Civil War and Reconstruction Governors of Alabama

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63 65 of War, no so urgently needed, the moral effect of such reverses is extremely unfortunate. The policy of defending persons and property, as such, will have to be abandoned; our people must begin to think more of their liberty, which is at stake - and less of their property - which is endangered ; they can only save the one - by securing the other. Even if a position is entirely defensible, unless the holding-of-it contributes to the success of our cause - it dissipates our strength by dividing it. Our forces - now scattered over a vast extent of Country - hardly within supporting distance of each other - should be concentrated upon some of the great lines of defense, in heavy Columns, that could, succesfully, attack and repulse the invaders. If it be not done, they will be beaten & cut-off in detail; disaster will succeed disaster, until the whole of the South will be over-run, and we will be driven as a last resort, to that most cruel - bloody - & tedious of all Warfare - a Guerilla-War. It is not my intention to advise your Excellency to the adoption of any course, in this particular instance, but I thought it not unfitting to make this an opportunity for the expression of opinions long entertained that we might "take counsel together," in these times of peril. I have the honor to be Your ExcellencyYour Ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. c

Executive Department; Montgomery, Alabama, March 1st 1862 Jos W. Taylor, Esqr Dear Sir, Capt. Fields has just handed me your letter of the 26th Ulto and $82 75/100 - proceeds of a series of "Tableaux vivants" given by the young ladies & gentlemen of Eutaw - contributed for the most needy Alabama Soldiers.

Capt. Fields had the misfortune to lose the socks - gloves and Comforters, by their being stolen from the State-office- or place of Deposit, in Greenesboro.'

The money will be placed to the credit of the Hospital - Fund & used for the releif of needy - sick - & wounded Soldiers of Alabama. I hope its application, in this direction, will meet the approbation of the Contributors. Be so good as to tender the young gentlemen & Ladies of Eutaw, my thanks for the contribution. Very Respectfully, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. c

Executive Department; Montgomery, Alabama, March 3d 1862. Col. W. H. Chambers, & Wm H. Thorntow. Gentlemen, You are, each, hereby authorized to act for the State of Alabama, at Eufaula, in protecting the Chattahoochie against the encroachments of the Enemy. You will co-operate with the authorities of Columbus - and other Towns. Accompany the Engineer and others on the River, to select points for obstructing & defending, and do all other things that may be deemed necessary & proper to accomplish the object aforesaid. Yours, Resp'y (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. c

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66 64 Executive Department; Montgomery, Alabama, March 3d, 1862. De L. C. Garland, Prest Univy of Ala. Tuscaloosa. Sir, On the 21st ulto. I addressed a letter to the Corps of Cadets, at the University, advising of the decision of this Department upon the subject of their enlistment in the Army. It has, further, occurred to me, as not inappropriate, to make an appeal, also, to the officers - both scholastic & military - attached to the University - to remain at their posts, where, in my judgement, they are rendering the State & Country more important and valuable service than they possibly could perform in any other position.

Teachers of youth - the future stay and dependence of our Government, and the Church - whether they be professors in Colleges - or superintendents of of Village - or Country school-rooms are, by the Military Law of the State, wisely, exempted from Military duty and drill - except in an extreme emergency - when it might become necessary to order, into active - & immediate service - every available man. They are, likewise exempted - and shall be - from every draft which may have to be ordered. These considerations have so impressed my mind, in view of our present condition, that I find myself compelled - through an address to you, to assure the officers of the University of my high appreciation of their patriotic Services - in their accustomed spheres, and to, earnestly request that they will remain at their posts, and faithfully - as they heretofore have done, labor for the continued usefulness of the University over which you have the honor to preside. Yr ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. c

Executive Department; Montgomery, Alabama, March 3d, 1862. Dr L. C. Garland President of the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa Sir, Your suggestions - as to making Cartridges are approved. You will buy powder and lead at such prices, as in your discretion will be proper, and have the Cartridges prepared for the use of the Corps of Cadets, to be used with such oeconomy[?] as you see necessary - at this time. And, if the materials can be had, you will oblige me by having Cartridges made for the State. Powder (Rifle) is selling - at home- from $1¢ to $2¢ per pound - lead - from 15 to 25 cents. I am buying - within these limits, through my agents. I will thank you, also, to have guns repaired by your machinists and rifles bored - if practicable: I mean the arms purchased by the State's agent - in your County. Those large enough should have the bore of the Mississippi Rifle - 33 or 34 to the Lb - smaller ones the bore of Colt's repeaters. I enclose you another check for $1500. 00 which you will see applied to payment for arms purchase and delivered - To this account you will also place cost & charges for ammunition. I will make further remittance - when advised that it may be needed. Very Resp'y Your ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. c

