my mouth, which imply insinuations, I never made or entertained. Had he known me well, he would have avoided the mistake into which he was betrayed. It is due to me that this protestation, against his erroneous statement, should be made-known to any one of my fellow Citizens, in your County, who may have heard his report of our conversation, and I hope you will pardon the privilege I have assumed, in writing to you thus freely, & requesting you to use this letter to correct an erroneous impression, calculated to do me injustice among the citizens of your County. With Great respect, I am Your obedient servant, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Alabama, March 9th 1863. Mrs T. W. Brunson, Miss A. M. Black, Society Hill, Ala. Ladies; I have the pleasure to acknowledge receipt, "by Express," of your note of the 5th inst. enclosing me $25 75 being the proceeds of a series of Tableaux, in your Village, gotten up by the young ladies You request me to give it to one of the Hospitals, for the benefit of our sick & wounded Soldiers In accordance with your instructions, I have, this day, remited the amount to the Alabama Hospitals at Richmond, to the care of Mrs A. F. Hopkins. The suffering soldier will bless you ladies, for your warm sympathies, & generous contributions, & God will bless you, in your noble charities. May He interpose his own omnipotent arm between us and our cruel & unrelenting foes, & hasten-on the day of our deliverance & liberty! With Great respect, I have the honor to b Your ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 9th 1863 Mrs A. F. Hopkins, Richmond, Virginia. My dear Madam; Enclosed, I beg to hand you $. 25- contributed by the Ladies of Society-Hill, Macon Co. Ala, - being proceeds of a series of Tableaux - which I have been requested, through the accompanying letter, to give to one of the Hospitals, for the benefit of our sick and wounded Soldiers.

With my best wishes for your continued health & usefulness, I am, Most Respectfully, Your obedient Servant. Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

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338 Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. Feby 25th 1863. Peter Hamilton, Esqr Mobile; Sir, Gen. Goldthwaite arrived from Mobile to-day, and advised me that Gen. Pemberton justifies his order for prohibition of exports of provision supplies, from Mississippi, upon the ground that I have expressed the opinion to Genl Johnston, that there was an abundant supply in this State. This announcement has occasioned me no little regret, & some degree of surprise. The question of Military supplies for Mobile has not been the subject of any conference or discussion between Gen Johnston & myself, at any time or place. During the first week of this month, I had the pleasure of meeting the General at Tullahoma; &, in our conversation, the quantity of grain raised in Alabama during the past year, was spoken-of. He made enquiry on the subject, and, in reply, I described, as well as I could, the extent of the drought, which cut-off the crops in portions of the State; and mentioned the sections where good corn-crops had been made; and, speaking in general terms, I expressed the opinion that, if duly distributed, there was an abundant supply for all the wants of our people. I did not speak of supplies for our armies; for my particular attention was not directed to that point nor did I dream of the idea, that what I was saying would affect, in the slightest degree, the question of supply for the army & the citizens of Mobile, Cut-off - as is Mobile - from the interior of the State, & wholly dependent, as is that city - for grain - upon her river - & rail-road communications, the long transportation & enormous freights bring her supplies at most onerous charges. And she should, by every consideration of justice, be allowed to ship - from any and every point - in or out of the state, from which she can draw them. Her railroads from the city, within the limits of Alabama, do not pass through the sections, where there is any surplus, and, at this season of the year, the roads connecting with the River-landings, are scarcely passable for freight to any considerable extent. And the planters are busy with their teams - on their farms, preparing their lands for the new crop. I protest that this opinion accompanied with the explanations herein contained, (while I believe it to be true, that we have - scattered-over the State, sufficient subsistance to carry us through to another crop) cannot furnish a justification of the, seemingly harsh order which Gen. Pemberton has felt it his duty to promulgate. Admiring the patriotic zeal of this distinguished officer, I acquit him - fully - of all purpose to do more than provide - what he considers to be adequate supplies for his own Army; but, at the same time, I have reason to believe, that, on reviewing this question - aided by the suggestions herein made, he cannot refuse to modify an order, which has, already entailed suffering upon the citizens of Mobile, & greatly embarrassed - as I am credibly informed, even the Commissary department of our army in that Vicinity.

