Civil War and Reconstruction Governors of Alabama

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Shorter_correspondence_RSG00689_Q145250_Q145648

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385 I beg to add, in conclusion, that the appointment of Judge Mason, had been made, by me before any applications, or recommendations, from Mobile, were submitted. Very truly, Yours. (signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 7th, 1863. Hon. Enoch Alldridge, Brooksville, Blount Co. Sir; I herewith hand you a Commission, as special Aid-de-Camp, with the rank of Colonel of Cavalry; While on duty, you will receive pay according to your rank. I enclose you, also, my Proclamation, or "Appeal to the People of Alabama," issued on 22d December last, urging the people to organize volunteer companies of State-Guards, for Home & local defense. At the time this appeal was sent-out, our people were so confident of their Security, or insensible to danger, that they paid little or no attention to it. Recent events have opened their eyes, and they are now looking round for means of defense. Companies are being formed in many parts of the State, & I hope the good work may go on, until all, who are able, may enroll themselves in some organization or other. I desire you to enter, at once upon the duty of an active Canvass of your County - and adjoining Counties, & urge the formation of infantry & cavalry, or mounted infantry, in accordance with my Proclamation - herewith enclosed. The men will supply their own arms, & I will furnish ammunition. This can be had, on application to Majr Genl Huey, or Col. John T. Morgan at Talladega. §. The recent raid of the Enemy, through Blount, & other Mountain Counties, shews the stern necessity of active efforts, for organization, in order that our people may be prepared for any emergency, which may occur. The Enemy are pursuing a mode of warfare, unparalleled in civilized Countries, & they should have no quarter, when wandering from their lines, & roaming over the land, to desolate our homes & firesides. I have demanded, as civil prisoners of State, under the President's order, all Yankee officers, taken in Alabama - serving with ^armed^ Slaves, inciting insurrection, & if surrendered to me, they shall be guarded in the Penitentiary, until the Courts are convened to try them. I would prefer, however, that, when caught in such barbarous warfare, no prisoners should be taken. I have advised Gen. Huey, as to the necessity of establishing a line of Couriers, extending from Talladega, over the Mountains, into the Tennessee Valley, through whom, rapid transmission of any important intelligence might be made. He will communicate with you, on this Subject. And you will, likewise, communicate with Colonel Arthur Baird - My regular aid in North Alabama. §. Relying on your zeal, and patriotic devotion to the State, I am, respy, Your ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. Govr of Ala.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 8th, 1863. Messrs J. M. Pearson & W. Page, Dadeville, Ala. Gentlemen; I am, today, in rec't of your letter of the 5th inst. and, in reply, have to inform you, that the requisition on Tallapoosa County, owing to the condition of its wants and necessities, was post-poned for the purpose of giving the County the benefit of all its slave-labor, until after the small-grain crop could be gathered; and I had intended not to send it out until that time, but was induced to do so, recently, on account of the urgent demand made upon me for mode[?] labor at Mobile. I have, to day had an interview with Maj. Gen. Buckner, & the information communicated induces the hope that the labor from your county can still be spared, until after Harvest time; & concurring, fully, with you, in the opinion, that it is a matter of prime importance, to save all the small grain possible, I have to direct a suspension of the impressment of Slaves in Tallapoosa County, until after the Harvest. Yours, Respectfully, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 4th, 1863. Dr M. G. Moore, Warden, Ala. Penitentiary, Sir; Thos Williams, Esqr, Administrator of A. Burrowes, advises me that he has an account against the Penitentiary, for the hire of the teams & drivers, from the death of Dr Burrows, down to the purchase of the teams, by the State; and that as he