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65 67 Executive Department Montgomery, Alabama, March 4th 1862 Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Sec of War: Sir,

In response to my proclamation for twelve new regiments, our people are volunteering very favorably; and I hope to have a number of regiments in Camp, in a few weeks. The Contest for positions, by patriotic and ambitious men, will cause some little delay, which, though much to be regretted - cannot be avoided, under the Rule for the Election of officers.

I am accepting Cavalry for one Regiment only, and urging the men to arm with double-barrel shot guns, but fear many cannot be had. They must have sabres - which the Confederacy will furnish. Capt. Wagner - Ordnance - officer here - should have them ready, in two or three weeks, and saddles and other equipments. They should have pistols - if possible. And now - my dear Sir - as Pensacola is to be abandoned - and all the land. Troops to be removed from Mobile - will you not furnish arms for my infantry-regiments - and let them go to Mobile, as fast as I can organize them? The knowledge or assurance of this fact would greatly stimulate enlistments. So soon as our people learn that our Gulf-Coast is abandoned to the Enemy, they will become greatly excited, and prompt supply of arms will tend - largely - to re-assure the people. We are destitute here-now, having sent, out of the State - all the public arms the State had, and contributed them - with our brave troops - to the Common Cause.

I feel most profoundly - the misfortunes which have recently befallen our arms - and the imperious ncessity of recovering our losses - in Tennessee and Kentucky; and Alabama will bend all her energies to meet the demands upon her patriotism; but, at the same time, as far as it is within the power of the Confederate Government, I earnestly insist upon every possible contribution for the defense of Mobile, and the Alabama River. There is an element of population bordering this river and its tributaries, which it is of vital importance to preserve intact.

I have established several camps in South-Alabama, and two - in North Alabama - one at Huntsville, & one at La Grange. A quarter-master & commissary should be posted at Huntsville, immediately, and supplies of Clothing sent thither without delay. I beg you, also, to have shipped - here, immediately, clothing for 5000 men. The State can furnish jackets and pants for several thousand, and will aid - as far as in her power, to clothe all. I hope that the proper officers of the War-Department will give these matters prompt attention; and I, further ask instructions to the Confederate officers here, to respond - efficiently - & promptly - to my requisitions - in aid of the organizations in progress. Very Respy Your ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter c

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68 66

Executive Department Montgomery, Alabama, March 5th 1862

Mr. S. J. Shanklin, Huntsville, Ala.

Dear Sir,

By direction of the Governor, I herewith enclose you a certificate of Deposit to your credit, for Fifteen Hundred dollars to pay for guns and other munitions of war, purchased in the North - Alabama Counties - and deposited with you for the State - the receipt of which acknowledge to me - and oblige.

Very resp'y. (Signed) Jas S. Albright, Private Secretary

Executive Department; Montgomery, Alabama, March 5th 1862.

His Excellency John J. Pettus, Governor ofMississippi.

Sir,

It was with infinite pleasure I received your letter of the 22d. ulto. The reverses which our armies have recently met with, have never, for a moment, made me despond. Distressing - as they were - in the loss of so many gallant men, and the unexpected surrender of so large a number to an overwhelming force - they have only nerved me to the performance of any additional labor or sacrifice which may be required and have inspired the people of Alabama to renewed exertions, in defence of their liberties. "The Storm has opened on us in earnest," but the fury of its commencement portends - I hope - the shortness of its duration. Depend upon it - we will weather it, and brighter days - and a glorious future will shine upon us. At all events - Mississippi and Alabama have their fates inseparably linked for weal or woe, the hearts of their people throb with a common feeling - they must & they will stand - shoulder-to-Shoulder, in council & on the field, and if the worst should come, the "here we rest," to which tradition ascribes the name of this State, will be uttered by its people in a more solemn sense than at its origin. "Here we rest" living as Freemen - or dead on the field of Honor. Perhaps the late misfortunes were necessary to rouse us to a Sense of the magnitude of the magnitude of the Struggle in which we are engaged. We were too secure of success, and were guilty of the Error of despising our Enemies. Our liberties will be proved by us - in proportion to the Sacrifices they cost; and, won without suffering, might, soon, have been surrendered without reluctance. This war will make - for us - a History, whose earliest pages - stained with the blood of the martyrs, will exercise - upon the future of our Country more profound & permanent an influence, than any peaceful changes of Government accompanied with whatever Prosperity, could ever have done. While - therefore - I lament the loss of so many generous spirits - it does not make me - nor our people here - despond - but gives firmness to our resolve, and fills us with the unconquerable will & study of Revenge.