I beg you to submit this letter - or a copy of it, to Maj. Gen. S. B. Buckner, and you are authorized to make such other - & further use of it, as, in your judgement, may be of service or benefit to the city. Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 9th 1863. A. J. Requier, Esq. Mobile, Sir, I, herewith enclose a letter from Mr Josh Dill of Huntsville, which explains itself; I, herewith, enclose you all the papers on file in this office, relative to Mr Sheats; I have sent to Mr Dill, a list of the names of the witnesses. Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department, Montgomery, Mar 9th 1863 Isaiah Dill, Esqr Huntsville, Ala. Sir, Yours of 5th inst. has just been recd. I enclose you a list of the witnesses, as shown by affidavits - on file in this office; & will place the affidavits in the hands of Mr Requier. I have not time, now, to examine the question but suggest to you to ascertain before you act, whether you, as Commissioner, have jurisdiction in the premises; or, whether there is any power, except in the Confederate Judge, to hear the cause. Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

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339 Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 9th 1863. Messr Jesse E. Adams, Mayor, & other Citizens of Tuscaloosa. Gentn A few days since, I was handed, by Hon. Robt Jemison jr, a memorial forwarded by you, praying a suspension of the "Act to prevent extortion," passed, by the General Assembly, at its last Session. I was, also, furnished by Col. Jemison, with a written Memorandym, which cites particular instances, in which, the opinion of the writer, the act referred-to, operated to advance - rather than decrease prices. I regret that I have not the time to enter into a full discussion of this Law. The Legislature felt bound, by the condition of the Country, to pass some act, which, in their judgement, would check the spirit of extortion, which is doing so much harm in the land; & this was the only one, upon which they could agree. There was doubt & uncertainty as to its practical operation, &, hence, a proviso was added to the last section, authorizing the Governor to suspend the operation of the Act, as to all - or any portion of the articles, therein set-forth. You will observe that the authority is not to suspend any particular Section of the Act, or its operation, in any given locality, but is limited to the articles enumerated in - & embraced by the Act. After the adjournment of the Legislature, & after considering the probable operation of the Act, as maturely as I could, I issued a Proclamation - dated 20th December last - suspending the Act, absolutely, as to all articles of Merchandise, of every description, except certain enumerated articles, & caused the same to be published all over the State. Some of the points made in the memorandum handed me by Col. Jemison, induces the belief that the writer had not seen this proclamation; for they refer to articles of merchandize, which the Law does not touch, as modified by my proclamation, the Act is limited to the articles specified in the proclamation, & should by read, in all its Sections & provisions, with this Modification. Whether, thus modified, the Law is advantageous or not, is a question that time alone can determine. I am aware of the delicacy of interfering with - or attempting to Control, by Legislative Enactment, the lawful business & pursuits of the people, and, as a general rule, it is the part of wisdom & statesmanship, to leave them untrammelled to pursue their individual interests - free from Legislative restraints. But these are extraordinary times, and Legislative expedients, which are intended to promote the public advantage, should be allowed a fair test, before they are set aside & annulled. I enclose you, herewith, a copy of my proclamation of 20th Decr last, and entertain the opinion, that it removes some, at least, of the objections to the Law. At present, with the information at hand, I am not prepared to go further, or suspend the entire law. I do not think it clear that its suspension would check - or diminish prices of any of the articles left under its operation; nor am I satisfied that these prices are - or have been, in any instances, increased, by virtue of the Act. It is easy to state such propositions but to prove them to a candid mind, would be difficult. I will, however, endeavor to watch the practical operation of the Act as modified, &, if I am convinced that it is prejudicial to the public welfare, I will suspend its entire provisions. With Respectful consideration, I Am, Your Obedient Servant (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 10th 1863. Messr J. T. Patterson, & Co., Augusta, Geo. Gentlemen, I am in receipt of yours of the 7th inst, by last mail, explaining the delay in last weeks shipment of Treasury change-bills. According to your suggestion, I have, to-day written to the Express Co. at Augusta, to procure a larger - & strong bon for future shipments. Failures of a prompt delivery according to Contract, works considerable disappointment here. A large No of Ladies are employed & organized as a Working bureau; in the Capitol, and if the deliveries - weekly, on stated days, fail, they & the Treasury officers are disconcerted. I hope that such arrangements may be made as will secure prompt shipments & deliveries in the Future. This is a matter of first importance Y'r ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter, Govr of Ala

