Shorter_correspondence_RSG00689_Q145250_Q145648

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21 23 Executive Department Montgomery, Ala. Jan 16th 1862. Majr Genl Braxton Bragg, [check] Pensacola. Sir, A Colonel - commanding one of our Alabama Regiments- in Virginia, has notified this Department that the Secretary of War has directed him to turn-over-to the Ordnance-officer of the Confederate States - the arms and accoutrements of his discharged men. The Regiment was enlisted for 12 months. We have Six Regiments, in the Service - all armed by the State - who will be discharged, in a few months - unless they re-enlist. Circulars have been issued by the Secretary of War, giving notice the Government will not pay for privatearms, in the hands of twelve-months' troops. To prevent any misconstruction - and to adjust the question - as to whether the State shall have her arms return with her Troops, or be held, by the Confederate Authority, for the use of other troops from Alabama, who may re-organize the Regiments, as the property of the Confederacy, and credited to the State - in her account of Expenditures; I propose to correspond with the Secretary of War at an early day.

As the arms of the First Alabama Regiment are in your Command, and will - likely - remain on the Coast, where they can be effectively used for the Defense of Alabama - as well as the Common Cause. I am persuaded that - as to them - any adjustment which may be made would be satisfactory; but, in advance of any adjustment of the questions involved, I deem it my duty to notify you that the State of Alabama claims property in the arms held by "The First Alabama, and all other Twelve-months' Regiments - from this State under your command; as also - property in all accoutrements, & Camp-Equipments, furnished by the State; and this notification is forwarded - merely as precautionary - & to avoid anyimagined plea of estoppel which might be suggested in case of a failure - on part of the State - to properly adjust her claim with the Secretary of War.

Hoping you will do me the honor to acknowledge - the receipt of this communication, I am With high regard, Your obt' Sert (Signed) John Gill Shorter - P. S. I have retained a copy. = Executive Department. Montgomery, Ala. Jany 14th 1862. Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secy of War. [check] Sir, The State of Alabama has, in service, a number of Twelve-months' Volunteers, who have been wholly, armed with the public arms of the State, and whose accoutrements, and Camp-Equipages were furnished in a great degree, by the Stae, and by the men themselves. Some of these Regiments are about closing-up their term of enlistment, and the occasion suggests the propriety of adjusting the rights & claims of the State and her Citizens, before the arms - are surrendered by her Troops. As the arms - & all other appliances - furnished by this State - were heartily contributed by the Common Defense, Alabama asks no other consideration - or concession - than such as may be accorded by her Sister Confederate States

A Colonel, in Command ^of one^ of our Regiments

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24 22 in Virginia, has advised this Department, that he has received an order, from you, to turn-over-to an ordnance-offiof the Confederate-States, the arms and accoutrements of all non-commissioned- officers & privates, under his command, who may be discharged from service. He is in command of a Regiment, enlisted for twelve months. Circulars, from your Department, have given notice that arms - in the hands of Twelve-months' Troops - will not be paid - for by the Confederate Government.

This State has recently - in addition to the private arms furnished by the Troops, sent nearly a thousand, belonging to the State, into Tennessee and Kentucky, in response to a requisition - made upon the State, by General A. S. Johnston.

If the Government proposed to pay for any and not all the State should have timely notice of the proposition. There can be but little doubt - that the Troops who have furnished their own arms, have done so under the belief, that the Government would pay for them - provided they ^are^ willing to sell. All disquietude, however, upon this point, could be easily removed by the State - authorities, provided they are duly advised of the will and purpose of the Confederate government.

If any understanding or rule has been adopted for general application to all the States, and which has, already been acquiesced-in, in such a manner as would commend its propriety to Alabama, I would not disturb, or question its correctness; but - in absence of all information on the subject- I beg - respectfully, to advise you, that this state does not admit the right of the Secretary of War to control the arms in the hands of the Alabama Troops - when their period of enlistment has expired - without consultation with the Executive of the State as to the claim or purpose under - & for which such control is asserted.