But we are not wasting our time in vain regrets - or mere resolves; the twelve Regiments - call-for by the Confederate authorities, are being rapidly filled: Camps of Instruction have been established, by me, in various parts of the State; and competent instructors will be provided to drill them. As in Mississippi - the spirit of volunteering was never more excited, & our difficulty is - not in procuring men - but arms and ammunition. Every possible effort is now being made, by me, to obtain them. A contract has been made, with one Company, for 5000 Mississippi Rifles, the delivery of which will being in two months. The large fund placed in my hands by the last Legislature, for Military defense, has been disposed-of, by me, in a contract for arms, with a company of the most responsible & practical men in the State. I have, also, contracted for the manufacture of 7000 pikes & Bowie-

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69

knives of an approved pattern, the manufacture of which is now in progress; and am endeavouring to ascertain where contracts can be made for the manufacture of Cannon and powder. You may be assured that we are not idle: We feel the importance of the struggle, and are determined not to be over-ran by a people-possessed of scarcely a trait that entitles them to respect, and of every one that makes Contempt and hatred their due. Agents have been appointed to purchase guns in every County, and all Rifles that are procured, are being bored-out to the Caibre of the Mississippi Rifles. Purchased guns, & rifles bored to the same size.

Nor will my efforts relay with these preparations; any thing that occurs to me - that can be done, will be, immediately attended-to; and in this - I am but the Representation of the people of the state who are prepared for every sacrifice. In this constant pressure of engagements, it is not in my power to name a time - nor fix a place when I could consult with the Governors of other Southern States. I recognize, with you, the great importance of a common understanding between us, as to the means and extent of the efforts necessary to conquer our safety; but devoting all my energies - now - to sustaining our common government - which allow support, I am not prepared to suggest any mode of State-action. I will be happy to receive from you any suggestion as to the time and place of such a meeting, however; and of any system of defensive measures which may have occurred to you. It is clear to me that the CottonStates - which inaugurated this war for Liberty, must depend upon themselves for its successful termination, and I believe they are equal to their duty. If stern necessity should compel the graingrowing States to yield to a superincumbent pressure from the North, we cannot: with us it is a life - & death struggle: annihilation-orsuccess are our allternatives. I think, from the recent activity of the Confederate Government - that it is becoming aware of this Truth: large bodies of Troops are being concentrated in Tennessee, and our invaders will have to be driven from that State. It may render necessary the surrender of some of our seaports, which will be grievously wounding to our pride; but it will result advantageously for us ultimately. One victory - on a well-stricken field where the Enemy are hurled-back-disorganized and dismayed, is worth to our cause - now - all our seaports - and a thousand fights - which bring no consequence in their train

As to the Confederate Treasury notes - it seems to me that it will not be difficult to keep them at par. It is true that, during temporary reverses, there are men in our midst whose hearts never expand the circumference of a Federal Dollar, would speculate on the uncertainty of our liberty, but they are few. The remedy is simply for the Confederate Congress to make such notes a legal tender in payment of all debts. There is no Constitutional prohibition, and such an act would ensure their currency at par. In Alabama they have been made receivable in payment of all public dues, and are as current as our own bank-notes. If such a course should be adopted, I apprehend no difficulty.

Let me hear from you again, in regard to the meeting of the Southern Governors; any suggestions you might have to make, would receive my most careful examination; for I know they would be such as could be prompted - only - by the most-devoted and sagacious consideration of our Condition - and necessities.

