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[174] necessary to pay these pensioners as well as those of the army, whose claim can scarcely exceed $20,000 per annum.

The Postmaster-General has already succeeded in organizing his department to such an extent as to be in readiness to assume the direction of our postal affairs on the occurrence of the contingency contemplated by the act of 15th March, 1861, or even sooner if desired by Congress.

The various books and circulars have been prepared, and measures taken to secure supplies of blanks, postage stamps, stamped envelopes, mail bags, locks, keys, &c.

He presents a detailed classification and arrangement of the clerical force and asks for its increase.

An Auditor of the Treasury for this Department is necessary, and a plan is submitted for the organization of his bureau.

The great number and magnitude of the accounts of this department require an increase of the clerical force in the accounting branch of the treasury. The revenues of this department are collected and distributed in modes peculiar to itself, and require a special bureau to secure a proper accountability in the administration of its finances.

I call your attention to the additional legislation required for this department — to the recommendation for changes in the law fixing the rates of postage on newspapers and sealed packages of certain kinds, and specially to the recommendation of the Secretary, in which I concur, that you provide at once for the assumption by him of the control of our entire postal service.

In the military organization of the States, provision is made for Brigadier and Major-Generals, but in the army of the Confederate States the highest grade is that of a Brigadier-General; hence it will no doubt sometimes occur that, where troops of the Confederacy do duty with the militia, the General selected for the command and possessed of the views and purposes of this Government, will be superseded by an officer of the militia, not having the same advantages.

To avoid contingencies in the least objectionable manner, I recommend that additional rank be given to the General of the Confederate army, and concurring in the policy of having but one grade of Generals in the army of the Confederacy, I recommend that the law of its organization be amended so that the grade be that of General.

To secure thorough military education, it is deemed essential that officers should enter upon the study of their profession at an early period of life, and have elementary instruction in a military school.

Until such school shall be established it is recommended that cadets be appointed and attached to companies until they shall have attained the age and shall have acquired the knowledge to fit them for the duties of lieutenants.

I also call your attention to an omission in the law organizing the army, in relation to military chaplains, and recommend that provision be made for their appointment.

In conclusion, I congratulate you on the fact that in every portion of our country there has been exhibited the most patriotic devotion to our common cause. Transportation companies have freely tendered the use of their lines for troops and supplies.

The Presidents of the railroads of the Confederacy, in company with others who control lines of communication with States that we hope soon to greet as sisters assembled in convention in this city, have not only reduced largely the rates heretofore demanded for mail service and conveyance of troops and munitions, but have voluntarily proffered to receive their compensation at their reduced rates in the bonds of the Confederacy, for the purpose of leaving all the resources of the Government at its own disposal for the common defence.

Requisitions for troops have been met with such alacrity that the numbers tendering their services have in every instance greatly exceeded the demand. Men of the highest official and social position are serving as volunteers in the ranks. The gravity of age, the zeal of youth, rival each other in the desire to be foremost in the public defence, and though at no other point than the one heretofore noticed have they been stimulated by the excitement incident to actual engagement and the hope of distinction for individual deportment, they have borne, what for new troops is the most severe ordeal, patient toil, constant vigil, and all the exposure and discomfort of active service with a resolution and fortitude such as to command the approbation and justify the highest expectation of their conduct when active valor shall be required in place of steady endurance.

A people thus united and resolute cannot shrink from any sacrifice which they may be called on to make, nor can there be a reasonable doubt of their final success, however long and severe may be the test of their determination to maintain their birthright of freedom and equality as a trust which it is their first duty to transmit unblemished to their posterity.

A bounteous Providence cheers us with the promise of abundant crops.

The fields of grain which will, within a few weeks, be ready for the sickle, give assurance of the amplest supply of food, whilst the corn, cotton, and other staple productions of our soil afford abundant proof that up to this period the season has been propitious.

We feel that our cause is just and holy.

We protest solemnly, in the face of mankind, that we desire peace at any sacrifice, save that of honor.

In independence we seek no conquest, no

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