Repeating that - Alabama will, cheerfully, acquiesce in any fair & uniform rule which may be adopted - even if it occasion the State severe inconvenience, at this particular juncture, when her own soil & people are daily menaced by the Enemy; and expressing the Hope that I may, at an early day, be favored with a reply to this communication Very Respy Your obedient Ser't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. = Executive Department. Mobile, Jany 9th 1862 To Genl D. C. Greene. } [check] Quarter-Master Genl } of the State } Sir, You will not interfere with the arms now in possession of the Mobile Grays, but leave the same with them. Furthermore, if you have any of the arms of the State in your possession - or under your control, or if any should - here after, come into your possession or control, you are authorized and requested to place them at the disposal of any organized-Volunteer Militia - Company in the County of Mobile, upon the proper application being made - and Bond given.

If there are any other of the State arms in the possession

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23 25 of any Volunteer Company in Mobile - organized under the Military Code of 1852, you will allow them so to remain unless otherwise ordered Yours, Respectfully, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter = Mobile, Jany 9th 1862. To Brigadier Genl J. J. Butler} Commanding 9th Brigade, A. M. } [check] Genl Withers assures me that he will furnish the ammunition and ball, for making Cartridges, for any of your Volunteer Companies that stand in need of them. I beg to say also, that I shall not authorize the taking of any arms out the hands of any organized Company in your Command. The Mobile Greys can retain their arms.

I am in hopes you will succeed in getting a goodly number of double-barrelled Shot-guns, and rifles out of the hands of private citizens in Mobile County, &, if necessary, I will see that funds are furnished to purchase pikes & BowieKnives for such of your Command as have them not. I will assure you - also - that for any reasonable bills for printing your orders - as Brig. Genl commanding - I will furnish the means of payment. Yours - Resp'y (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. P. S. Genl Green is authorised to furnish such ammunition as may be in his possession. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter = Executive Department. Montgomery, Ala. Jany 15th 1862 Col. T. Lomax, Norfolk, Va [check] Sir, I have the pleasure to acknowledge receipt of your favor of 5th Inst. for which I am obliged.

I, herein, enclose you copy of a letter addressed by me to the Secretary or War. When we have agreed upon the questions involved- I will communicate further with you on the subject. Your views - in the premises are appreciated & approved.

I am gratified at the Report made, by you of the condition of your magnificent regiment; and fondly hope it may re-organize, in advance for the War, as the First Alabama Regiment is now doing at Pensacola. We have to-day, been advised of an agent goingdown - with the handsome sum of $50,000, to advance to the men now re-enlisting. God bless these gallant men! Will not the glorious Third Regiment follow such a proud example? Very truly, Yours, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. =

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26 24 Executive Department. Montgomery, Ala. Jany 16th 1862. Dr. C. J. Clark, [check] Richmond, Va. [check] Dear Sir, Necessary absence from the Capitol - & pressing duties - connected with the public defense - have prevented an earlier consideration of - and reply to-your letter of 26th ulto.

At this distance - and - personally - unacquainted with those various facts and considerations which should control the location of our Hospital accommodations, I can but rely upon your own best judgement, and that of Judge Hopkins, & his excellent Lady: and I am pleased to feel that we may rely - with entire confidence - upon the discretion - wisdom which you may - together - exercise in the management of the important interest committed to your supervision.

The manifest design of the Genl assembly was - first - to secure an efficient agent to locate & provide Hospital accommodations for our Alabama Troops, in Virginia, on as broad & beneficial a basis as should be found compatible with the appropriation of $30,000. and, secondly, that the accommodations - thus provided should be under the direction of a skillful physician & Surgeon - from our own State. And I will add - further - that, as the great body of our Troops were near-to- or in the vicinity of Manassas-junction, the General Assembly seems to have entertained the opinion that the Hospital would probably, have to be located, as near as possible, to that locality. I am, however, persuaded that the principal Hospital building and Depot for Medical supplies, should be in Richmond, and that another - or branch - Hospital - so to speak - should be established on the Rail-Road - nearer to Manassas-junction. The sickor disabled troops would be - in the first instance, taken to the nearest Hospital; and when that is full, or when - from other sanatory causes - patients should be transferred, they can come to Richmond. Richmond would, also, be most convenient for our Troops on the Peninsula - and at Norfolk. The principal Depot for supplies should be there, because, from that point, they could be more conveniently distributed to the various localities, when needed. I understand these to be your views, and those of Judge Hopkins and lady - and fully concur in their correctness.