Since writing the above, I have learned that Pensacola is to be abandoned, and have been called-on by the Commanding, General, for Negroes to assist in dismantling the fortifications, and removing the Guns. The larger part of the Troops, at mobile, have also been removed - leaving that City greatly weakened in its defenses. I shall proceed, immediately, thither, and call, into active service, the Volunteer Corps of Geno Butler's Brigade

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70 68 and shall endeavour to concentrate there as many other Volunteers or Militia as may be needed. I feel strongly inclined to call for Volunteers for a limited time - less than 12 months, for service in Defense of that city. It occurs to me, that it is important not only to Alabama - but to Mississippi, to retain possession of it

Aside from the vast damage the Enemy might inflict - along our navigable Streams - now swollen by the Rains - the Mobile & Ohio RailRoad - if they should secure possession of its Southern Terminous might be used - with disastrous effect, upon both States. I, therefore request that, as Mobile is the common Sea-port of both our States, your Excellency should unite with me, in the adoption of measures, for its immediate defense, by sending Volunteers - or Militia there, who will be under the control of the Commanding-General S. Jones, C. S. A. They should be provided - should you send them - with from ten to twenty days' rations. Most Respectfully, Your ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. c

Executive Department: Montgomery, Alaama, March 6th 1862 [check] Proclamation of the Governor of Alabama. For the protection of our Gulf-Coast - to repel invasion, and to place Mobile in a state of security - I shall order-out a large Militia force from the Counties of Mobile, Washington, Clarke, Baldwin, Marengo, Choctaw, Sumpter, Greene, Perry, Wilcox, Monroe - Dallas, Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Bibb, Shelby, Covington, & Autauga, for the term of Ninety days unless sooner discharged. I will accept, in advance of the Militia - and for the same term - sixty four Volunteer-Companies, from the same Counties, who must arm, clothe, and equip themselves; each Company to consist of one Captain - one First-Lieutenant - 2 Second Lieutenants - five Sergeants - four Corporals - and not less than Sixty four - nor more than one Hundred Privates.

All Companies - raised under this proclamation - will be held as Minute men, and must be prepared to proceed, immediately, to Mobile. Each Company must provide - at least six axes - for hatchets - & four shovels or spades; and, at least Ten days' rations to commence the march.

It is not probably - that the services of these troops will be required for the full term; and they will not encumber themselves with any useless - or unnecessary Clothing; and with no more baggage than is allowed by the Regulations, will be allowed. It is desirable that each man, should if possible, provide himself with at least twenty rounds of ammunition - Suitable for the gun he is armed-with, before marching; and take with him, his bullet-mould - and powder-flask. Each Company will furnish its own transportation to the nearest point on the River or Rail-Road, and transportation will be furnished - from such points to Mobile. As time is of importance - the Captain of each Company - so soon as it is organwith the full number of officers - non-commissioned officers - and privates and provided with the rations and implements specified, will report his muster-roll to the adjutant & Inspector General, of the State, and proceed - immediately - with his company, to Mobile, reporting - on his arrival - to the officer in command at that place.

[LS] In testimony whereof, I, Jno Gill Shorter Governor of the State of Alabama - have here unto set my hand, and affixed the Great Seal of the State, this Sixth day of March, 1862 (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. c By the Governor (Signed) P. H. Brittan. Secy of State

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72 70 burn every lock of Cotton, within the State if it be necessary, to prevent it from falling into the hands of the public Enemy; and if the people of these Cotton-producing States are a wise people, they will raise not another crop of cotton beyond the demands for Home-Consumption, until this unholy & cruel War shall cease. Let the States of the North, which have fattened upon your toil, and which now seek your subjugation, and to impose upon you the burdens of untold millions of War-expenditures; and let the nations of Europe - which behold your struggle for deliverance, while their suffering people are clamoring for your great staple - see and learn that you value Liberty & free government far above all other Earthly considerations.

Plant not, then, one seed of Cotton beyond your home-wants, but put down your lands in Grains, and every other kind & description of farm product, and raise every kind of Farm-produce live-stock, which may contribute to the support of your own families, and the needy families of your brave defenders, - which will be wanted, also, for the subsistence of the grand armies, which shall march to the achievement of your Independence.

