Pages That Need Review
30 28 Executive Department. Montgomery, Jany24th 1862. Hon. Thos J. Hudson - Lamar, Mississippi. [check] Sir, Very pressing official duties have prevented an earlier reply to your letter of the 22d Ultimo. Your request - to appoint Delegates to the Planters' Convention, to meet at Memphis, on the 3rd Monday of February - has been complied-with by a nomination from this Department - of thirty six delegates to represent the State of Alabama, in Convention. The next mail will convey to you - the City-papers, containing the list of Delegates, and the printed Circular address, you did me the honor to enclose to me. Very respectfully, Your ob't Ser't. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. = Executive Department. Montgomery, Ala. Jany25th 1862 Mr Wm Alley, Tuskegee, Ala. [check] Sir, The State of Alabama has a number of public arms - muskets, pistols, and Cavalry-Sabres-scattered through the Country, which are, now, very much needed. I am, also, desirous of buying good double-barrel Shot-guns of musket calibre - and Rifles with good stocks and locks, with barrels of an in inch or over in Diameter - Suitable for boring out to a uniform Calibre- like the Mississippi rifle. I will pay you one dollar per gun, for all public arms, muskets, and pistols which you may collect in the Counties of Macon - Russell - Chambers - and Tallapoosa; and like compensation for all the Cavalry-Sabres, with their accoutrements. I will, also, pay you the same Commission for every good doublebarrel Shot-gun - and rifle, you may purchase for the State of above-mentioned quality and description, at prices from $8. to $18. the arms to be delivered to Col. W. R. Pickett. A. Q. M. Montgomery, who will pay for them.
I hand you a commission giving you authority to collect and buy arms for the State. Your obt Sevt (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter = Executive Department. Montgomery, Ala. Jany29th 1862 To His Excellency, Govr of the State of Virginia. [check] Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the rec't of your letter of 17th Inst. communicating a copy of the Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of Virginia, approving the declaration of sentiment & purpose contained in certain joint Resolutions of the legislature of the State of Georgia, and affirming & adopting the same; together with a communication- addressed by your Excellency - to the Legislature of Virginia upon the subject, and requesting me to present the same for the consideration of the Genl Assembly of this State. Cordially approving the Joint Resolutions - and endorsing, heartily, the substance of your message to the General Assembly of Virginia, it will afford me sincere pleasure to comply with your request - to communicate them to the General Assembly of Alabama, and to ask their most favorable consideration. Very Respy Your ob't Ser't. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter -
29 31 Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Jan. 31st 1862. To his Excellency, Isham G. Harris, Governor of Tennessee, [check] Sir/ I have the honor to acknowlege receipt of your letter of 10th Ulto. enclosing a copy of joint Resolutions - adopted by the General Assembly of Tennessee. "to take steps to open the Ports of the South to the Commerce of the World."
I regret that the Resolutions did not reach this Department, until after the General Assembly of Alabama had adjourned. If the emergency contemplated - continues I will communicate them at the next Session. Very respectfully, Your ob't Sev't. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter = Executive Department. Montgomery, Alabama, Jany31st 1862. To his Excellency, Joseph E. Brown, Governor of Georgia. [check] Sir, I have the honor to acknowlege receipt of your letter of 30th Ulto. communicating a copy of "An act to prevent, during the existing War, monopolies, extortions, and speculations in bread-stuffs - and other articles of general use and consumption, and to make such acts criminal - and to provide penalties for the same." passed by the General Assembly of Georgia at its recent session.
I regret that this communication did not reach this Department, until the Genl Assembly of Alabama had adjounred.
Should the emergency, covered by the act of the Legislature of Georgia, continue until the re-assembly of the Legislature of Alabama, in December next, I will, with pleasure, communicate the act for their consideration. Very Resp'y, Y'r Ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. = Executive Department. Montgomery, Ala. Jany31st 1862. [check] To his Excellency - Joseph E. Brown, Govr of Georgia. Sir; I regret my inability to reply, at an earlier period, to your letter of 14th Ulto. communicating the joint resolutions of the Genl Assembly of Geo. - approved 11th Ult. touching our Confederate relations, and pledging the resources of Geo. to a vigorous prosecution of the War - now being waged against the Confederate States, by the United States, until our independence shall have been, unconditionally, acknowleged by the United States; and solemnly affirming that the State of Georgia, will, under no circumstances, entertain any proposition- from any quarter - which may have - for its object, a restoration - or - re-construction of the late Union on any terms whatever"
I deeply regret that the Genl assembly of Alabama closed its session, a few days before the receipt of this communication of your Excellency Could the pleasure of submitting these joint-Resolutions to the Gen. Assembly of Ala. have been afforded me - I am sure that they would have been promptly adopted by that body; and I have the satisfaction to assure your Excellency that the people of this State - with one voice and heart, will maintain the high position assumed by the State of Georgia Should our final and complete triumph - upon the basis of the joint resolutions by the Genl Assembly of Geo. not have accomplished by the re-assembling of the Genl Assembly of Alabama in Decr next, I will then communicate the joint resolutions for their consideration & adoption. Very Respectfully, Yr Obt Sert (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. =
32 30 Executive Department. Montgomery, Ala. Feby. 1st 1862. Mr A. Burrows, Lessee of the Alabama Penitentiary. [check] Sir, In compliance with the provisions of "an act for the relief of Insane Convicts," approved December 9th, 1861, the Physician of the Penitentiary reported to this Department, the names of Robert H. Harrison - Robert Lee - Patrick Murphy - and others - as being insane Convicts. Under the provisions of the same Act, Drs James C. Harris, Thomas W. Mason - & M. G. Moore were appointed to examine said Convicts. They have done so - and report Robert H. Harrison - Robert Lee & Patrick Murphy insane, and fit subjects for the Hospital for Insane persons. You will, therefore, have said Convicts removed to the Hospital for Insane persons, at Tuscaloosa, Ala. See that necessary safe-guards are provided for their removal. The same compensation will be allowed for this service, as for conveying Convicts to the Penitentiary. Very Resp'y, Your obt Ser't. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. = Executive Department. Montgomery, Ala. Feby 4th 1862. Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va. [check] Sir. I have the honor to submit that Capt. R. M. Sands of 3d Regiment Ala. Vols. claims the right to the position of Lieut. Colonel of the 24th Regiment, 12 months' Ala. Volunteers. against Col. Wm. B. Downett - who is in possession and enjoyment of the office. The question was referred to Maj Genl Bragg commanding the Department; who declined to decide it, as you will see from the official communication of the Adjutant-General of that Department, to Capt. Sands, under date of 1st inst. on the ground that the officers of all 12-months' Regiments were commissioned by the State-authorities, and that the State Executive was, therefore, to determine all questions - as to the legality of the elections of the officers of such Regiments.
If the 24th Regiment had been received upon a call, or requisition made upon the State - the reference of Genl Bragg - of the question - to the State Authorities, might have been correct; but such is not the case. The 24th is what is, usually, called an independent Regiment, received into the Confederate Service without any formal call upon the State, and thus falling within the Act of Congresss, of 11th of May, 1861 "to make further provision for the Public defense," the 3d Sect. of which, expressly provides that, "the President shall be authorized to commission all officers, entitled to Commission, of the forces received under the Act. The question, here, involving a title to a Commission of a Regiment received under the act referred-toit would seem to follow, necessarily, that the question must be determined by the Confederate - and not the State authority.
Entertaining this opinion as to the Law, I must decline deciding the question, and submit the same, through your Department, to the President. I have the honor to be, Very Respectfully, Your obedient Servant. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.
31 33 Executive Department. Montgomery, Ala. February 7th 1862' Mr. J. M. Linebaugh, Havannah, Greene Co. Ala. [check] My Dear Sir, I have read, with feelings of State-pride, an account of the personal heroism displayed by your son Willam H. Linebaugh, a youth of eighteen years of age, and an honored private in the Selma Independent Blues - 8th Alabama Regt, in capturing the Battleflag of the Enemy, in skirmish, at New-Market Bridge, on the 22d Decr last.
