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House of Representatives

Monday, March 10, 1862.
The House met at 12 o'clock, and was opened with prayer by Rev. Dr. Hoes. Journal of Saturday read and agreed to.

Mr. Miles asked the consent of the House to introduce an important bill from the Military Committee, with reference to an increase of the clerical force in the War Department. The bill provides that twenty additional clerks shall be employed in that department, six of them to receive $1,509 per annum, six of them $1,250, and eight of them to receive $1,000 per annum. The bill was passed without opposition.

The States were then called alphabetically for resolutions and memorials, when Mr. Dargan, of Ala., offered the following resolution, which was adopted.

Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs he instructed to inquire if any legislation is necessary to enable Sergeant Majors and Quartermaster Sergeants to receive their pay.

Mr. Clopton, of Ala., introduced a memorial, which, without reading, was referred to the Committee on Patents.

Mr. Chilton, of Ala., reported a bill from the post-Office Committee, to be entitled an act to establish certain Post-Offices therein named, and asked that it be put upon its passage which was agreed to.

Mr. Garland of Ark., presented a bill to be entitled an act to amend an act to establish Confederate Courts. Referred to the Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Strickland, of Ga., presented a memorial, which was referred to the Committee on Post-Office and Post Roads.

Mr. Kenner, of La., submitted the following resolution:

Resolved, That the resolution this body, passed on the 4th of March, calling on the President for the estimates of the public service to the on of the next fiscal year, be, and the same is hereby, repealed; and that the President be requested to direct that the said estimates be made up to the first day of December, 1862, and that they be submitted to Congress at as early a day as practicable.

Mr. Conrad, of La., reported a bill from the Committee on Naval Affairs, and moved it be placed upon the calendar and printed. A greed to.

Mr. Burnett, of Ky., introduced a resolution for the purchase of $200 worth of stationery for the use of the House. Resolution adopted.

Mr. Gaither, of N. C., asked leave of absence for his colleague, Mr. McDowell, until Monday next. Granted.

Also, asked that the special committee in investigate the he authorized to employ a Clerk. Agreed to.

Mr. Botton offered the following joint resolution, which, after a third reading, was

by the and of

reves of the Confederate States of America, in Congress assembled, That the planters of the Confederate States be, and are hereby, earnestly advised to withdraw as much as practicable from the cultivation of cotton and tobacco, and to devote their energies to raising previsions and cattle, hogs and sheep.

Mr. Currin, of Tenn., introduced the following resolution, which he advocated with great earnestness and considerable ability:

Resolved, That the special committee to whom it was referred to inquire and report as to the causes of the recent disasters to our arms at Fort Donelson, and elsewhere, be also instructed to inquire and report as to the management of the Quartermaster and Commissary Departments in the State of Tennessee, and more particularly as to the conduct of Major V. H. Stephenson, of that service, at and before the surrender of the city of Nashville, and immediately thereafter.

Resolved, further, That said committee be instructed to inquire and report what quantity, and the value thereof, of public stores was deposited at said city of Nashville, at the time of its surrender to the enemy; what proportion thereof fell into the hands of the enemy, and what proportion was saved; and how, and by whom.

Resolved, further, That said committee inquire and report what official or officials were more immediately charged with the protection and preservation of said public stores, and by whose act or acts, either of omission or commission, it was, that said public stores, or any portion thereof, fell into the hands of the enemy.

Resolved, further, That for the purpose of forwarding the investigation indicated by these resolutions, the said committee be empowered to send for persons and papers, and to compel their presence and production. Agreed to.

Mr. Hilton, of Florida, opposed that portion of the resolution authorizing the committee to send for persons and papers, upon the ground that it might call from their posts of duty persons whose testimony was essential to impartial investigation.

Mr. Foote was surprised and mortified at the views expressed by the gentleman from Florida. One of the highest duties resting upon the House was the investigation of public grievances. This body was the grand inquisition of the nation, and if it failed to do its duty, the seats of the members ought to be vacated. He could see no harm to result from a rigid scrutiny of the acts of public servants, and advocated investigation as necessary for the public good.