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340 Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 10th 1863 To Mr F. C. Whitehead, Treasr So. Exp. Co. Augusta, Geo. Dear Sir, Messrs J. T. Patterson, & Co. write me that the bon for transmission of our State-Treasury notes is badly worn, & too small to hold the number of notes, which, by their Contract, they are to deliver weekly. I telegraphed your President to-day, to please have a bon made immediately, which would answer our purposes; & I hope the matter will be attended-to without delay, as it is very important to the State to prevent disappointment among the large number of persons, who are employed here to prepare the change-bills for circulation,

I address you this letter, as I am informed that the President & Superintendent of the Company are absent. Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter, Govr of Ala.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 10th 1863 Mr Wm Wirt, Augusta, Geo. Sir; Yours, of the 7th inst. is before me. I will receive propositions from you for the Lease of lands belonging to the State, for the purpose of making Potash. You will give me a description of the locality, & number of acres; and I will inform you at what price they can be leased. Respectfully, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 11th 1863 Messr J. A. Street, N. C. Napier, & C, Camp-Jones, near Savannah, Geo, Gentn I am in receipt of yours of 8th inst. By reference to General Orders, No 72 of the War-Department, dated 29th Septr. 1862, you will see that to obtain a transfer, you must obtain the written consent of your Commanding officer, & of the General commanding the Army to which you desire to be transferred, in order to obtain a transfer to an Alabama Regiment.

You will make your application, in writing, to the office indicated, if he refuses to sign it, get him to endorse his refusal on the paper; then send it to me, & I will make an appeal, in your behalf, to the Secretary of War. Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 11th 1863 Mr Thomas A. McIver, Savannah Georgia. Sir; In reply to yours of the 7th inst. I state that, as I am informed, of the rules of the Service, a person - desiring a transfer, must obtain the written consent of his capt. Col. or General; & the consent of the General commanding the army, to which he desires to be transferrred. This is sufficient without applying to the War-Department. Respectfully, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter P. S. I refer you to General order, No 72, of the War-Department, dated 29th Sep't, 1862. If your application to the officers indicated in the Genl orders, is refused, have their refusal endorsed on the paper; then return it to me; and I will make a personal appeal to the Secretary of War, in your behalf. J. G. S. [left margin] Inded to here 11th

