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Confederate Congress.

Tuesday, Sept. 30th, 1862.
Senate.--The Senate met at 11 o'clock A. M.

Mr. Hill offered a resolution prohibiting the seizure of private property for private uses by Confederate or State laws, &c.

Mr. Hill explained that the intention of the resolution was to protect the rights of companies from other States engaged in the manufacture of salt in Virginia. The State of Virginia, through the Legislature, had authorized the Governor to seize salt works of companies from Georgia. If the State bad a right to seize the kettles and salt pans of these companies they had an equal right to seize the negroes engaged at the works. A proposition had recently been offered in the Virginia Legislature, to protect these citizens from other States, and a counter proposition offered to disregard the contracts even of the States, in a certain contingency.

After some explanation by Messrs. Hunter and Preston, Mr. Hill withdrew his resolution.

Mr. Sparrow, from the Military Committee, reported a House bill to repeal an act authorizing commutation for soldiers' clothing, and to require clothing to be furnished by the Secretary of War.--Passed.

Mr. Brown, from the Naval, Committee, reported a joint resolution of thanks to Lieut. J. N. Brown and all of his command. Adopted.

Mr. Hill, from the Judiciary Committee, reported a House bill so authorize Judges of District Courts to change the places of holding Courts, in certain cases. Passed.

On motion of Mr. Phelan, the bill to ‘"organize Military Courts to attend the army of the Confederate States in the field, and to define the power of said Courts,"’ reported by Mr. Hill from Committee on the Judiciary, was taken up.

The bill is as follows:

  1. Sec. 1. The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact That courts shall be organized, to be known as Military Courts, one to attend each army corps in the field, under the direction of the President. Each court shall consist of three members, two of whom shall constitute a quorum, and each member shall be entitled to the rank and pay of a colonel of cavalry, shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall hold his office during the war, unless the court shall be sooner abolished by Congress. For each court there shall be one judge advocate, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, with the rank and pay of a captain of cavalry, whose duties shall be as prescribed by the rules and articles of war, except as enlarged or modified by the purposes and provisions of the act, and who shall also hold his office during the war, unless the court shall be sooner abolished by Congress.
  2. Sec. 2. Each court shall have the right to appoint a Provost Marshal to attend its sittings and execute the orders of the court, with the rank and pay of a captain of cavalry; and also a clerk, who shall have a salary of $125 per month, who shall keep a record of the proceedings of the court, and shall reduce to writing the substance of the evidence in each case, and file the same in court. The Provost Marshal and the clerk shall hold their offices during the pleasure of the court. Each member and officer of the court shall take an oath well and truly to discharge the duties of his office to the best of his skill and ability, without fear, favor, or reward, and to support the Constitution of the Confederate States. Each member of the court and the clerk shall have the power to administer oaths.
  3. Sec. 3. Each court shall have power to adopt rules for conducting business, and for the trial of causes, and to enforce the rules adopted, and to punish for contempt, and to regulate the taking of evidence, and to secure the attendance of witnesses, and to enforce and execute its orders, sentences, and judgments; as in cases of courts martial.
  4. Sec. 4. The jurisdiction of each court shall extend to all offences now cognizable by courts martial under the rules and articles of war and the custom of war, and also to all offences defined as crimes by the laws of the Confederate States, or of the several States, and when beyond the territory of the Confederate States, to all cases of murder, manslaughter, arson, rape, robbery, and larceny, as defined by the common law, when committed by any private or officer in the army, or against the property or person of any citizen or other person not in the army: Provided, said courts shall not have jurisdiction of offenders above the grade of Colonel. For offences cognizable by courts martial, the court shall, on conviction, inflict the penalty prescribed by the rules and articles of war in the manner and mode therein mentioned; and for offences not punishable by the rules and articles of war, but punishable by the laws of the Confederate States, said court shall inflict the penalties prescribed by the laws of the Confederate States; and for offences against which penalties are not prescribed by the rules and articles of war, nor by the laws of the Confederate States, but for which penalties are prescribed by the laws of a State, said court shall inflict the punishment prescribed by the laws of the State in which the offence was committed: Provided, That in cases in which by the laws of the Confederate States, or of the State, the punishment is by fine or by imprisonment, or by both, the court may, in its discretion, inflict any other punishment less than death; and for offences defined as murder, manslaughter, arson, rape, robbery, and larceny by the common law, when committed beyond the territorial limits of the Confederate States, the punishment shall be in the discretion of the court.
  5. Sec. 5. Said courts shall attend the army, shall l ve appropriate quarters within the lines of the army, shall be always open for the transaction of Business, and the final decisions and sentences of said courts on convictions shall be subject to review, mitigation and suspension, as now provided by the rules and articles of war in cases of court-martial.
Mr. Orr moved to amend the second section by asserting in lieu of ‘"rank and pay of Colonel of cavalry,"’ the words, ‘"annual compensation of $ ,500, to be paid quarterly."’

