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Confederate Congress.


Saturday, February 18, 1865.
Prayer by the Rev. Robert Gatewood, of the Episcopal Church.

Mr. Vest, of Missouri, introduced a bill providing that all reserve persons within the "reserve" age, who shall be refugees, shall be enrolled at the places of their temporary residence, wherever that may be, within the Confederate States at the time of the passage of the bill. Referred to the Military Committee.

Mr. Wigfall, from the Military Committee, reported back adversely House bill to amend the act to furnish the army with tobacco.

Mr. Wigfall, from the same, reported back favorably House bill to secure the more efficient transportation of troops and munitions of war. Considered and passed.

Mr. Wigfall, from the same, reported back some papers relative to the quality of tobacco furnished the army, and asked for a select committee to consider and inquire into the subject.

It was ordered that the Chair appoint the select committee.

House bill to regulate the promotion of officers, under certain circumstances, was reported favorably from the same committee and was passed.

Mr. Semmes, from the Finance Committee, reported back, with amendments, House appropriation bill, which,

On motion, by Mr. Brown, was postponed till Monday.

House bill to diminish the number of exemptions and details was then taken up, the question being on agreeing to certain amendments proposed by the Senate Military Committee.

The amendments were agreed to without discussion, and the bill passed in the following form:

"a bill to diminish the Number of exemptions and details.

"The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That so much of the 'act to organize forces to serve during the war,' approved February 17, 1864, as exempt one person as overseer or agriculturist on each farm or plantation upon which there were, at specified times, fifteen able-bodied field hands, between the ages or sixteen and fifty, upon certain conditions, is hereby repealed: Provided, That exemptions of persons over forty-five years of age may be granted under the provisions of the act aforesaid, and said persons shall be liable to military service upon the expiration of the time for which they received exemption by reason of having executed bonds for one year from the date thereof.

"Section 2. No exemption or detail shall be granted by the President of Secretary of War, by virtue of said act, except of persons lawfully reported by a board of surgeons as unable to perform active service in the field; persons over the age of forty years, and of laborers, artizans, mechanics and persons of scientific skill employed by, or working for, the Governments, State or Confederate, and shown by proper testimony to be such laborers, artizans, mechanics or persons of scientific skill, and with the same exceptions all exemptions and details heretofore granted by the President or Secretary of War, by virtue of said act, are hereby revoked.

"Section 3. That all skilled artizans and mechanics who are engaged in the employment of the Government of the Confederate States are hereby exempt from all military service during the time they are so employed: Provided, That persons whose services, labors or skill may be more usefully employed for the public good at home than in the field, to be determined by the Secretary of War, on the sworn testimony of disinterested witnesses, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, and the names of all persons so exempted or detailed, together with the reason for the detail, shall be submitted to Congress at the beginning of each session."

On motion, by Mr. Burnett, the Senate then resolved into secret session to consider the negro soldier bill.

House of Representatives.

The House met at 11 o'clock. Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Shaver.

The unfinished business in the morning hour, being the bill providing for the redemption of the amount of old issue paid to the Indian nations under various treaties, and now held by them, in notes of the new issue, was taken up, amended and passed.

The bill appropriates $600,000 for that purpose.

Mr. Sexton, of Texas, from the committee of conference on the disagreement of the two Houses on the bill for the employment of free negroes and slaves to work on fortifications and to perform other labor connected with the public defence, submitted a report upon the points of difference, recommending that the compensation to be paid the owners of slaves impressed be left subject to agreement between the Government and the owner, and amending the House bill so as to allow one out of less than five slaves to be impressed when not exclusively employed in agricultural or mechanical pursuits.

The report was concurred in.

On motion of Mr. Snead, of Missouri, the House resolved into secret session on the negro soldier bill.

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