Information has reached this Department, that this flag, after it had been presented by the Capton to his Commander Col John A. Winston, was - by the Colonel - returned to him as a personal trophy, and that your son had sent it home to his beloved father. My dear Sir, I can well imagine with what satisfaction your eyes gazed upon this captured banner, once the ensign of a great and glorious Union - but now of a Despotism - hateful to Alabama, and fast exciting the contempt of the Civilized World - which had been torn-down and triumphantly borne away by your intrepid son; but, as the Executive of the State, I beg to notify you that Alabama claims this noble youth as her son, and, as the banner was captured - by him from the Enemy while in her service - and in her name - Alabama claims the Honor of being made the recipient of this memento of his worth and daring. I have, therefore, respectfully to request that you will surrender the banner to me, that it may be deposited in the State-Capitol, with an appropriate recital - illustrative of the gallant act which secured it - to be preserved with other merriments of a sacred and glorious period in the History of Alabama. With great respect, I am Your obt Sert (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. = Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Feb. 7th 1862 Hon. J. A. Hill, Jasper, Walker Co. [check] My dear Sir, I embrace the first opportunity to reply to your patriotic letter of 29th Ult. The first reports of the recent battle in Kentucky, where our troops were outnumbered and defeated, was greatly exaggerated. Our men were surprized, but all - but a few - conducted the fight with the great gallantry, and are preparing and anxious - again to encounter the Enemy - and retrieve the disaster.
God bless and preserve your brave boy! The 16th Ala. Regt is not reported to have been actually engaged in the fight, and I have no doubt your boy is safe - and ready to give a good account of himself -
The great battles of the Campaign are yet to be fought. The North are making their most gigantic efforts for our subjugation, but "the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong" As sure as there is a just God - who controls the destinies of nations as well as the affairs of men, he will bring us off - in the end, victorious over our foes
Our army - however - must be increased - and the vacancies, created by the withdrawal of 12 months troops, must be filledup, promptly, by more troops for the War. I believe our brave men will volunteer in time, but every portion of the State must furnish its proper quota of troops, and if requisitions made upon the State are not duly met, by volunteers, the additional troops must be raised by a draft upon those Regiments which have not furnished their proportion. If they volunteer, they get $50 bounty for their families, but if
34 32 they are drafted, they will receive not a dollar for bounty. I am sorry to inform you, that, in case a draft should be ordered, the Western portion of Walker - and the whole of Winston County will be among the first included; as it notorious that they have not furnished any thing like their proportion of Volunteers. I am proud to hear that you purpose to raise a company for the War; and I hope your patriotic efforts will enable you to raise a large & spendid Company - in Walker & Winston, at an early day. Very Respectfully, Yr. Obt Sert (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. = Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Feby 7th 1862 Maj. Genl Braxton Bragg: Head Qrs Mobile, Ala. [check] Sir, I duly received your letter of the 1st Inst and for which am obliged. My regrets - at the inefficiency of the altered muskets are great. The plan adopted was one used by the old Government - as stated, in a note to this Department, by Col. Charles T. Pollard, President of our Rail-Road companies here, in whose shops the larger number of the arms was changed. A copy of his note is, herewith enclosed - to which I beg to call your attention.
I have also recd your letter of the 4th inst. containing the Report made by Capt Oladowski who tested the arms. A copy of this Report I have furnished to Col. Pollard.
