Furloughs in the Navy.
At the request of many ship mates, I would ask, through the columns of your paper, if, by the laws of the Confederate States
, the men in the naval service are entitled to furloughs allowed men in the army?
I see no reason why it should be otherwise, as we are all volunteers,
enlisted in the same holy cause.
There is, however, a vast difference as regards privileges shown men in the army and navy.
In the army they are continually getting thirty days furlough, while those in naval service cannot, even in the most urgent
cases, obtain a leave of absence for twenty-four hours. This distinction has caused much dissatisfaction and some desertion in the fleet; and as the evil could be so easily remedied, I would ask an investigation of the matter.
The men in the naval service are not, as is supposed by many, conscripts;
but the large majority of us are old and tried soldiers — veterans of Lee
's invincible army.
In April last, an order was issued throughout the entire Army of Northern Virginia, calling for volunteers for the naval service; and many of us, believing that we would promote the interest of the cause, promptly responded to the call — thus becoming members of the Confederate States
But if, in the exchange we have made, we are to forfeit the privilege shown our former comrades in the army — I say, if we are to be denied the dear
privilege of occasionally
visiting the loved ones from whom we have been so long separated — we earnestly entreat the authorities at Richmond
to allow us to return to our several commands in the field.
Hoping that justice
will be speedily shown in this matter, I am, respectfully,