Wrangling about the defences of Savannah.
, of Georgia
, in a message to the Legislature, encloses a letter received by him from General Mercer
, commanding the Military District of Georgia, in which General M. informs him that ‘"a letter from the Secretary of War
has been received by him which withdraws from him all power to retain the negroes now working upon the fortifications at Savannah
, "’ and that ‘"from this time forward he will make no further efforts to secure labor himself,"’ and ‘"if the people and Government of the State
to be defended, they must furnish the necessary labor."’ General Mercer
also makes a requisition upon the State
for negroes to work on the defences.
The Governor, in his message, after detailing the above facts, says:
While the right is denied to the State
by the Conscription act to call into the field and retain in her service any portion of her organized militia, or any part of the material of which it is composed, to defend herself against the invader at a time when the Confederate
force within the State
is inadequate to the task, the War Department has withdrawn from the General
in command the powers to retain the labor necessary to complete the fortifications which are indispensable to a successful defence.
I submit the question to the action of the General Assembly, and recommend that prompt provision be made to the extent of the ability of the State
for carrying out your resolution for the defence of the city to the last extremity.