Allow me to express my gratification at the important changes made - & contemplated in the organization of the army, near Mobile. It will afford me pleasure, hereafter, to communicate, through you directly, upon all matters connected with the Military defense of the Gulf-Coast. I am in hopes that the military spirit of our people may be made to contribute other available companies of Volunteers in the City of Mobile. I am pressing for two-or more Regiments there, and a battalion of artillery - if you can furnish the Guns. Very Respy - your obt Servt, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. = Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Feby 7th 1862. Capt. John Forsyth, Mobile. [check] Sir, Your dispatch of the 5th came while I was absent in Chambers Co - mustering a Cavalry Battalion for Tennessee. I have sent - by this mail - an order to Genl D. C. Greene to issue Uniforms to your Company - on your Commutation Contract; money to be paid - from allowances to be made for future service; Very Respecfully, Your obedient Servant, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. =
33 35 Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Feby 3d 1862. To Hon. R. H. Stough, Mayor of Mobile. [check] Sir In view of the increasing necessity to prepare - by every means in our power - to repel any attack which may be made against the State - and its cherished sea-port city - I deem it of vast importance to encourage the organization of Volunteer Companies - and a thorough drilling of the Militia in the City of Mobile. To more-effectually secure this object, I respectfully, and earnestly, request the City authorities to appeal to all the mercantile houses - and Retail-Shops, of every kind and description, to close-up their respective establishments by three o'clock, in the afternoon of each day. Such a general suspension of in-door employments will afford time and opportunity, and also, serve - as a Daily admonition and invitation to the Citizens to cultivate and practice the arts of War. This we must all do, if we are a wise people.
I know that the ardent patriot will - cheerfully - promptly-respond to such a recommendation as is here made, while the cold-blooded, avaricious speculator - who would line his pockets by gains - wrung from the distresses of his country - will cry-out against it - and even allege some cunningly-devised- and plausible protest for his refusal. But let the appeal be made and then as the names of such, as may refuse this boon to their Country, be published to the World, so that every true Patriot may know & shun suchmonsters
Very Respectfully, Your ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. = Executive Department, Montgomery, Ala. Feb 10th 1862. Bolivar Eason Esqr Talladega Ala [check] Dear Sir, I am in receipt of your letters of the 4th, 5th, & 7thinst. I will take the rifles - proposed to be manufactured by Mr Danl Wallis, at $25. [or $.25] each to be paid-for in State or Confederate Bonds. The size and bore to be the same as that of the Mississippi Rifle. The guns to be delivered within the time stated in his letter, and subject to your inspection and approval. You are authorised to contract with Mr Wallis accordingly.
Shot-guns - of Calibres - 12 - 13 - 14 - & 15 will be received also rifles - both flint and percussion, but the flint should cost less. Rifle-Barrels 15/16 of an inch, at the top, and one inch in diameter at the breech, will answer.
All public arms belong to the State - rifles, muskets &c Demand - and get them , and have them shipped to Col Pickett as rapidly as possible. [left margin] move 50 to here Very Respcty. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter =
36 34 Executive Department Montgomery Ala. Jany 22, 1862 Hon. Jno W. Henson Butler, Choctaw Co. [check] Dear Sir, A short[?] time since I had the pleasure to send you a commission to the vacancy of Probate Judge in Choctaw County, I hope you have qualified and entered upon the duties of your office.
I have to day, been pained, and deeply mortified at the contents of a letter received by the State Comptroller from the last Judge of Probate, by his clerk Mr Seale, It is of such a character as to demand my immediate notice, and I have enclosed a copy of it herewith, and a letter addressed by me to the Court of County Commissioners of Choctaw County, and I have to urge upon you by every consideration of public duty, to call the Court of County Commissioners together at the earliest possible day, and lay my communication before them I have retained a copy of that communication, and of this letter Very respectfully Yr obdt serv't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter
Executive Department Montgomery Jan'y 28, 1862 To the Court of County Commissioners of Choctaw County Alabama [check] Gentlemen I take the liberty by the permission of Col W. J. Greene, the State Comptroller of Public Accounts to enclose you herewith a copy of a letter addressed to him on the 17th inst by W B. F. Seale, Clerk of the Probate Court of your County, writing for, and in behalf of Hon Joshua Morse, Judge of Probate: and I beg to say that I am not prepared to believe that the Citizens of Choctaw County will assume the attitude toward their State, and our glorious southern Confederacy, assigned them by this letter of Mr Seale, I hope and believe that Mr Seale is honestly mistaken, for I am confident that there are no people throughout the Confederate States, more loyal to the Government, and none who more dearly value their liberties, than the people of my own beloved Alabama, and I have had no reason to doubt that the people of Choctaw County are less devoted to their State, or less disposed to maintain our gallant armies in the field, in resistance to the cruel and unholy war now waged by the abolition cohorts of Abraham Lincoln, than those of any other County in Alabama, But if the statement of Mr Seale be true, then the people of Choctaw County will occupy that unenviable position, not only so, but far worse than that, for when the pen of the truthful historian shall account our sacrifices upon our countrys atlas to maintain the inheritance of freemen bequeathed to us by our fathers, and sealed with their lifes blood, that pen will write down, to be read by posterity
35 37 with shame and contempt, that there was one county, in the proud state of Alabama, whos people, in the hottest of the campaign, and while our brave troops were shivering amid the snows of winter, and baring their brave bosoms to the guns of the enemy, ignominiously deserted their state, refused to contribute even the pitiful tax needed to carry on their State government, and quietly folded their arms for a tame and cowardly submission to their Northern Masters! Great God! Can this be so? No! Gentlemen, No! Never! There is nothing valuable, nothing great or good in this life to be achieved without toil, privation, sacrifice! Liberty has its price, that price is not only eternal vigilance, but it is treasure and blood, and life itself. And a people who do not value liberty beyond all these, do not desire to be free.