Men - brave & gallant men - responding to the call of their bleeding Country, are rushing, by thousands, to the Field. Their cry is for arms with which to engage the foe! People of Alabama! will you not send the Shot-guns & rifles, rusting in your houses, that I may place them in the hands of your own sons, to- defend your altars & your homes? People of Alabama! Will you not commit your arms into their hands? Agents are appointed - all over the State, to collect arms. If they do not find you - I beg you to find them! Let every Sheriff and Judge of Probate, and all State-officers, civil & Military - receive & forward arms. Expenses will be promptly paid by the State.

Let every man do something towards arming our troops if he cannot go to the Battlefield. Turn your shops into Laboratories for the manufactories of of arms & the munitions of War. Send me thousands of Shot-guns, & rifles - Bowie-knives & pikes Send powder lead and ball. What you cannot afford to give the State will buy. Let the entire resources & energies of the people be devoted to the one great purpose of War - War stern & unrelenting - War to the Knife! - Such a War, in the Providence of God - all may be compelled to wage, in order to vindicate the inalienable right of self-government.

As vile extortion is an abominable sin against humanity, all good men are earnestly urged to denounce its practice - and crush-on its spirit. Creditors are counselled to exercise moderation & forbearance and all classes and conditions of people invited to cultivate a spirit of mutual confidence - of Loyalty and devotion to their State, & Confederate Government. With a true appreciation of the dangers which surround us, and of our duty to God, & our Country, let us all live and labor, and, if need be - die, for the advancement of the glorious cause for which we are contending.

[Locus Sigilli] In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the Great Seal of the State to be affixed, at the City of Montgomery, this first day of March, A. D. 1862 and of the Independence of the Confederate States of America - the Second year. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

By the Governor. (Signed) P. H. Brittan, Secy of State c

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69 71 Executive Department, Montgomery, Alabama, March 7th, 1862.

Messrs Brawner & Putman, Griffin, Georgia, Gentlemen, I am directed - by the Governor, to enclose you herewith, a check for six hundred dollars on the Bank of Commerce, Savannah, Georgia, to pay your accounts for "Army regulations of the Confederate States" and "School of the guides" furnished by you for the State of Alabama, and to request that you acknowledge the receipt of the same, to me. Very Respectfully, (Signed) Jas S. Albright Private Secretary c

Executive Department; Montgomery, Alabama, March 7th 1862. Mr J. W. Oslin, La Fayette, Chambers Co. Dear Sir, I reply to your letter of the 6[?]th inst., the Governor directs me to inform you, that you are authorised to "seize all Public arms" for the State. In the particular case, referred-to, by you, seize the Sabre - quietly - if possible, and - if that cannot be done, then use such force - as may be necessary to enable you to obtain possession of it. Unless the Party, having it, makes affidavit, before some person authorized to administer oaths, that it is not public property - never belonged to the State, and he obtained it from some person - or persons, who had the right to sell of dispose of it, and that it is, bona-fide, his private property; you will pursue the same course, in all similar similar cases. If you go into service, give the Governor the name of some efficient - and energetic man, to act in your place. Very Respy (Signed) Jas S. Albright, Private Secy

Executive Department; Montgomery, Alabama, March 1st. 1862 Proclamation, by the Governor of Alabama. The recent disasters which have befallen our armies, instead of depressing - should nerve the unconquerable purpose, and arouse the mighty [stricken word] ^power^ of these Confederate States. Seven millions of people, resolutely determined to maintain their right of self government, and not bow their necks to the oppressor's yoke, can never be subjugated. They will rise in their majesty, and strength, and, with the blessing of God upon their righteous Cause, will drive back the invaders from their land and Country.

The reverses of our arms have imposed new duties upon Alabama and her sister Confederate States. The first is - to bury the War[?] of Gold, and quench-out that sordid spirit, which values property above Liberty, and to piously, cultivate that martyr-spirit which will sacrifice every material interest rather than peril the priceless inheritance of Freedom. Cut-off - as their supplies may be, from the North-West, the Cotton-States should rely, solely, upon their-own granaries & products, to furnish subsistence for the armies within their borders. With their Ports closed against the markets of the World, without remuneration for the labor of its production, & without, even - the material for covering the staple, the growing of Cotton - to any considerable extent - will, not only ^peril^ the organization of the great armies - which must be fed, but will serve to increase the energy - and stimulate the avarice of our foes. The people of Alabama are requested - and the Military Officers of the State will be directed to

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71 73 Executive Department; Montgomery, March 10th 1862. Mr A[?] J. Con[?]. Athens, Limestone Co. Ala. Dear Sir: Your letter & report, of the 25th Ult. to P. H. Brittan, Secy of State, had been handed to this department, for answer.

