Today in History:

1152 Series IV Volume III- Serial 129 - Correspondence, Orders, Reports and Returns of the Confederate Authorities from January 1, 1864, to the End


The recommendations of the Secretary of the Treasury have in the main received the approbation of Congress and every disposition has been manifested to co-operate with him. The tax bill adopted very nearly approximates the rate desired by him. He recommended 10 per cent. on property. Congress has imposed a tax of 9 per cent. A new foreign loan was authorized in secret session, at his request, without any limitation on his authority except as to the amount. A transfer of certain sterling funds abroad was by joint resolution directed to be made from the Navy of the Treasury. Efforts were made to raise specie. A bill was passed in the Senate, in secret session, to accomplish that object by the sale of certain licenses. It is understood the bill was defeated in the House of Representatives by the acquiescence, if not at the instigation, of the Secretary of the Treasury. It appears from the correspondence submitted to Congress that the Secretary of War, as early as the 18th of February, notified the President of the embarrassed condition of his Department, and it is to be regretted that the Executive deliberated on and postponed for so long a period as nearly twenty days the communication of that information to Congress.

If loss of time be a vice inherent in deliberative assemblies, promptitude is a great virtue in Executive action. There is every disposition on the part of Congress to comply with the recommendations of the President, and some means of raising the coin desired will no doubt be devised. It is unfortunate that the necessity for coin in the Commissary Department was not made know until the message under consideration was received. The use of coin in one department of the Government is calculated to superinduce the necessity for its use in all other departments; and hence the policy of the proposed measure, overrides all other considerations. If practicable, it would be wiser to employ the specie in the purchase of Treasury notes, and then use the notes to obtain supplies.

Nothing is more desirable then concord and cordial co-operation between all departments of Government. Hence, your committee regret that the Executive deemed it necessary to transmit to congress a message so well calculated to excite discord and dissension. But for the fact that the success of the great struggle in which the country is engaged depends as much on the confidence of the people in the Legislative as in the Executive department of the Government the message would have been received without comment. Your committee would have preferred silence. It has been inducive to an opposite course, because they believe Congress would be derelict in its duty to permit its legitimate and constitutional influence to be destroyed by Executive admonitions, such as those contained in the message under consideration, without some public exposition of its conduct.

The Senate proceeded to consider the said report, and resolved that they concur therein.

[MARCH 16, 1865. - For Governor of Virginia to President Davis, transmitting joint resolution of the Legislature of Virginia in relation to the employment of negroes as soldiers (passed March 6, 1865), see Series I, VOL. XLVI, Part III, p. 1315, and for resolutions on the same subject, adopted March 4, 1865, see Series I, VOL. LI, Part II, p. 1068.]

Richmond, Va., March 17, 1865.

I. The attention of officers and soldiers is again called to the regulations (reiterated in General Orders, No. 3, of 1863, and paragraph I, General Orders, No. 78, of 1864, from this office) respecting military correspondence. communications from the Army on official business, addressed to civilians at the seat of government, have become so frequent as seriously to interfere with the efficient conduct of the several bureaus of the War Department. Officers and soldiers who violate orders in this respect will be promptly placed in arrest and brought to trial.