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386 was paid interest on the value of the entire property retained by the State, you do not feel authorised to allow his account for hire. If, as he informed me, there was a separate contract, or agreement, between him, as Warden, & him as administrator, for hire for the team & drivers he would, as administrator, be entitled to receive the hire for the use of the property, instead of interest on its value; unless, in the subsequent contract, which was made with the State thro' me, he, legally, waved the right to the hire. Whether, as administrator, he could, legally - make such a waver, may admit of some doubt; but considering that he could, I am clear that the law would not hold him bound by a waver, unless it was manifest, that the contract made with the State, was understood - mutally to cover it. The fact, that an account was stated, embracing the valuation of the Teams, in common with the stock - & machinery in the prison, and that interest was calculated upon the whole, would be presumptive evidence that it was to cover the hire; but this statement - and the settlement founded upon it, is open to explanation; and it is but fair and just to the administrator, that I, as the agent contracting on part of the State, should admit the fact, that I was not aware of any contract for hire, or that if it had been mentioned to me, I did not remember it. Mr Williams affirms, too, that he did not understand by the Contract, that he was waving the hire. I have no reason to doubt the correctness of his statement. And assuming it to be true, there was, therefore, no understanding by either party, that the hire due by a former contract, was intended to be waived. As to his right, as Administrator to receive hire for the drivers, there can be no question as they were not purchased. For the reasons stated, and as the State ought to do full justice, where the facts are ascertained, in all its dealings with Citizens, and, in a case like the present, even give the benefit of any legal doubt which might arise in favor of the Citizen. §. I have to advise, that in a final settlement with the Administration of Dr Burrows, you should allow the amount due on the Contract for hire, after deducting therefrom, any interest which he may have rec'd, upon the valuation of the teams, & which may have been run into the General account. Resp'y Y'r ob't Ser't. (signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 8th, 1863. Maj. George B. Clitherall, Mobile. Dear Sir; In reply to your letter of the 4th inst - I beg to remind you that the Impressment Act of Congress provided for the appointment of one Commissioner by the President, & one, by the Governor of the State, on request of the President. When appointed they receive their instructions and pay from the Confederate Authorities. The President has not requested me to make any appointment, & I have, up to this writing, received no communication from him on the Subject. The Secretary of War sent me a copy of an official order, appointing a Commissioner in Alabama, by the War-Department, & I acted, promptly, on that, advising the Secretary of War, and saying that I presumed it was intended in lieu of a formal request by the President. Having made the appointment of a Commissioner, on part of the State, and notified the same to the Secretary of War, I conceived that I had done all which I had authority to do in the premises, You will please show this letter to Mr Price Williams, who will also show you a letter, which I recently addressed him on this Subject. Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 8th, 1863. Mr. F. C. Taylor, Greensboro' Ala. Dear Sir, Advised of your patriotic zeal & energy, & ability to organize a line of Couriers & videttes, connecting Selma, with Columbus, Mississippi, via Marion Greensboro', & Tuscaloosa, embracing, also, as lateral points, Gainesville Pickensville & Carrollton, in order that rapid transmission of important intelligence may be made through that portion of Alabama, which is removed from Telegraphic communication, I have appointed you a Special Agent for the State, for the purpose of establishing such a line. The whole matter is committed to your discretion. You will communicate with my aid, Col. A. B. Moore, and other citizens, in the towns mentioned, whose names have been mentioned to you. All costs & charges incurred will be paid at the Treasury. Respectfully, Y'r ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. Govr of Ala.

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387 Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 8th, 1863. Hon. James A. Seddon; Secretary of War; Richmond. Sir; I am advised that among the prisoners recently captured, near Rome, Geo, are officers found serving, within the limits of the State of Alabama, with armed Slaves, & inciting Slaves to insurrection within this State. If this information proves to be correct, the departure from the rules of civilized warfare, will & should deprive them of the benefits of any convention - giving them the privileges of prisoners of War; and render them amenable to the Laws of the State of Alabama, as criminals. In order that the military authorities might not be trammelled by action in advance, which might prejudice the claim of the State of Alabama upon these prisoners. I telegraphed to Gen. Bragg my intention to demand them for trial, under the laws of this State, & the propriety of granting it can be easily determined, upon the report, which Gen. Forrest will make of the results of his expedition. If his report should state the fact to be, as I have been informed, the case of these officers will be, clearly, within the announcement of the intention of the President, in relation to the Proclamation of President Lincoln, that they shall be surrendered, on demand, to the State authorities for trial. §. But another matter has been brought to my notice, in reference to this capture, to which, I wish, especially, to call your attention, not with a view to embarrassing the action of the Government, but to arrive at just, & correct conclusions, as to the proper course to pursue, not only in relation to the present - but to future captures of our own Citizens - willingly serving in the ranks of the Enemy. §. Among the prisoners, captured by Genl Forrest, I understand there are two Companies of Alabamians, who have enlisted, as such, in the army of the Enemy, & having been engaged - with known enemies of the State, & the Confederate States, in act not justified by any rule of War, or by necessity, have been captured upon the soil of Alabama, not only levying War against the State, but instigating Slaves to rebellion, & committing deeds of Rapine & destruction upon the property of her citizens, without the excuse, which can pertain to Military necessity, or the course of War. If the uniform of our enemy is to continue to protect their officers & men, in their depredations & upon private property, & wanton destruction of commodities, which cannot be classed as munitions of War, - to say nothing of assaults upon peaceful citizens, & inhuman treatment of the helpless and unprotected, or their instigation of our Slaves to leave their service, is it also to protect our recreant and traitorous citizens, who, still claiming themselves as Alabamians, afford, to our enemies, the means of striking at the heart of the State, & who, when captured - claim the flag of our enemy as their protection? Ample opportunity was given to these Traitors to cash in their lot with the enemy, & remove this reproach & stigma from the State. With a forbearance, before unknown, one of the earliest acts of the Confederacy, was to invite those who preferred the rule of our Enemies, to leave our borders - in peace, and establish themselves in the government of their choice. But these traitors preferred to remain, that their crime might strike deeper, and their blow fall the heavier, and having chosen their status, as citizens of a State of the Confederacy, they should not be allowed to escape the penalty of Treason which they have invited. They stand as citizens levying war, as well as giving aid & comfort to our Enemies. They have chosen this position deliberately, well-knowing the penalty, rejecting the clemency of the government, leaving, in many instances their dependent families upon our Soil, to be supported by the charity of our people, and proclaiming their intentionto lead or accompany the armies of our enemy, for our overthrow & destruction §. If there could be any doubt as to their position, if captured in legitimate warfare, in the ranks of our Enemies, that doubt must be resolved, when they abandon such warfare, to engage in pillage of private property, and murderous destruction of life. No Commision can justify deeds of rapine & violence, committed apart from Military necessity & in violation of the known rules of civilized warfare. §. Even if, through motives of policy, we suspend the proper and fitting punishment of our known enemies, citizens of hostile States, or aliens serving in their ranks, who, under orders of their Superiors, commit such acts of Wanton depredation the same reasons cannot apply to those marauders, who flaunt the flag of their treason in our faces, and dare & defy us in their malice. §. I do not wish to discuss the question, whether their treason to their own State is merged

