previous next

Confederate States Congress.

The Senate, yesterday, was called to order at 12 o'clock M. by Mr. Hunter, of Va., President pro tem. The proceedings were opened with prayer by the Rev. Dr. Read, of the Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Johnson, of Ark., introduced a bill, which was laid on the table and ordered to be printed, to limit or define the term of office of each of the Secretaries of the Executive departments.

Mr. Brown, of Miss., offered a resolution that the state of the country demanded that laws should without delay be passed declaring every male citizen in the military service; to repeal the laws authorizing substitutes; to authorize the President to issue his proclamation commanding all foreigners to leave the country in sixty days or take up arms; to regulate details for necessary civil pursuits; to levy direct taxes; to make Confederate notes a legal tender after six months; to prohibit the trade in gold and silver and bank notes and U. S. Treasury notes during the war, or to prohibit blockade running under heavy penalties, and to declare these laws war measures, and make those violating the a amenable only to military courts. Laid on the table and ordered to be printed.

Mr. Wigfall offered a resolution instructing the Military Committee to inquire into and report upon the treatment by the military authorities of prisoners of war. Agreed to.

Mr. Sparrow, of La., offered a resolution, which was agreed to, calling upon the President to inform the Senate whether the Quartermaster General is now discharging the duties of that office, and if not whether the person who is has been appointed to the office of Q. M. General, by and with the advice of the Senate, and whether previously to his entering on the duties of his office he gave bond with good and sufficient surety in the sum directed by the Secretary of War, and the date and amount of said bond; and whether that person was at the time of said duties in the military service of the C. S., and under what law he had been appointed.

Mr. Phelan introduced a bill, which was referred to the Finance Committee and ordered to be printed, providing for the issue of $500,000,000 of coupon bonds in sums not less than five hundred dollars, payable in twenty years, and bearing interest of six per cent., payable semi- annually. The coupons when due to be a legal tender for all debts due in dollars or other money, and a refusal to accept the same when tendered to act as a discharge of the indebtedness in payment of which they are offered.

Mr. Davis, of N. C., offered a resolution, which was passed, calling on the President, if not inconsistent with the public interest, to furnish the Senate with copies of General Whiting's reports in relation to running the blockade at Wilmington, N. C.

At 1½ o'clock P. M., on motion of Mr. Brown, of Miss., the Senate adjourned.

In the House, Mr. Conrad offered a resolution that the President be requested to inform the House what amount of cotton has been exported from the Confederate States since the 1st of January last, and also the value of goods imported into the Confederacy in the same time, and, as near as possible, the class of these goods.

The resolution adopted by the Committee of the Whole, and recommended by them, to refer the subjects of currency and taxation in the President's message to a select committee of one from each State, was taken up by the House and altered so as to make the committee seven.

The calling of the States for bills and resolutions was then commenced.

Mr. Foote, of Tenn., introduced several bills, among them one for the repeal of the existing substitute law, and one for the increase of the pay of soldiers. They were properly referred. The same gentleman also introduced several resolutions, one requesting the President to withdraw all diplomatic agents from such foreign Governments as have not recognized us before the first day of February next, and to dismiss all foreign Consuls in this country; referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Also, a resolution in regard to unreasonable searches and seizures.

The Chair laid before the House a joint resolution from the Senate.

Mr. Preston, of Va., offered as a substitute for the Senate joint resolution, a resolution that the Committee on Printing be authorized to contract for the public printing, and to let the contracts to the lowest bidder, who shall execute satisfactory guarantees for its proper execution. On this proposition the ayes and noes were had with the following result: Ayes 40, noes 20.

Mr. Foote offered a resolution in regard to amending the present impressment law, so as to secure to the owner the actual value for his property at the time when, and place where impressed. This resolution was rejected.

Also, a resolution that the Committee on Quartermaster and Commissary Department inquire into the expediency of adopting suitable legislation for compelling quartermasters to give in, on oath, the amount of property held by them on entering office, and the amount now owned by them, with a view to distribute the surplus over and above their regular pay among our soldiers now in the field. On this resolution the ayes and noes were-called and resulted — ayes 47, noes 9. So the resolution was agreed to.

Also, a resolution that the Judiciary Committee inquire into the expediency of so amending the present law with reference to the exchange of prisoners of war of African descent, so as to distinguish between those who were free when the war commenced and those who are recognized as slaves by the laws of the Confederate States. Agreed to.

Mr. Sexton, of Texas, offered a joint resolution of thanks to the officers and men of the Davis Guard, engaged in the successful defence of Saline Pass, on the 8th of September last. Referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.

Mr. Gray, of Texas, introduced a bill to authorize officers below the grade of Brigadier General to draw rations.

Mr. Staples, of Va., offered a resolution that the Judiciary Committee be instructed to inquire what, if any, legislation is necessary to prevent illegal impressments of private property.

Mr. Baldwin, of Va., introduced a bill to provide payment for slaves impressed under State laws, and lost in the public service.

Mr. Holcombe, of Va., offered a resolution that the special Committee on the Currency consider the expediency of requesting the State Banks of the Confederacy to loan their respective reserves of specie to the Confederate Government.

Mr. Sparrow, from the Military Committee, reported back the following bill, with the recommendation that it pass:

The Congress of the Confederate States do enact, That no person liable to the military service shall hereafter be permitted or allowed to furnish a substitute for such service, nor shall any substitute be received, enlisted, or enrolled in the military service of the Confederate States; and that all laws heretofore passed permitting or allowing persons liable to military service to furnish substitutes for the same, or authorizing the acceptance, enlistment, or enrollment of any such substitute in the military service be, and the same is hereby, repealed.

Mr. Wigfall moved to strike out the last clause of the bill, which being rejected, the bill was passed and sent to the House.

Mr. Boteler introduced a bill to provide compensation for horses unavoidably lost in the public service. Referred to the Military Committee.

After several other resolutions of inquiry were offered and referred, the House adjourned.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (4)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Wigfall (2)
Sparrow (2)
Foote (2)
Leroy Brown (2)
Whiting (1)
Staples (1)
Sexton (1)
Read (1)
Preston (1)
Phelan (1)
A. B. Johnson (1)
Hunter (1)
Holcombe (1)
Gray (1)
Davis (1)
Conrad (1)
Boteler (1)
Baldwin (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
August, 9 AD (1)
January, 1 AD (1)
February 1st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: