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General Assembly of Virginia.

Friday, February 27, 1863.

Senate.--The Senate met at 12 M. the President in the Chair. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Foote.

A communication was laid before the Senate from the Executive, covering one from Dr. Jno. J. Moorman, State agent for the distribution of salt, insulation to the supply, and the means of transportation therefore over the Virginia and Tennessee railroad. Referred to the Committee on Salt.

Bills and Petitions Introduced.--A bill to suspend the salary of Geo. W. Thompson, one of the Circuit Judges of this Commonwealth. Petition of George F. Ramsay and others, praying to be released from fines and forfeitures for violating the law to prevent the unnecessary consumption of grain by distillers.

Mr. Johnson called up his joint resolutions, looking to the preparation of an estimate of the amount of food, of all on hand and in course of production within the limits of the Commonwealth; and the resolutions being put to a vote were defeated by a large majority.

[The objection to the resolutions was, that the publication would be giving aid and comfort to the enemy.]

The resolutions of Mr. Douglas, in relation to the position of Col. Henry Hill, left without an appointment by the abolition of the Pay Department of the Virginia troops, and recommending him to an appointment and pay out of the military contingent fund, were called up by their author, and, after a most tedious and lengthy debate, the resolutions were referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.

Act Passed.--The set authorizing fiduciaries to invest funds in their hands in certain cases, and for other persons, was taken up from the calender, and passed, with amendments.

On mention of Mr. Wiley, at 3 o'clock, the Senate adjourned.

House of Delegates.--The House met at 11 o'clock. Prayer by Rev. Dr. Duncan, of the M. E. Church.

A communication was received from the Governor, enclosing a letter from Col. Chas. Blue, Superintendent of the Virginia Penitentiary, recommending an increase of the salary of the guard of that institution, it being impossible for them to free on $1 per day, when bacon was $1 per pound, and in consequences of which members of the guard were daily resigning. He also urges an increase of the number of the guard, and their being armed by the state, the inmates being more numerous chan heretofore, and composed of Baltimore plug English, New Orleans tigers, shoulder-bitters, and other desperate characters, who are continually plotting how to get out.

The communication and accompanying documents were read and referred to the Committee on the Penitentiary.

Another communication was received from the Governor, accompanying a report from the Quartermaster-General of the State Line, and letters from Gen. Floyd, all relating to matters of importance news pending before the Committee on Military Affairs. Referred to said committee.

A further communication was received from His Excellency, enclosing a letter from Dr. J. J. Motormen, State Agent for the distribution of salt, in which he assumes that by the first day of April there will be in successful operation at the works in Washington and Smythe counties not less than twenty-three hundred salt kettles, which will be capable of turning out, on an average, five bushels per day each for three hundred days in the year, which will give an aggregate of upwards of 30,000 bushels per-annum, and, after deducting the amount of salt already contracted for by certain States of the Confederacy, will still leave over 2,000,000 bushels, for the wants of Virginia and the Confederate Government, which will be amply sufficient for all needful supplies, if proper facilities be afforded for its transportation; and to this subject he calls the attention of the Legislature. The message and documents were referred to the Committee on Salt.

On motion of Mr. Saunders, of Campbell, Senate bill "to transfer the State Line to the Confederate Government" was called up. During its consideration Mr. Barbour caused the following letter to be read by the Clerk:

Camp Clarkson Near Saltville, Va., Feb'y 16, 1863.
Dear Sir:
--I perceive, from the proceedings of the Legislature, that a proposition to transfer the State troops under my command to the Confederate Government is under discussion.

In May last the Legislature conferred upon me, unsolicited and unexpectedly, the office of Major-General, and devolved upon me the lack of raising a force to assist in the defence of the country

I did not feel at liberty to decline the duty imposed upon me by that act, although I perfectly understood the almost insurmountable difficulties that lay in the way of its execution. I therefore resigned my commission in the Confederate service, and entered at once upon the duties enjoined by the act of the Legislature.

I was enabled, in spits of all impediments, to raise a force by October which I thought sufficient to justify a movement into the counties towards the Ohio river, then held by the enemy. This was accomplished — a large region of country was regained from the enemy — quiet and security was established, and are still preserved. What this command has done, and how it has discharged its duty to the country, is not for me here to speak of.

I desire simply to say, that whatever disposition the General Assembly may think proper to make of the forces already raised, will meet with my cordial assent; and, in the consideration of the question of transfer, I hope it may be done without any reference whatever to my position, but alone to what the best interests of Virginia may require.

I have the honor to be, sir,

With great respect, your ob't serv't

John B. Floyd,
Major-General Com'g Virginia Line.

the bill was discussed at considerable length and being finally put upon its passage the vote was decided in the affirmative — ayes 83, nose 10 it reads:

    an act to transfer the State Line troops to the Confederate Government.