The Governor directs me to inform you, that you are exempted from Militia-duty, during the continuance of your agency, to collect - purchase - or receive contributions of arms & munitions of War for the State; Very Respectfully, (Signed) Jas S. Albright Private Secretary.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Alabama, March 12th 1862. James Q. Smith, Esqr Dear Sir, Your letter of the 8th Inst., in relation to the transfer of your brother from the "LaGrange Military School" to the University of Alabama, has been received.

The Governor directs me to inform you, that, under the act - referred-to in your letter, he has no power to authorize the Superintendent of the University - to receive your brother - or any of the Cadets of either of the Schools - mentioned in it - to be educated at the University - at the expense of the State. Very Respy c (Signed) Jas S. Albright, Private Secretary.

Executive Department; Montgomery, Alabama, March 15th /62 Hon J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of War, Richmond Virginia Sir, I beg leave, respectfully, to bring to your notice, that some months since, Wm P Vanderveer - acting as agent in the Clothing Department of Alabama, - supplied Lieut. Spalding - commanding a Company of Col. T. Lomax' Regiment Ala. Vol. - with Clothing, for which Lieut. S. - as the officer commanding the Company - executed a clothing Contract to pay the State-agent the amount due, out of the commutation money - when paid Lieut. S. has some time since - received the Commutation-money for the Company, and repeated applications have been made - by the State-agent, Mr Vandeveer - to him for the money, but - so far - without being able to obtain it. Lieut. S. has not - and I fear - will not pay the money.

Under the circumstances, I ask that Lieut. S. may be, immediately arrested, and charges preferred against him for unofficer-like Conduct. It is highly important that defalcations, like these, should be met at the threshold, otherwise the evil will spread. The State has - at this time - due it, from Communtation-money, in the hands of officers commanding Companies - nearly two hundred thousand dollars, and defalcations will increase, unless thre first offenders are promptly punished - A severe example would have the most beneficial effect. I have the honour to be, c Very respectfully Your ob't Sert (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. 120[?]

(Signed) Jas S. Albright, Private Secretary.

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74 72 Executive Department Montgomery, Alabama March 15th 1862 To the Judges of Probate and Sheriffs of every county in the State. It is important that returns should, at once, be made to this Department, of the number of Companies in the Service of the Confederate States, from each County, in the State, and the term of service of each Company

The duty of ascertaining and reporting the same, I devolve upon the Judge of Probate and Sheriff of each County, requesting them, immediately upon the receipt of this circular, to ascertain; 1. The number of Companies from their County, in the service of the Confederate States; 2. The term of service of each Company, whether for twelve months or the War; 3. The name of the Capt. of each of said Companies, The information I require is essential to the military operations of the State, and should be furnished me, as early as possible. The Judges of Probate and Sheriffs are requested to act at once and report by letter, directed to me at Montgomery Alabama (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter c

Executive Department; Montgomery, Alabama, March, 17th 1862. Mr Joseph Hutchinson, Dear Sir, I must raise several thousand ninety-day troops, under my proclamation of the 6th inst. to go to Mobile for the defense of the Coast. They must be ready, early in April, to prevent the necessity of a Draft, which will be forthwith ordered, unless the troops are raised by Volunteering.

Here is a field of usefulness for you, in the present emergency; and I, respectfully, ask you to accept an appointment from this office - as traveling agent, to visit the Counties, in your Section of the State named in my proclamation, and urge the people to organize - at once - in response to my call.

All expenditures incurred by you - in the necessary discharge of this Agency, will be refunded by the State.

Hoping to have the pleasure of a favorable response, I am, Very Respectfully, Your ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. c

Executive Department; Montgomery, Alabama March 17th 1862. Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secy of War, Richd Va. Sir, Is it possible to get a few thousand muskets or rifles from recent importations - or otherwise, to put into the hands of my War-Regiments - now raising. We are badly needing these arms, on the Coast, for defense of Pensacola & Mobile, both; Where I am re-inforcing, by sending a number of Wartroops to camp, as well as troops for limited service.

An early answer is respectfully requested. Your ob't Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. c

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