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388 in their Treason against the Confederacy, nor to embarrass the Confederate Government with questions of jurisdiction. It will enough for me, & the State which I represent, if these Traitors be taught that impunity is not to be bought by bravado & that, it will be matter of indifference, whether they receive the reward of their treason, at the hands of the Condederacy, or by the laws of the State. §. It is then with a view of disembarrassing the Confederate Government, that I respectfully request that these marauders be delivered-up to the authorities of this State, for trial by her civil Tribunals, for their acts of violence and rapine against our Citizens, & their treason against the State, whose citizens they claim to be §. It cannot be alleged, for them, as it might be for traitorous citizens of border States, that there are conflicting claims of hostile Governments to jurisdiction, or that the State, thro' the calamity of War, has failed to afford protection & redress to her citizens. Their position has been voluntarily sought, their treason openly avowed, and boastfully vindicated, their violence wanton and malicious. They have braved the penalty of Treason, in avowing themselves Alabamians, &, as such, serving with marauding bands of the enemy, within the borders of our State, & are not entitled to the privileges of Prisoners of War. §. If it is preferred by the Confederate authorities to retain - & try them for their treasonable acts, I am willing to waive the demand on the part of the State; but believing that Justice will be fully & fairly meted-out to them, by the judicial Tribunals of Alabama, it would be more agreeable to me, that, both, the officers mentioned, and the men alludedto, be turned-over, upon my demand, to the State authorities. Proper arrangments will be made, for their safe keeping, until they can have a fair & impartial trial Resp'y Y'r ob't Ser't, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter, Govr of Ala.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 9th, 1863. Gen. D. C. Green, Qr. Mr. Gen. Mobile Sir; Your report of arms, under date of yesterday, is just recd, by Mr Punch. Advise how many - and what kind are necessary to be retained in Mobile; and whether the arms - reported in bad order, can be promptly repaired - & on reasonable terms, in your city. There is a great cry for arms in every portion of the State, & I wish to aid in arming the Companies of State-Guards, which are being organized in different localities. §. If arms cannot be repaired in Mobile, it will be best to ship them here, for that purpose. Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 9th, 1863. Messr F. L. Johnson, & Co. Selma, Ala. Gentlemen; You are, hereby, appointed State-Agents for the State of Alabama, for inspection & sale of liquors at Selma. I enclose blank bond, which you will execute & return; Also, you will find enclosed, "Proclamation," & "instructions to agents," which will show you the full extent of your district, §. There are no contracts taken, deliverable at Selma; but the A. Q. M. here will ship to you, the receipts of one of the contracts deliverable here. Another has been appropriated to the Agency at Tuscaloosa, and the first shipment will be made through you to Col. R. Jemison jr. A. D. C. who will select the Agent, to whom future shipments will be made. §. The price has been fixed at $. 10. per Gal. for whiskey, & $. 15. for Alcohol, in consideration that the profits are to constitute a fund for the benefit of indigent families of Soldiers. Resp'y, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Dept, Montgomery, Ala. May 9th, 1863. Col. R. Jemison, jr, Tuscaloosa, Ala. Sir; Having no contracts for distillation, deliverable at Tuscaloosa, I have determined to use one of the Contracts, whose delivery is to be at place, for the benefit of Western Alabama, and, herewith, enclose you copy of "Proclamation," & "instructions to agents," which you will please hand-over to some suitable person at Tuscaloosa, who will accept the Agency, & furnish me with the name of the person selected. One barrel of whiskey will be immediately forwarded, by the A. Q. M. to your address, which you can turn-over to the agents, and the remainder of the Contract, will be forwarded to him, as delivered here. The agent, selected by you, will execute & return the Bond enclosed, before entering upon his duties. The prices, at the Agency, will be $. 10. for Whiskey, & $ 15. for Alcohol, which have been so established, in view of the fact, that the profits are to constitute a fund for the benefit of the indigent families of Soldiers Very Resp'y, Your ob't Ser't. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