Mr. Phelan moved to amend the amendment by inserting the words ‘"entitled to the rank of a Colonel of cavalry, without the right to command in the field, with a — salary." ’ Withdrawn.

The amendment of Mr. Orr was disagreed to.

Mr. Hill moved an amendment to the 2d section, giving the Judge Advocate power to administer oaths. Agreed to.

Mr. Yancey proposed to add to the th section. That when an officer under the grade of a Brigadier. General shall be put under arrest for any offence cognizable by the court herein provided for, notice of his arrest and the offence with which he shall be charged, shall be given to the court by the officer ordering such arrest, and he shall be entitled to as speedy a trial as the business before said court will allow. Agreed to.

Mr. Semmes offered the following by way of additional sections during the recess of the Senate. The President may appoint members of the court and the Judges Advocate provided for in the previous section, subject to the confirmation of the Senate as its session next ensuing said appointment. Agreed to.

On motion of Mr. Phelan, the vote on the amendment of Mr. Yancey, was reconsidered.

The amendment was modified by Mr. Yancey so as to apply to privates as well as officers; and by Mr. Semmes so as to require the notice of arrest to be given to the Judge Advocate instead of court.

The bill then passed.

On motion of Mr. Johnson, the vote on the bill in relation to the organization of hands of Partisan Rangers, was reconsidered.

Mr. Johnson then moved to add the following as an additional section: That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized and empowered, whenever in his opinion it would promote the public good, to receive into the service regiments or battalions which have been heretofore organized of conscripts, by a General officer, in any of the States lying west of the Mississippi river.

Mr. Wigfall moved to except the State of Texas.

Mr. Clark favored the original amendment. It the Senate refused to accept these organizations formed West of the Mississippi it would be virtually an announcement that that section was to be given up to the enemy.

The question was discussed by Messrs. Oldham and Johnson for, and Wigfall against the amendment first introduced.

The amendment of Mr. Wigfall was rejected.

The amendment of Mr. Johnson was adopted.

The bill passed, and then the Senate, on motion, went into Executive session.

House of Representatives.--House met at 11 o'clock. Prayer by Rev. Dr. Moore.

Mr. Lander, of N. C., asked leave of absence for his colleague, Mr. Gaither, who has been detained from the House for some ten days by serious sickness. The leave was granted. Leave was also granted Messrs. Moore, Bruce, and Machen, of Ky.

On motion of Mr. Foote, of Tenn., the House went into secret session on a report from the Committee of Foreign Affairs, and having spent some time therein, again resolved itself into open session.

The special order of the day, the Exemption bill from the Senate, was taken up.

Mr. Perkins, of La., moved to amend the first section by inserting in the 29th line, after the word mechanics, the words ‘"in the active service and employment."’ Agreed to.

Mr. Foster, of Ala., moved to strike out, in the 36th line of the same section, the words ‘ "every minister of religion authorized to preach according to the rules of his sect, and in the regular discharge of his ministerial duties,"’ In support of this motion, Mr. Foster stated that there were, in his opinion, ministers enough over the age of forty five to perform all the ministerial labors now required. In the present condition of public affairs, there were few men to attend the ministrations of the clergy; and as for the ladies, they needed them not, as they were pious enough without such ministrations. The motion was not agreed to. He also moved to strike out from the word ‘"duties,"’ in the 38th line, to the word ‘"denomination,"’ in the 41st line, including the words ‘ "and all persons who have been, and now are, members of the Society of Friends, and the Association of Drunkards, in regular membership in their respective denominations."’

Mr. Ashe, of North Carolina, offered the following amendment to come in after the word ‘ "denominations,"’ in the 41st line: ‘"Provided, that the members of the Society of Friends may be allowed to furnish a substitute, or pay a tax of five hundred dollars into the public treasury."’ This amendment was adopted, and the question recurring upon the motion of Mr. Foster to strike out, it was rejected by the following vote — ayes noes 43.

An amendment, offered by Mr. Gray, of Texas, to exempt one son of a widow, who has sole charge of the widow's farm, stock, ranch, or other Business for the widow's support, was agreed to.

Mr. Miles, of S. C., moved to amend by exempting all professors and teachers in State military academies and all students therein.

Mr. Curry moved to amend the amendment by inserting the words ‘"not over twenty-one years of age."’ Not agreed to.

Pending the consideration of the amendment of Mr. Miles, the House adjourned at 4½ o'clock.

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