Mr Seale's idea is that no responsible man in Choctaw County will undertake the office of Tax Collector for fear of public condemnation, because the people will have to make sacrifices in order to pay their taxes,
When did a people ever wish glorious liberty wonderful discovery! When were taxes ever paid without sacrifices? When did a people ever seek glorious liberty and independence without the expenditure of treasure, and the spilling of the hearts blood? And are not the people of Choctaw willing to do this.? Are they prepared to withhold their sacrifices, and calmaly look on and see the other counties in Alabama pour their gifts into the Treasury to preserve and perpetuate their birthright, and they accept the benefit? I don't believe it, and yet this letter is official, and remains upon the files of the Executive Department. For the honor of Choctaw County, for her future good name, I beg that you will ask leave to withdraw the letter, and not permit the archives of your state to be disgraced by a record which casts such a cloud of suspicion over the fair name and loyalty of your people. I have the honor to know some of them personally and well, and I am sure no truer, no nobler patriots are to be found in Alabama, or elsewhere.
The means to preserve your state organization the means to feed and clothe your intrepid soldiery; the means to provide for their helpless families, while they are far away upon the battle field, and the means of education to the rising generation of the State, and dependant upon the Taxes levied upon the property of the State, and shall the demagogue be allowed to say that he will not supply his contribution, and the people ought not to be called upon to pay now because the infernal Yankees have blockaded our ports, and we have to sacrifice a horse, or a few bags of Cotton, or some thing else at less than remunerating prices in order to pay our taxes.? No! Gentlemen, sacrifice anything, - horses, cattle, cotton bags, lands and houses, every thing of property, and life besides, if need be, to maintain the honor of our cause
For the convenience of the people, the General Assembly wisely postponed until the first day of May, the day of settlement for the Tax Collectors of the State. A large portion of the taxes have been already collected in some of the counties, and in all others, the Tax Collectors are proceeding with their duties. If the office is vacant in the
38 36 County of Choctaw, you owe it to your County, you owe it to your State, to assemble forthwith, and appoint some one to fill the vacancy, some reliable honest patriot who will fearlessly do his duty - despite the senseless clamors of demagogues and misers who would see their Countrys honor and liberties perish rather than make a sacrifice of their accursed gold in order to prevent it, And the session of your Court, when assembled, should never adjourn until you had secured such an honest & faithful officer, and put him to labor in his patriotic work[?]
Hoping to hear from you at an early day in reply to this communication. I am gentlemen Very respectfully Your Obdt Servt (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.
[left margin] Clitherall 2
Executive Department Montgomery Ala Jany 28 1862 To Dr Jas C. Harris } Dr Thos W Mason } Dr M G Moore} Wetumpka } Gentlemen I am in receipt of your communication of the 21st inst. enclosing your report upon the cases of insanity, certified to this department by Dr Thos W. Mason, Physician of the Penitentiary, & which you were appointed to examine among the prisoners in the State prison.