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389 Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala, May 9th, 1863 Hon James A. Seddon, Secretary of War; Richmond. Sir; I have the honor to submit; herewith, copies of an order, issued by Maj. Gen. Buckner commanding the Department of the Gulf, requiring of Maj. Wagner, Ordnance officer, at this post, to repair certain arms - loaned by this State to Col. Clitherall, Chief of Ordnance for Alabama, with respect to the non-execution of said order. §. As the order of Maj. Gen. Buckner, was prompted by a sense of Justice to the State, which had, previously, at various times, loaned its arms to troops in the Confederate Service, to receive them back in unserviceable Condition, to be repaired at its own expense, and as Maj. Wagner denies the authority of Gen. Buckner to give such order, I trust you will give such orders, as will restore the arms to the State, as speedily as possible, & in condition for service. Alabama has few arms for troops, of her own, as her arms have been freely issued to the troops in the Confederate Service. Your ob't Ser't, (Signed) John Gill Shorter, Govr of Ala.

Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. May 11th, 1863 Capt. J. H. Speed, A. Q. M. Saltville, Va. Sir, As recommended by you, Mr A. B. Eaton has been appointed Agent for the State of Alabama, to assist in the transportation of Salt from Va. to make his head-quarters at Bristol and to report to you for orders & also to Capt. Snodgrass. §. Capt. Snodgrass will be stationed at Cleaveland & instructed to take charge of Transportation, on the same roads. Very Resp'y, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 11th, 1863. Capt. Snodgrass, Chattanooga, Tenn. Sir; With a view to facilitate the transportation of Salt, from Virginia, & to relieve you from too heavy a charge, I have, to-day, appointed Mr A. B. Eaton - Agent of the State, to assist in transportation with instructions to proceed to Bristol, & receive orders from Capt. Speed at Saltville, & from yourself at Cleveland, which you will, hereafter make your headquarters, with the more especial charge of the roads, below that point, to the various distributing points, in Alabama. §. While Mr Eaton's corresponding point will be at Bristol, he will travel over the roads in Tennessee, when his services may be needed. Very Resp'y, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 11th 1863. Mr A. B. Eaton, Sir, You are, hereby, ^appointed^ Agent of the State of Alabama, to assist in the transportation of Salt from Virginia to Alabama, & will be stationed, for the present, at Bristol Tenn. to report to Capt. J. H. Speed, at Saltville for orders. You will also receive & execute orders from Capt. A Snodgrass, at Cleveland, Tenn. The object of your appointment is to secure the speedy & certain transmission of Salt, by the R. Roads, & to exchance from one to the other of the Connecting roads. §. Your pay will be seventy five dollars, per month & your board, while in the employment of the State. Resp'y, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 11th, 1863. Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War, Richmond. Sir, I have the honor to enclose, herewith, copies of the Rolls of Members of the Fire Department of this City, who are liable to conscription, by reason of age, and, also, of Telegraphic correspondence with the Department of War, in relation to their Exemption during the past year. §. In addition to the necessity which exists for their service in the City, in case of Conflagration, the members of these Companies are organized into a military corps, for local defense, thereby promoting the security of the City, & of the Government property deposited here. §. On application to Col. Jno T. Morgan, Commandant of Conscripts for Alabama, he refuses to exempt - or detail, or to suspend their enrollments, until your department can be consulted. §. In view of the necessity of this organization, of its Military character, & of its previous exemption, I respectfully request that its members may be left for the performance of their important duties to the City, & the State. Very Resp'y, Your ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. Govr of Ala.