Mr. Atkins, of Tennessee, desired to say a word in support of the resolution of his colleague. He thought an investigation entirely proper with reference to the conduct of our officers in Kentucky and Tennessee. He was sorry, however, that the debate upon this resolution was a public one, and expressed the opinion that the investigation should have been in secret session. He had no feeling against any of the officers whose conduct it was proposed to investigate; no feeling against Gen. Johnson; but he would be recreant to his trust, to the people of Tennessee, and to the people of the Confederate States, if he failed to bear testimony to the incompetency and gross mismanagement which had characterized the command of our army in the West. He thought the great interests of the country demanded an investigation. Gen Johnston had command of our forces there, and he had proven himself incompetent, and it was well enough to imitate the example of the Lincoln Congress, when a man lost a battle because of evident incompetency, to remove him. Gen. Johnston had lost the confidence of the people of Tennessee and of his army. He had not, and had never, heard his patriotism or his gallantry doubted, but the people of West and Middle Tennessee could never be rallied under him again. Give them a leader in whose ability and military skill they have confidence, and the gallant sons of Tennessee would again rally beneath the tri-barred banner, and fight for the glorious cause which inspired them to such deeds of glory at Fort Donelson.

Mr. Swann, of Tenn., wished to be understood as not standing forth as the apologist of Gen. Johnston. He had seen it stated that when the Federal army entered the town of Clarksville, no Union feeling was found there. The friends of the South stood as firmly by her interests as they did in the commencement of the war. He vindicated the loyal population of East Tennessee, and read an extract from the letter of a little boy 10 years of age to show the feeling which animated the people in that section.

Mr. Moore, of Ky., regretted that the discussion had taken so wide a range. He conceived it to be his duty to raise his voice in vindication of the reputation of a gallant and meritorious officer, who had served his country long and faithfully. He reviewed at some length the circumstances surrounding Gen. Johnston from the day he assumed command of the army in Kentucky to the time of the surrender of Nashville. He wanted the investigation to go on, however, that a patriotic and chivalrous officer might stand triumphantly vindicated. He favored the investigation, because he believed the blame for our disasters rested elsewhere, and upon others, rather than Gen. Johnston.

Mr. Foote asked if the gentleman would advocate the continuance of any man in command when the soldiers under him had lost confidence in him?

Mr. Moore repeated that he would not, but that his object was the vindication of the patriotism and chivalry of a gallant officer.

Mr. Atkins remarked that no one had assaulted the patriotism or chivalry of Gen. Johnston.

Mr. Conrad, of La., called the previous question, which was sustained, and the resolutions being put upon their passage, were agreed to.

Mr. Foote offered resolutions, to be referred to Military Committee, embracing inquiries into the conduct, number, disposition, &c., of the army under Gen. A. S. Johnston.--Upon this a warm debate ensued, which was participated in by Messrs. Foote and Atkins, of Tennessee, and Messrs. Gray, of Texas, and Davis, of Mississippi. The resolutions being put upon their passage, the vote was called for by yeas and nays, and resulted, yeas 52, nays 23.

Mr. Boteler, of Virginia, offered the following resolution, which was adopted:

Resolved, That the Committee on Ways and Means be instructed to inquire into the expediency of reporting a bill making Confederate Treasury notes a legal tender in the payment of debts during the continuance of the present war for independence.

Mr. Baldwin of Virginia, presented a letter from the President of the Bank of Rockingham, which was referred to the Committee of Ways and Means.

Mr. Holcomes, of Virginia, presented a memorial relating to the postal service, which was appropriately referred.

Mr. Barksdale, of Miss., offered a bill to provide for the election of a printer to this House; which, on motion, was referred to the Committee on Printing.

Mr. Gartrell, from the Judiciary Committee, reported back the bill to regulate the appointment of officers, and asked that it be laid upon the table.

Also, a bill for fixing the time for the meeting of Congress. Laid upon the table.

Also, a resolution that the usual number of the report of the Attorney General be printed for the use of the House. Adopted.

Mr. Moore asked that the resolutions on sequestration and confiscation be laid upon the table, and the committee discharged from their further consideration.

Mr. Kenner, from the Committee of Ways and Means, reported back the bill with reference to the issue of Confederate notes, and providing a war tax; which he asked should be laid upon the table, with a recommendation that it do not poss.

Also, a bill relating to pensions, which was referred to the Committee on Claims.

Mr. Miles, from the Military Committee, reported a bill declaring what persons shall be exempt from military duty; which was ordered to be printed and made the order of the day for Wednesday.

Several other minor bills were reported from the same committee, one of which, in reference to enlisting cooks for the army, was made the special order for Friday.

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