Shorter_correspondence_RSG00689_Q145250_Q145648

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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

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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

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shall be organized and held ready, in the last resort, to defend our altars and our firesides. I appeal to your love of Country! to your devotion to Liberty! and to your detestation of tyranny! to aid me in this arduous undertaking; and I believe that I shall not be disappointed. Let the military orders eminating from this Department be obeyed with alacrity and cheerfulness by you; and let the tardy delinquents and captious croakers be visited with the severe penalties of the Law. Let the Drill and Parade, and the trainings of Citizen Soldiers be seen in every County & beat and let the music of the "Spirit-stirring drum & fife," and the tramp of brave men be heard in every nook & corner of Alabama. Let our people study & practice the Science of War, and never, for a day abandon its pursuit, until our Independence shall have been achieved.

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Montgomery, as your disbursing Agent This Bank is controlled by able financiers and patriotic men who have already done a great deal for the Governmentand the Army. Large advances have been made, by this Bank to the Government Paymasters, to supplydeficiencies; but in such large transactions. it is but just that the Bank should have the resposibility of the Government to stand upon, and not that merely of its Agents. If your will adopt or secure the bank as a disbursing Agent, and give an order toMaj. I. S. Calhoun - Ass't Dr Martin here, to check for bounty money as needed, I shall then feel satisfied, + know that every thing will work wellin this particular, and will also be able to get up the Volunteer regiments, with far greater certainty and despatch and most earnestly hoping that this important suggestion may receive your imediateattention. I am with high regards, Your Obt. Ser't. (Signed) Jn Gill Shorter. Letter from Govr. Shorter to Hon. J F. Foster Butler, Choctaw County, Ala. Executive Deptartment Montgomery Ala. Feb. 1st 1862 Hon. J. F. Foster, Butler, Choctaw Co. Ala. Sir, I Have the honor to a acknowledge rc't of your letter, comicating a copy of certain Resolutions adopted by a County meeting of the Citizens of Choctaw Countyat Butler, on the 20th ultimo. The reported proceedings of the meeting disclosed that Col. Wm. H. Ulard, Hon Wm. Woodward and yourself, were appointed a Committee to forward a Copy of its proceedings + resolution to this office, and as you are pleased to say, in your letter to me, "after you have given the Resolutions of a meeting of the citizens of Choctaw County at Butler due consideration please send them to the Advertiser of your city for publication" I pressume I am to understnd that your communications was intended to be official, and that I am expected to intimate my views upon the matters covered by the Resolutions. Though this informally presented and though heavily pressed by the various duties of this Department I will hurriedly, discuss the Resolutios communicated with that candor & frankness due to the occaisionas well as to the people of Choctaw County. This they have a right to expect at my hand for the "declaration of rights" embodied in the Constitution of the State of Alabama, expressly recited that" the citezens have a right in a peaceable manner, to assemble together- for theirCommon good, & to apply to those invested with the powers of Government, for redress of grievances or other purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance The Resolutions before me, express dissatisfaction - first with the "Stray-Law" adopted by the Legislature, not because it goes too far, but because it does not go far enough in the opinion of the meeting - toward affording releif in the present crisis and one of the rsolutions recommend a " Constitutional Stray-Law assimilating as near as practicable to the Stray-Lawof Mississippi." 2dly the resolutions do not favor the collection of the State taxes assessed for the pastyear and suggest as a measure of releif liabilities, which treasury notes shall be redeemed by taxes to be collected at some future time.

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As these recommendations can be made available only by Legal enactment, through the Legislative body - an appeal is made to me, as the Executive of the State, to call the Legislature into Extraordinary Session, and to recommend these measures of supposed releif for its adoption.

After mature & calm deliberation, I am constrained to inform those citizens of Choctaw County, who adopted these resolutions, that in view of the vast interests, now at Stake, I cannot convene the Legislature of Alabama in an extraordinary Session, for the purposes contemplated by their resolutions.

Were I to comply with their re-commendation, the order would call back to the Capitol, the Same Senate - and the Same House of Representatives, which composed the last Genl. assembly. The "Stay-law" complained of was the only one - after much difficulty - and conflict of opinions, which could be adopted by that body. The proposition to post-pone the Collection of the State-Taxes, and to supply their deficiency by Loans or Treasury-Notes, was diligently urged and defeated. What guarantee have we that the Same Senate & the Same House of Representatives would reverse their action upon these important measures, which received Such full consideratin at their hands? The people of the State might justly question - at a time like the present, whcn we should [occonomize?] the public expeniture, the propriety of an extra-Session - for the mere purpose of a re-consideration of measures by the Same General assembly - which had devoted great labor & attention to them, while the two Houses themselves would have reason to reproach the Executive for such an assumption of authority, and such an exhibition of Vanity as would be involved in the idea, that his recommendation - merely - would cause them to retrace their Steps, and adopt measures which they had deliberately condemned.

I owe it - however, to the people of Choctaw County; and I owe it to my own high conviction of duty to Alabama to Say to you, that approving most cordially, the general measures of Legislation adopted by the last Session of the General Assembly - & knowng the absolute necessity which constrained their refusal to post-pone the collection of the public dues, I could not recommend the measures proposed - even if the Legislature Should be convened in an extraordinary Session. On the contrary, I am confident that the adoption of such measures would be fraught with lasting injury to the future credit & welfare of the State.

The "Stay-law" passed by the Legislature, though, by no means, perfect in its provisions, and though amenable to objections, which have been urged against it, is yet beleived to be within the Constitutional limitation of the Legislative power. I have not seen the "Stay-law of Mississippi" - but if the law closes the Court-room against the Citizen, and denies all remedy for the assertion of his legal rights, as it has been represented to do, it is clear to my mind that such a law is unconstitutional, and without the limit of the Legislative power.

In times of public calamity, it is quite common to talk of Legislative aid & releif to the people; forgetting that the Government is the mere machine of the people; that it derives all its powers from them; is fed by their bounty, and dependent, upon them alone, for its continued existence, many, with misguided views, appeal to it for nourishment & support. And, to-day, when the State of Alabama and her sister Confederate States are engaged in a death-Struggle for their National Existence, the Strange and Sad Spectacle is seen, of persons, far-away from the clangor of arms, and amid the quiet retreat of their homes, clammoring for aid from the public Treasury, when every dollar at our Command, and the utmost limit of our national credit should be consecrated to the glorious cause of our deliverance and Liberty.

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