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390 Executive Department Montgomery, Ala; May 11th 1863 Col. John T. Morgan, commanding conscripts for Ala. Head quarters, at Talladega. Sir I have the pleasure to acknowledge receipt of your fav'r of 8th inst. with enclosures. §. Under the exemption Act of Oct. 1862, All State officers - Legislative - Judicial - & Executive, were exempted from Conscription, except State-Officers, as, by the laws of the State, may have been, or, may, hereafter be declared liable to Militia duty. There is no positive law in Alabama, declaring any State-officer liable to Militia-duty, unless Justice of the Peace - Constables, or Notaries Public, are State-officers, in the meaning of the Constitution & laws - and I concede that ^(Excepting Justices of the Peace, commissioned by the State)^ they belong to a class of officers, who are not within the Terms - State-officers, as defined by our Legislature. Upon a review of your letter, of 14th of April, to Col. G. W. Lay - I concur in your opinion, as therein announced, &, cheerfully, aquiesce in the decision of the War-Department, as to the class of officers therein embraced. §. By the recent amendment of the Exemption-Act, by Congress, it is provided that "in addition to the State officers exempted by the Act of Oct 11th 1862, there shall, also be exempted, all State officers, whom the Governor of any State may claim to have exempted, for the due administration of the Government and laws thereof" I am somewhat at a loss to understand this last amendment. All our State officers belong either to the Judicial - Legislative, or Executive Departments, and are exempted under the Act of Act of 1862. If there be a class of State-officers, other than these, I do not known them, & if the class embraces other than State officers, I have no power to exempt them. As it is unnecessary, therefore, for me to enumerate the State-officers, under the Act of 1862, I have to request you to advise me, what class of officers you consider State-officers, & who are not exempted, under the Act of 1862. Resp'y Y'r ob't Ser't (signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 11th, 1863. Col. Arthur C. Beard, A. D. C. Huntsville, Ala. Sir; I have just recd official information from Gen. Bragg, that the Slaves, impressed by the State, for work on the Defenses at Bridgeport, & removed, by Confederate Officers to Chattanooga, have been ordered to be returned to Bridgeport. §. As the Securing of the Grain Crop is of great importance to the State - as well as to our people - and the Confederacy, you will so arrange it, as to release the hands, in time to reap that Crop. Very Resp'y, (signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department - Montgomery, Ala. May 11th 1863 John Chain, Esqr, Andalusia, Ala. Sir; I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 6th inst, requesting Certificate for exemption of L. C. Jones, as Coroner of Covington Co., & giving other reasons for the propriety - & legality of his exemption, beside the office he holds. Most certainly, it would seem that being unfit for Military service by reason of physical disability - the being a "practical Apothecary" "in good Standing," - and having furnished a substitute, ought to be sufficient for his exemption. §. But, in view of the various Acts of Congress, upon the subject of exemption, I am not prepared to say that a Coroner is a State-officer, who is exempt from enrollment for Military Service. The importance of his office - under the Common Law - has been largely shorn of its proportions, by our Statutes, & the office is one easily filled in case of vacancy, without a vote of the legislature - or the people - or the appointing power of the Executive. In fact, he is but the appointee of the Court of County Commissioners, whose members are not, themselves exempt from enrollment by virtue of their office. If they fail to elect, or, from any cause, there is a vacancy, with a necessity for such officer to execute civil process, his place is supplied, by appointment of the Judge of Probate. §. By reference to Section 109 of the Code, in connection with Secn 800 to 811 in reference to the Coroner, you will perceive that a Coroner is not a Commissioned Officer, of the State, &, therefore, I have no reference, by which I can determine his official standing as a State officer. Of course, you will recognize the impropriety of such a Certificate, as you request, event if I were fully satisfied that he is a State - & not a County officer, a distinction, acted-upon, & assumed by the War-Department, in reference to the construction of the exemption-Law. Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter, Govr of Alabama