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341 Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 11th 1863. Hon. W. T. May Guntersville, Ala, Sir, I am in receipt of your letter of 26th Ult. & embrace the first opportunity to reply. You, now, submit a proposition for me to buy-out the furnaces of your Salt-Co. at Salt-ville, Va. and run them in State account. The terms which you State - and the conditions, are such, that I do not feel at liberty, at the present time, to accept, in behalf of the State. And I will give you, briefly as I can, my reasons, On the 7th of November last, I addressed a letter to Mr Walter P. McFarlane, at Gunter'sville, in reply to one he wrote me, on the 28th of October, in which I said to him - "as there seems some difficulty likely to ensue, in carrying-out the provisions made by the State, and those anticipated by your Contract, I now propose that your Stockholders abandon their preference under the Contract, & receive back their money from the State, upon proper showing of the amount expended by them, that the works continue under the original terms as to your compensation, & under your superintendence; & the product of the furnaces to be turned-over to Capt. Speed, to enter into the general Stock of the State." In enclose you, herewith, a copy of the entire letter, for your Examination. In a few weeks after mailing this letter to Mr McFarlane, I recd a letter from you, under date of November the 20th, in which you say, "I was handed a letter, on Monday last, directed by your Excellency, to W. P. McFarlane, in reply to one addressed to you by him, enclosing a copy of the resolution adopted at Gadsden, and the Contract made by him, as Saltagent for the Counties embraced therein. I submitted your letter to the Commissioners' Court, and, after due deliberation, declined accepting the proposition made by you, &c." As the Commissioners Court was not a party to the Contract made by your Salt-Company, I could not understand how they could either accept, or decline my proposition to contract for the products of the furnaces of that Company. If the Court intended to declare its purpose to waive all right & claim, on the part of the people of Marshall Co. to their due proportion of Salt - under the Contract which I, as Executive of the State, had made for the benefit of that, & other Counties in N. Ala. then the Court should have made official record of their decision, to that effect, and communicated a certified copy of the Same, for my consideration and action. Your letter of 20th Novr, was not an official communication by you, as Judge of Probate; and knowing you to be one of the Stockholders in the Salt-Co. I understood - & still believe that your letter was written in that capacity. I never recd any reply from Mr McFarlane, to the propositions made him in my letter of 7th of Novr, untill the 16th day of Decr. On that day I recd a letter from him by the hands of Judge Standifer, of Cherokee, under date of 13th of December, at Centre,, in which letter Mr McFarlane says, "I rec'd a letter, some time since, and should have answered it, but that I thought it best to defer it, till I came home to the Counties that I represent. I find, since I came home, that the people are not willing to submit to your proposition, though we ought to reconcile this matter in some way, &C. To this letter I replied on the 17th December and wrote, among other things, as follows; "But satisfied that your co. went into the matter, from a laudable desire to meet the wants of your people, and anxious, as I am, to increase the present supply to all N. Ala. I have, heretofore, advised you, that I would adopt the Contract made by your Co. & continue you in the agency to manfacture Salt, provided that all the Salt is turned-over to the Salt-agent at Saltville, to be distributed, in just proportion, among all the Counties, in the same way as Salt from the other Contracts is distributed. If shall be sent-in, & sold for cost & charges. And the stockholders shall have right to be furnished the amount needed for their own family-use, which arrangement, under the circumstances, will be fair & just - between them and the State. If you would come down, in person, & see me, & bring your accounts of expenditures, I think we could adjust the matter satisfactorily, and to the interest of all concerned." I enclose you, herein, a copy of the whole of this letter to Mr McFarlane. You will observe that it was written on the 17th of December It was sent, too, by the hands of Judge Standifer - but to this letter, I have never rec'd any reply from Mr McFarlane. Of course I could draw no other inference than that my offers were not acceptable to the Company. The Winter has now passed, & the season for saving bacon is over. My object, in proposing to relieve the Stockholders of your Company & to receive the products of their furnaces, was to increase the Supply of Salt, for N. Ala. during the Winter months, so it might be available to the people in that portion of the State, in time to Salt-down their pork. But the Company declined my propositions. This they had the right to do, and I do not complain

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342 of their action. On the contrary, I deeply regret that the obstacles to the transportation of the Salt from Virginia, were so great & continuous, & which our combined energies c'd not overcome; that neither the Co'y nor the State have been able to put the Salt. into the State as fast as it has been manufactured at the Furnaces.

x In what I have written, may be seen the reasons, why I do not, now, renew my propositions to your Company. There is another good reason why I cannot accept the proposition, now, submitted by you; & that is, that I cannot, now, make suitable arrangements to employ laborers, to run the furnaces, on account of the State, & subsist them.

I shall regret, however, if your Company close-up, & abandon their furnaces, and if the Company will go-on to manufacture Salt, I will conract with them, to buy their Salt at the Works, & will make, with them, the Same Contract I made with the "Ala Salt-Manufacturing Co." This Contract is referred-to in my letter to Mr McFarlane, of the 17th Decr, & I enclose him, in that letter, a copy of the entire Contract. If your Co., are unwilling to make a Contract, on those terms, then, I invite them to submit me a proposition, giving the price at which they will deliver Salt, to the State-agent, at Saltville, the quantity - time, &C. &, if I can do so, with propriety, I may accept it. At any rate there will be no harm, in submitting a proposition. Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 12th 1863 Dr J. F. Dortch, Camden, Ala. My dear Sir; I thank you for your kind letter, of the 8th inst. written on board Steamer St. Charles. I was aware of the scarcity of provisions, at Mobile, and to sustain our negroes there, while working on the fortifications, I have issued a Circular letter to the State-impressment agents, to procure bacon. Enclosed is a copy of the letter. It is working well, & I hope, by this plan, to secure a sufficient supply. [symbol] You are correct in what you say, as to raising provision-crops this years. The enemy cannot conquer us in battle - but Famine would disband our armies. Here is our greatest danger. The War-spirit of the North seems to have become more insatiate & Rampant of late. The bloodiest battles of the War are, probably, yet to be fought. The Army must be fed, by the Cotton-States, with a portion of N. Caro. & Virginia, & the Slave-labor of the Country must be exclusively devoted to the production of provision supplies. Govr Brown has called an extra session of the Georgia Legislature, to reconsider their privision allowing 3 acres to the hand to be put down in cotton. Ours did not go far enough; 2500 lbs Seed Cotton to the hand is too much; none should be raised, except for seed, & home consumption. For several reasons, I do not think it would be polite, to call our Legislature together now; but, though reluctant to issue proclamations - So many of which, I have been compelled, by circumstances to issue - I will send-out a Circular letter letter to the Planters of Alabama, in a few days, urging them not to plant cotton, but raise every kind of provisions, possible.

