Shorter_correspondence_RSG00689_Q145250_Q145648

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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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