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391 Executive Department; Montgomery Ala. May 11th, 1863. Messrs, E. H. Muse, & W. H. Barnes, Lafayette Ala. Gentlemen; I have recd your note of May 9th, asking exemption from Enrollment, of Dr James E. Scarborough, as Justice of the Peace, & in reply, wd say that Justices of the Peace & Constables were, expressly, made liable to Militia Duty, by the Legislature, at its last session, with a view to their enrollment as Conscripts, if within the ages: and, under this act, many have been enrolled, or volunteered into the service, to escape enrollment. If I have the power of exemption, its use would be in opposition to this expressed will of the legislature; and I could not exempt, now, in justice to those already in the service, unless my order could reach all of the same class, which would be impossible Very Respectfully, (signed) Jno Gill Shorter. Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala, May 11th, 1863. Col. White, Commanding C. S. Arsenal, Selma, Ala. Col. I beg to hand you a requisition for fixed ammunition-powder, & lead, Caps, & C. &C. for use of Alabama Corps of Cadets, at the University of Alabama, which, I hope it may be in your power to fill. Please deliver the same to messr. F. L. Johnston, & Co. State Agents at Selma, who are authorized to receipt for the same, & who will ship it to Col. L. C. Garland, Superintendent, & Commandant of the Corps, for whose use it is wanted. With high regards, I am respectfully, Your Obt. Ser't. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. Govr of ala. Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 12th, 1863. Geo. H. Thompson, Esqr Glennville, Ala. Sir; I have recd. your letter of 10th inst, & would say, in reply, that the Negroes impressed by the state authority, were delivered, to the Confederate authorities of the State, at Mobile, with positive request that as they had been impress for Sixty days' service, under the State Laws, they should be discharged, promptly, at the expiration of that term; but I regret to say that they have wholly disregarded the requests. The complaints, as to food, & medical attendance have been-time & again, reported from this Department, & the neglect protested against, & I have been forced to appeal to the Secretary of War, for premptory orders, to the Commanding Officer at Mobile, to discharge the negroes. I hope to receive such orders from him, as will, at once, discharge your boy. Very Resp'y Your obediant Ser't; (signed) Jno. Gill Shorter. Montgomery, Ala, May 12th, 1863. R. B. Kyle, Esqr, Gadsden, Ala: Sir, I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your interesting letter, of the 7th inst. containing particulars of the recent raid upon Gadsden, & the capture of the Marauders, by Gen. Forrest. While, I regret, exceedingly, to hear of your losses, I congratulate you, upon your escape from the clutches of men, so devoid of principle & feeling. Upon receiving the news of their capture, & of the fact that they were serving with armed negroes, I notified Gen. Bragg of my intention, and made a demand of the Secretary of War, that these officers be turned-over to the authorities of the State, for trial in accordance with the proclamation of the President. And, further hearing that there were Alabamians serving with them as such, I deemed it my duty to demand them for trial, unless the confederacy should hold them for treason against it. §. To this communication, I have, as yet, no reply, & I cannot judge as to the probability of its being granted, unless I know all the facts attending to the case, & the terms of the Convention, by which they were surrendered to Gen. Forrest. §. I regret that I have no State force, at disposal, with which to accede to your request for troops, to be stationed for the protection of N. ala. Gen. Clanton's force is raising, under Confederate authority, & was originally, intended to operate on the coast; but, as its proportions have been largely, increased, it is not improbable that a portion of it may be placed upon other duty. Gen. Clanton is himself, desirous to serve in N. Ala. where his force would prove a most effectual protection against such raids; as his bold, dashing, and energetic manner & action would prompt him to meet them, at once, without delay; but, of course, he must obey the orders of his superiors; and it is probable that the heavy withdrawal of troops from Mobile, may induce them to order him, for a while, to that neighbourhood. §. But I think your security for the present, lies mainly, in the rapidity, and completeness of the pursuit made by Gen. Forrest; & the readiness with which the advance force of the Enemy was met, near Rome.

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392 388 No Raid can be successful, where the citizens - promptly - turn out to repel the invader. It is the startling suddennes - leaving no time for preparation, that the success of the raider must consist. But, when, upon slight notice, the pass & the bridge are defended by citizens, who feel that their property, homes, & lives are to be saved, only by stout hearts - & strong arms; when every thicket conceals a foe, & when the mountain-path, & Broad Highway are both to be contested - the invader feels his insecurity, & is ready to leave for easier conquests. §. In answer to the many letters - written in the alarm created by the late movement, I have enclosed my proclamation, of 22d December last, and urged the formation of companies, under its provisions. Some of our militia- officers feel the necessity of providing for its efficiency, & the Adjutant-Gen. will send out orders, which, I hope, will awaken them to more earnestness In addition, arrangements have been made for a line of couriers, which by, speedy transmission of intelligence, will enable us to baffle any such parties, by meeting, & checking their advance Ammunition has been sent to Selma, Talladega, & other places, for distribution to officers of organized commands. With these preparations & the vigilance, & readiness of our people, I trust we will be secured against any future movement of this sort. Very Respectfully, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. P.S. I have read, with much pleasure, in the Jacksonville Republican of 9th inst. an interesting account of the conduct of Miss Jane Sansom, of your county, in piloting Gen Forrest over a swollen stream, while in pursuit of the enemy. Please inform me if the facts stated are, circumstantially, true, as, in such event. I shall compliment her with an appropriate notice from the Executive Office. J.G.S.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Ala. May 11th 1863. Thomas H. Abney, Esq. Randolph, Ala. Sir: I have received your letter, stating the probability of Yankee raids into your Section - the helplessness of your people - and their want of organization & ammunition. I regret, principally, your want of organization, as that is a want which cannot be Supplied when the time of trial comes, while the want of ammunition can be supplied at short notice. Already, supplies have been sent to Selma - Talladega - Tuscaloosa, & other points of distribution. But it can be issued only to responsibile military officers, who will be responsible for its proper use. It was with this view, that, in the disorganized condition of the Militia, I issued, on the 22d of December last, the enclosed proclamation, & I hope you will urge, upon the people of your county, the importance of organizing, either under this Proclamation, or of calling upon their militia to do their duty - at once; in gathering their commands, & putting them in a State of efficiency. Either Course will secure the needed ammunition, and the prospect of successful repulse to the invasions of the Enemy. Very Respectfully (signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department; Montgomery Ala. May 11, 1863 Col. L. C. Garland, Commandant Corps of Cadets, Univ. Ala. Sir: I am in rect of your favors, of 6th & 7th inst. for which I am obliged. The energy & zeal displayed by the Corps of Cadets under your Command, on the recent report of the approach of Yankee Marauders, in the direction of Tuscaloosa, is deserving all commendation. §. I am pleased to hear that the field Artillery, ordered at the Shops, in Tuscaloosa, will soon be ready. Please hurry the job. The State has no suitable ammunition for these Guns, & I have, to-day, forwarded, by Capt. Jemison of Tuscaloosa, a requisition for all the ammunition you ask for, on Col. White, Commandant of C. S. Arsenal, at Selma, by whom I am assured it will be filled, and have directed an immediate shipment of it to you. I note your sensible remarks upon the Subject of military organization. Unfortunately, our people are rarely sensible on this subject, and only in times of apprehended or threatened danger of attack, when they become deeply exercised, & clamorous for something to be done by somebody. Whatever may happen, in consequence of inadequate means for local defense throughout the State, I shall ever feel acquitted in my own Conscience, of all responsibility or blame; Let me explain. In view of the dis-organization of the State Militia, by the Conscript law, I made the necessity of its reorganization a subject of special attention, in my Message to the Called Session of the Legislature, and recommended the enrollment of every able bodied man in the State, between 16 & 60 years of age, who was not in the Confederate Service. I send you a copy of my message, to which you are referred. The Legislature passed-through the Called Session of two weeks, & the regular Session of thirty days, and adjourned, without passing a Solitary Measure, to improve & Strengthen the Military Arm of the State. They had no confidence in the militia organization,