With high personal regards, I am, very truly, Your friend (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 13th 1863. Col. A. C. Beard, Aid-de-Camp, Huntsville, Ala. Dear Sir; I should have replied sooner to your letter of 28th Ult. but indisposition, which has incapacitated me for my usual labors, has prevented my doing so. I have recovered, & resumed the regular duties of my office. The Suggestions of your letter, & your action upon the subject of calling-out the Militia, are highly approved; as well as the assurances given to Gen. Pillow & Gen. Wood, of the disposition & purpose of the State-Authorities to "cooperate with them in executing any plan they might suggest, for the defense of N. Alabama Maj. Gen. Weakly has resigned, & a new election has been ordered, by the Adj Gen. to fill the vacancy. Try, & get a good man to fill the place. The enrollment shd go-on, as you say to enable the authorities to know what force is left, subject to Militia duty. I am sorry to hear that the people are so slow, in organizing companies of States Guard, & hope Col. Chadick may yet succeed. [symbol] The return of the Enemy into N. Ala. was unfortunate; and I am deeply pained at the news of the depredations, committed by them. I sincerely trust that such

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343 dispositions of our military laws may be made, as shall prevent further raids and injury. I send this letter by Judge Gibson of Laurence; who leaves for N. Alabama this afternoon. Resp'y Your ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 13th 1863 To His Excellency, Jos. E. Brown, Govr of Georgia. Milledgeville, Geo. Sir; In reply to your telegram of the 11th Inst, I sent you a Dispatch, of which the enclosed is a copy. In my message to our Gen. Assembly, I recommended more stringent provisions, to prevent raising Cotton, than were adopted. The Tax-law passed, taxes all seed-cotton, over 2500 lbs picked, at 10 cents per pound. I regret it did not go further, but from the present indications, if your present Legislature will act promptly, & pass stringent measures, & earnestly recommend the citizens of the other Cotton-States, not to plant Cotton, I believe that our planters, in Alabama will respond by their acts, in the proper spirit. I shall issue an address to them, in a few days, & appeal to their patriotism & self-interest to devote their energies to the cultivation of provision Crops. There are good reasons, why I do not think it would be the most prudent course to assemble our Legislature, in Extra-ordinary session, at this time. [silcrow?] My own plantation is on the Chattahoochie River, In Quitman Co. Geo. & I have written my overseer, that he must not plant a seed of cotton, the present year. [silcrow?] I fully agree with you as to the vital importance of this matter, & I sincerely hope that our planters will further illustrate their patriotic devotion, by their course. With high personal regards, I am Your friend, & ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 14th 1863. Mr Jno Brown Appling. Ft. Gaines, Geo Sir; Your Telegram, of the 13th, offering to deliver the Bacon, at Columbus, Geo., at 70 cents pr. pound, was received, last night & this morning, I replied, by Telegraph, advising you - that I would accept it I wish the Bacon for the hands, engaged on the public works, down our rivers, & hope you will dry & pack the meat securely. You can have it weighed at Columbus, by any reliable person, & quantity certified. I wish it delivered there to the agent of the Opelika & Montgomery Rail-Road, for prompt shipment to this city. Have it mailed to ^Col.^ W. R. Pickett, A. Q. M. of Alabama at Montgomery. The amount due you, I will remit, by check on Eastern Bank of Alabama, at Eufaula Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 14th 1863. Messr Griffin & Pierce, Clopton, Ala. Gentn, In reply to your letter of the 7th inst. I have to say that the salt must be delivered at Newton, Dale Co., Ala. according to Contract, as the Contract was made for the benefit of that County. [silcrow?] Your hands are not liable to Military service in the Militia, nor Confederate Army, So long as you continue to make Salt for the State of Alabama, & make 20 bushels a-day. Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 14th 1863. Peter Hamilton, Esqr Chairman Exe Comm. Mobile Dear Sir; I am in rec't of yours, of the 12th inst., & regret that the application made to Lieut. Gen. Pemberton has been unsuccessful. I hope Gen. Johnston may take prompt action in the matter. You may rely upon my cordial co-operation, in any future effort to relieve the distress in your city.