Your account rendered for $150. is also received and filed. As no appropriation was made by the General Assembly to pay for the Services of Physicians in such cases, & as the amount of compensation has not been fixed by law & the basis of settlement, with you will become a rule, I think it proper to refer your account to the consideration of the General Assembly Very Respectfully Yr. Obdnt Servt (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. [left margin] Albrt
Executive Department Montgomery, Ala. Feb 5th 1862. Hon. A. B. Sprewill, Bridgeville, Pickens Co. Ala [check] Dear Sir, Your letter of the 27th Ulto. came duly to hand covering the proceedings of a public meeting held in Carrollton on the 4th Ulto. in relation to the "Stay-law" - and the monetary condition of the Country. I had previously received the proceedings of a^nother^ similar meeting in the County of Choctaw, and have replied to the same, through the Columns of the Montgomery Advertizer & Gazette, and beg, herewith, to communicate to you a copy of that letter. Very resp'y Yr obt Sert (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter
Military Circular 39
37 Executive Department; Montgomery, ala, Jan. 30th, 1862 [tick] To all the Commissioned officers of the Militia of the State of alabama, Deeming it my imperative duty, in the present conjuncture of affairs, thoroughly - to organize - enroll - and discipline the Militia of the State, I invoke your hearty & prompt co. operation. Three thousand copies of the Revised Military Code have just been printed, and will be promptly forwarded to the Judges of Probate in every County in the State, for immediate distribution. This publication contains the Military law of the State, and you are expected to make yourselves familiar with its entire provisions. Owing to various Causes, many of the Military offices in the State are without incumbents; and, in some instances, elections ordered have not been held, because the persons - whose duty it was to conduct them - criminally omitted its performance - or - because there was no competition for the office. The remedy for Criminal default is in your own hands. Sect. 2d of Chapt. 4th Military Code, provides that "The elections of Major - and Brigadier - Generals, Colonels - Lieut - Colonels - and Majors, shall be held at the same places, within their proper Districts, and to subject to the same rules, regulations, and restrictions, as are now - or may, hereafter be prescribed, by law, for holding or conducting Elections for members of the General Assembly of this State. The Rules and Regulations prescribed by law for conducting Elections for members of the Genl assembly, are found in the Code of Alabama, on pages 94 to 104, inclusive The latter clause of Section 3d. of 4th Chapter of Military Code, directs the mode of Election for Company-officers. The ommission of Duties therein prescribed should be punished by Courts-Martial. Vacancies - however - in Company-offices, may, all times, be filled, as directed in Sect. 12th of Chapt 4th of Military Code. And, in all Cases, when Elections have been ordered, and duly advertized, and no one offers for the Command, provision is made for filling the Vacancy, by Sect. 17th in the Same Chapter. The Ordinance of the State-Convention, adopted Jan. 23rd 1861, which annulled all Military Commissions in the Militia of the State, expressly provided, that "officers - then holding Commissions - should not be deprived of their Commands, until a new Election should be held - and their successors appointed" -& qualified." It is not sufficient, merely, that there should be an appointment - or an election or even a Commission - but the person appointed - or Elected - must be qualified; that is, he must take the Oath of office as directed in Sect. 16th - Chapt. 4th of the Military Code. No officer - Civil or Military - Can be permitted to assume his trust, until he is thus qualified It follows - that all officers in Command, on the 23d Jan. 1861, who have not - otherwise vacated their Commands, are still in office, unless they have been superseded by the election and qualification of others; and all such officers are expected to discharge their respective duties, until they are legally superseded. The Lincoln Despotism is now making its most gigantic struggle for our subjugation - Their immense Armies are closingin upon our frontiers, while their fleets and floating-batteries are swarming upon our Coasts. The Confederate States must rely upon their-own unaided Powers. These, with the blessing of God, shall, in due time bring us deliverance. There are, in Alabama alone, One Hundred and six Thousand Militia, between the ages of 18 & 45. of this number, there are, to-day, within the limits of this State, subject to Enrollment, and the order of the Commander-in-chief - not less than Seventy five thousand. This force, I mean