It will be most agreeable to me to have your Department so organized, that while you may be assigned to Richmond, in charge of "the Alabama Hospital." in that city - you may be authorised - likewise - to exercise a superintending control over any and all branch-Hospitals, and have general powers in so directing the whole enterprise, as to secure the greatest efficiency. Your experience - however, - in the army must have impressed you with the delicacy involved in every suggestion, by State-authority, looking to any modification - or change - in the Army-regulations by the Confederate Government. There is a jealous watchfulness and an instinctive repugnance to altering things from settled plans of operation. I am not fully apprised as to all the grades & duties of the Medical department, but I had hoped the Surgeon-general- in view of the liberal and humane provision by Alabama, would have had the generosity - if in his power to make such orders - or concessions - if need be - as should enable the State - gratefully - to realize, to the fullest extent, all her worthy expectations. As it has been several weeks since you wrote me, and your status may have been improved, & in as much as you purpose - at an early day, to visit Alabama, where I hope to have the pleasure of a personal interview

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25 27 with you. I prefer to adjourn any further communication to the Secretary of War untill after you visit home. Upon the propriety of additional compensation, on account of your location in Richmond - where your expenses are largely increased - I have to say - that no appropriation was made for salary to the Surgeon, by the act, and that such compensation will have to be charged out of the appropriation of $30,000, and may - properly, be so charged, if necessary to effect the end proposed by it.

The General-Assembly made an additional appropriation of $1500 To provide a building at Manassas, for the Depot of all supplies for our Troops; and measures have been take to accomplish the object. Recent advices from there report the lumber bought, and I hope - soon - to hear that the building is completed. It is expected that a guard will be detailed - from our Regiments to protect & keep it.

In the selection of a proper person, as an agent to attend to the receipt and distribution of medical stores- which may be forwarded from Alabama, I, of expect you in cooperation with Judge Hopkins, to exercise your discretion; Indeed, all the details must necessarily, be under your joint and separate administration, which I sincerely trust - and believe - will be mutually agreeable, and beneficial to the State

Please show this letter to him - I have written him - likewise - by this mail. Very respectfully, Your obedient servent. (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter = Executive Department Montgomery, Ala. Jany 17th 1862. Mr Thos. T. Gosnell, [check] Dear Sir, In reply to your letter of the 2d inst. proposing to sell 32 new rifles, I have to say that I will buy the Rifles - if delivered here, and are of an inch, or more. in diameter - at valuation; cash; the valuation to be made by the Ordnance-office of the Confederate Government. Very respectfully, (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter. = Executive Department Montgomery, Ala Jan. 18th 1862 Mr Tho's. P. Miller, Mobile [check] Dear Sir, I embrace the earliest opportunity to reply to your letter of the 13th Inst. communicating a Resolution- adopted by the Committee of Safety - in reference to providing fire ships and boats to meet the vessels of the Enemy in Mobile Bay.

There is no appropriation - made by the Genl assembly, which I am at liberty to apply to such a purpose. The idea did not occur to the Legislature, or provision would, probably, have been made; whatever the Committee of Safety, after deliberate consultation; may deem expedient to be done by them - having such large discretionary powers - I will be happy to sustain them in, even, at the risk of exercising a doubtful power, if the public interest is to be subserved by it. When you shall have heard from Commodore Hollins, I hope you will communicate, further, his views to me. Very Respectfully, Your obed't Serv't (Signed) Jno Gill Shorter - =

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