I am gratified to hear that you have made a contract for one of the Wingard Guns, & sincerly hope it may prove a success. The copy of the Contract, enclosed is highly approved. Very Respectfully, Yours. (signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

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344 Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 14th 1863. Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War, Richmond, Virginia. Sir; I beg to hand you, herewith, the muster-roll of the "Morgan defenders." a Company organized, under the Act, of the Confederate Congress, entitled, "An Act to authorize the formation of Volunteer Companies for local defense," Approved, Oct. 14th 1862. The officers were duly commissioned by me this day. Respectfully, Your obedient Servant. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter, Govr of Alabama.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 17th 1863. Messr J. T. Patterson, & Co. Augusta, Geo. Gent.- Your last letter received, & Satisfactory. Hope we may have no further disappointments. I notice the plate of, neither, the 25 cents nor the 50 cents bills have "1st Series" or "any Series." I would suggest that the present plate stand as the "1st Series," & that you print the other Series, from No 2 up; as the numbering on the present plate will grow inconveniently large.

The Comptroller reports as follows. 10 cents ; $. 100.000 ordered 87.696.50 recd $. 12.303.50, Yet wanting - that is 123.035 bills. or 5859 Sheets. 5 cents, $. 20.000 ordered. 14.000.70 received. 5.999.30 yet wanting; that is 119.986 bills, or 5714 Sheets. Very respectfully, Yours, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. March 16th 1863. To the Planters of Alabama; I recently caused to be published, for your informnation, the 9th Section of the Revenue law, passed at the last Session of our General Assembly, imposing a tax of ten cents per pound on all Seed Cotton - thereafter to be made and gathered over twenty five hundred to the full hand. This heavy tax, it was supposed, would operate to prevent the raising of Cotton beyond the quantity left free from taxation, but I desire, respectfully, to submit for your calm consideration, whether circumstances, by which we are now surrounded, do not impose upon the planting community the duty of raising even less Cotton than the law allows, & thus to insure an increased quantity of breadstuffs, & provisions. [silcrow?] If you will look to the Map of the Confederacy, & trace the portions of Virginia, North- & South-Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, & Florida, which are, now, occupied by the Enemy, you will see the extent to which our resources are diminished from this cause. It must be remembered, also, that a large portion of the adjacent Territory is disturbed, to a degree, that will militate[?] against its full, & successful cultivation; that there are tens of thousands of strong arms wielding the sword, instead of guiding the plough; & that, in addition to these, large numbers which the stern necessities of War are transferring from the field to the Camp. Thousands of others of our Countrymen, who have been driven from their homes, are, now, within our lines without means of support; & that all these causes, while they operate to increase the demand for subsistence, diminish our Capacity for production. [silcrow?] Failing to accomplish our subjugation by the force of arms, & the power of numbers, the enemy has called to his aid, the terrible appliances of want & starvation, & is carrying-out this Savage inhuman policy, by the wholesale larceny of Slaves, the seizure of provisions, &, even, the destruction of agricultural implements. Are you, the planters of Alabama, prepared to aid in this policy by pursuing a course which may tend to its accomplishment? Look around you, at this moment, when the crop upon the poor must mainly depend, is not yet planted, & behold the want & destitution which, notwithstanding the munificent provision made

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