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393 389 [unfortunately], & which was to be attributed to the known incapacity of the many inefficent officers, who had been elected under our peace - establishment; & they had not the nerve or will to unhorse them - reorganize, and order new elections. The wide difference of opinion, which manifested itself, & which satisfied me of the inability of calling the same body of men back, into an extraodinary session, induced me to let the responsibility rest where it properly belonged. Within a fortnight after the Legislature adjourned, I issued the enclosed "Appeal to the people of Aabama"; published it in every paper - sent copies to every member of the Legislature, to every county Judge, & Sheriff in the state; besides, to a large number of influential private citizens. Such was the state of false security, felt by the people; and so absorbed were very many in schemes of aggrandizement, & their daily pursuits, that this earnest appeal - beyond a few brief notices, of a few of the presses, passed unheeded, & unnoticed; and many, now, have, even, forgotten it, and I am, dailyreceiving letters, urging me to issue just such a Proclamation! But I did not stop here. Early in January, I had issued, from the office of the Adjutant-Gen - an order to all the Gen. officers, of the Militia, throughout the State, directing an immediate enrollement of every man in the state, liable to Militia duty; and that a report be made to the head quarters, without delay, in order that I might know the available military strength left in the state - and its locality. In response to this urgent peremptory order, but two reports have, up to this date, been received. These are from Brigadiers. There are, in the state, 11 Divisions & 22 Brigades! I have, now, again directed an order to be issued by the Adjutant-Gen. to every Maj. Gen. in the state, to proceed, without delay, to a thorough organization of every portion of his command, with a view to active service in the field, if the emergency shall require it, to have all vacancies promptly filled, & in case of invasion, where it will be impracticable to await orders from head-quarters, to order-out their Commands, or any portion, for the protection & defense of the state. §. Your suggestions, as to the the establishment of a line of couriers, are approved, & were anticipated by a letter from this Department, to F. C. Taylor Esq, of Greensboro', -a copy of which is enclosed - directing him to provide the necessary organization to that effect Being the Contractor on the Mail-lines connecting with Columbus Missi. and possessing, at his different Stables, on the various lines of communication, a constant relay of horses, which could be made available, at any moment; it was deemed most advisable to commit this arrangement to him. I invited him to the Capitol, & had a full personal interview with him, in explanation of the plan, & purpose, & he has promised its undertaking & expedition, with energy & zeal, & I rely, confidently, upon his success. The Major-Gen. of the 2d Division, embracing the counties of Bibb - Shelby, Tuscaloosa & Pickens, is N. W. Davis, of Pickens, who is absent in the Confederate Service. The Brigadier of the 5th Brigade - embracing Tuscaloosa & Pickens, is Andrew Wier, who is at home - & the ranking officer in the Division & responsible for its organization. The late Brigadier, of the 24th Brigade - including the Counties of Bibb & Shelby, resigned, & although an Election, to fill the vacancy, was ordered, long since, no return has been made. I have no power to displace or appoint. §. Col. R. Jemison, jr, is my special A. de C. at Tuscaloosa. I had an interview with him, a few days since, as he passed through this city, on his return from Richmond; and he will represent me, in the extension of all necessary orders, for the public defense, in your section of the State. §. I beg to assure you, that I do not deem what you may have said or done, towards military organization for the protection of the state, as officious, in the slightest degree. On the contrary, I return you sincere thanks, for your patriotic zeal & energy, & I hope you will abate or weary, in giving your personal services, & valuable counsel, in behalf your suffering country. I have none of that vain self assurance which claims ominiscience, and impunity from the interference or suggestions of any one of our good & true men; but I am gratified, at all times, to have the benefit of their advice & assistance. I notice your remarks upon the subject of the impressment of horses, and other property, in case of emergency, for the public Defense. The military Arm has never failed to exercise their power, in case of extreme neccessity, & its justification rests upon the fact of necessity. In a proper case, there should be no hesitation, as to the exercise of the power, by a military commander. Nor can General orders be issued, which would make the duty more incumbent, or which could define with particularity, the occasion, or combination of facts, where the power should be exercised. The principle is given - the power exists, & its exercise is a question to be determined by the officer, in command, in any given emergency.