  1. 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly. That the Governor Co., and is hereby, authorized and directed to cause, without delay, all State troops raised under an act of the General Assembly entitled "An Act to authorize a force of ten thousand men to be raised for the defence of the Commonwealth," passed May 15th, 1862, and under any acts amendatory thereof, including all companies of rangers organized under the act of March 27th, 1862, entitled "An Act to authorize the organization of ten or more companies of rangers," or any other act of the General Assembly, to be reorganized into companies, battalions, and regiments, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Confederate service. Whenever two or more companies are consolidated into one, to make up the complement of men required by said laws, the non commissioned officers and privates may (under the superintendence of such officer as shall be designated by the Governor for that purpose) elect, from among the officers of the same grade a Captain, a First Lieutenant, and two Second Lieutenants, who shall be assigned to the company thus formed, and the commissions of the other company officers shall hereafter be void.
  2. 2. As soon as ten companies are thus formed, they shall be organized into two battalions and one regiment. From the field officers of the necessary grades now in commission in said State Line the commissioned officers of the regiment may elect their field officers. In like manner, when another regiment is formed the like proceeding shall be had until all the regiments that may be formed are completed. If there are any companies left after the formation of said regiments, they shall be formed into a battalion and officered in like manner. The field officers then remaining without commands shall be discharged, and their commissions shall be void. The regiments and any detached battalions thus formed shall be mustered into the service of the Confederate States by such mustering officer as shall be detailed by the Secretary of War for that purpose; and when so mustered, complete returns thereof shall be immediately made by such mustering officer to the Adjutant General of this State at Richmond. The said troops are to be received in companies, battalions, and regiments, with their respective officers. They are to be mustered into the service for the war, but with the express reservation that those not subject to conscription, if they desire it, shall be discharged at the expiration of their present term of enlistment. The Governor shall appoint an officer, to be present at the mustering of said troops into service, whose duty it shall be to take an inventory of all arms accoutrements, ordnance, equipments, stores, munitions of war, horses, and other property which may be in the possession of said troops when so mustered into service; and the same shall be transferred to the Confederate Government, and shall be received and receipted for by the said mustering officer at the time of receiving and mustering said troops as aforesaid. Such staff officers for said regiments and detached battalions, if any, as may be authorized by the laws of the Confederate States, shall be appointed by the Colonels of the regiments when formed, according to the laws of the Confederate States; and when the said regiments are mustered into service the same officers shall be received as a part of the force transferred, and be commissioned accordingly.
  3. 3. All the arms, accoutrements, ordnance and equipments, stores, munitions of war, and other property furnished and receipted for as aforesaid, shall be valued by the mustering officer aforesaid and the officer appointed by the Government to make the inventory thereof, and if they fall to agree, in such mode as may be agreed on by the Governor and Secretary of War, the value thus ascertained shall, upon delivery thereof, be paid by the Confederate Government into the Treasury of the Commonwealth, to the credit of the Commonwealth.
  4. 4. All enlistments for the State troops shall cease from and after the passage of this act.
  5. 5. From and after the transfer of the said troops, as provided for in the second section of this act, no claim shall be allowed for the payment of the officers and troops or otherwise, on account of said State troops, except in discharge of liabilities incurred prior thereto.
  6. 6. Such portion of said forces, including commissioned, non-commissioned officers and privates, as shall not be organized and transferred before the first day of April, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, according to the provisions of this act, shall receive no pay, clothing, rations, or other allowances for services thereafter.
  7. 7. This act shall be in force from its passage, and all acts and parts of acts inconsistent therewith are hereby repealed.
On motion of Mr. Tomlin, the Committee on Courts were instructed to inquire into the expediency of requiring all railroad companies to receive matter for transportation by weight.

Mr. Anderson, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted a report, which was, amended by Mr. Forbes to read as follows, and passed unanimously:

The General Assembly of Virginia, satisfied that the exigencies of the times require that the whole military strength of the Confederacy should be united under one organization, and having, under this conviction of public duty, transferred by law the State Line, under the command of Major-General John B Floyd, to the authorities of the Confederate States, and desirous or expressing to that eminent patriot and gallant soldiers their high appreciation of his ability as a soldier and his unselfish course as a patriot, do.

Resolve, That the thanks of the General Assembly of Virginia are due, and are hereby tendered, to Major-General John B Floyd, for the zeal, gallantry, ability, and untiring devotion which he his exhibited in the command of the forces of this State.

Resolved, That the thanks of the General Assembly are also tendered to the officers and soldiers under the command of Major General Floyd for the efficiency and gallantry displayed by them while in the service of the State.

On motion of Mr. Tomlin, the House adjourned

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