It is my intention to be at Tuscaloosa, by the 3d proximo. Resp'y (signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

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394 in margin

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala May 12, 1863 J.R. John, Esq Selma Sir, I thank you for your letter of 8th inst. I sent, yesterday, by Capt. Jemison of Tuscaloosa, a requisition on Col White, for the ammunition needed for the Alabama Corp of Cadets at the University, which, I hope, may be filled - & forwarded, immediately, by J.L. Johnson, & Co. who were authorized to receipt for it. I have sent ammunition from here to Gen. Kerr at Greensboro, to Gen. Huey at Talladega, & Col. Jemison at Tuscaloosa, to be distributed to organized Forces, for the public defense. § I am gratified to learn that the Confederate authorities are alive to the importance of defending Selma against any raid of the Enemy. The destruction of the public works there would be an incalculable loss. Would to God! our people could duly realize their danger, and properly aid the state & confederate authorities in timely preparation to meet it. They seem insensible to its approach, until the enemy is at their doors, when it is too late to resist him, with concerted purpose, and efficient organization. As you pre- dicted, the Selma Company has refused to report its Rolls!What a spectacle for our Enemy! Truly Yours (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala May 12, 1863 Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War: Sir: Sometime Since, I addressed you requesting the acceptance of the resignation of Capn L. M. Stiff, 3d Squadron, 6th Georgia Cavalry now stationed near Cumberland Gap, & received, in reply, your letter of 25th March, 1862 declining to accept his resignation upon the ground that he was under charges.

Understanding that these charges have been withdrawn, I respectfully renew the request that his resignation may be accepted, and that he may resume the duties of his office, as Register & Receiver of the Land Office, at Centre in this State Very Resp'y, Y'r Obt Sert (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala, May 13, 1863 P. Hamilton, Esq. Ch'n Comm Mobile, Sir, I have the honor to ackowledge receipt of your your letter of 11th inst. enclosing papers connected with the construction of the Ram "Baltic" You have certainly done the work, with commendable oeconomy & promptude. §. No further report is needed, as you accounts with the treasury are properly closed. Very Resp'y, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala, May 13, 1863 Col Eli S. Shorter, A.D C. Enfaula, Ala. Sir, In reply to your letter of 9th inst. I would State, that copies of the Salt laws of last Session, have been sent to Mr. McKenzie & also to Mr. Charles Petty, Clayton, & I ask particular attention to the 4th Section of Act no 37, which is in itself, full instruction to the Agents. §. the 150 Sacks ordered, will be shipped by the A.Q.M as requested. §. Copies of Mr. Russell's contract, will, also, be sent, & these Gentlemen advised as to Sale - commission, &C. Very Resp'y, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter

Executive Department Montgomery, Ala, May 13, 1863 Col. L.C. Garland, Comm't Univy Ala. Tuscaloosa Sir, Maj Joseph Hodgson, Commanding Cavalry Battallion, Clanton's Brigade, desires leave of absence for Cadet Charles P Storrs, for the purpose of raising a Company for Hodgson's Battalion, stating that he is, in every way qualified for such Command and that his skill as an officer would be of great assistance to him.

If not inconsistent with previous orders or regulations, you will grant the leave of absence as desired, directing Cadet Storrs to report to Major Joseph Hodgson, at Head Quarters, New-Berne, Ala Very Respectfully, Your Ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter, Gov of Ala

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