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First Congress
of the
Confederate States of America.
adjourned session.

Richmond, July 26, 1861.
Congress met, pursuant to adjournment, at 12 M., and was opened with prayer, by Rev. Joshua Peterrin, of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Hon. Howell Cobb in the Chair.

The President laid before Congress a communication from the Chowan Baptist Association, of South Carolina, accompanied by a series of resolutions expressive of confidence in the Government of the Southern Confederacy, and the justness of the Southern cause.

On motion of Mr. Wright, of Georgia, the resolutions were ordered to be spread upon the Journal.

resolutions, Memorials, &c.

Mr. Curry, of Alabama, presented a memorial of M. G. Rhodes and other patentees of Alabama, asking a change of the patent laws. Referred to Committee on Patents.

Mr. Wright, of Georgia, asked leave to introduce a bill to amend the 8th section of an act entitled an act to provide for the public defence.

Mr. Ochiltree, of Texas--I arise to a question of order. I think there is a resolution now in force requiring all such bills to be acted on in secret session.

The President.--It depends upon the character of the bill.

Mr. Wright.--There is nothing in the bill requiring concealment. Again, the original bill has already been published.

After examining the bill, the President said it might be introduced. The bill provides that the 8th section of the original bill be amended by the addition of the following paragraph, viz: ‘"And that in cases where a State battalion shall consist of more companies than five or less than ten, the President may appoint-such additional officer or officers as he may deem necessary and proper to its organization."’

Mr. Wright said the amendment provided for a difficulty the original bill failed to meet. It often happened there were companies left over after the organization of a regiment, sufficient to make a battalion. These supernumerary companies having no officers to command them, are kept inactive in the field until enough additions can be obtained to form a regiment. The amendment provided for rendering such battalions immediately serviceable by the appointment of proper officers to take charge of them.

Mr. Smith moved a reference of the bill to the Committee on Military Affairs.

Mr. Chesnut said he had some amendments to offer at the proper time, and moved that the bill be printed. Both motions prevailed.

Mr. Perkins presented the claim of Dr. B. M. Enders, late surgeon in the U. S. Army. Referred to the Committee on Claims.

Mr. Bocock presented the memorial of Dr. A. Y. Garnett, asking the amendment of an act passed last session in relation to the commissioning of naval officers. In presenting the memorial, Mr. Bocock said, ‘"I wish to say that the Doctor some years ago was an assistant surgeon in the United States Navy. On the commencement of our difficulties the Doctor, being an outspoken friend of the independncee of the South, took every occasion to express his opposition to the unwarrantable acts of the Northern Administration. In consequence of this the lawless creatures of that Administration surrounded his house, threatened the safety of himself and family, and made it necessary for him to come to Virginia. It is known to all who have been for years past members of the Congress of the United States, that he had attained a position and acquired a practice in Washington second to no man in that city. When he came here the Governor of Virginia appointed him a surgeon in the Navy of this State. An act passed by Congress at its last session authorized the Executive authority of the Confederate States to commission in the Navy of the C. S. A. all those who had been officers in the Navy of the United States, and who had resigned their positions in consequence of the secession of their respective States. By that act various gentlemen who had resigned have been received as surgeons. But as Dr. Garnett did not resign his commission in consequence of the secession of his State, the act does not embrace his case. He asked that the act be so amended as to embrace his case. I believe, however, he stands alone in this category. It will be but an act of justice to thus recognize the merits and services of this gentleman. I move the memorial be referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs. So ordered. ’

Mr. Seddon, of Virginia, offered the following:

Resolved, by Congress, That the Committee on the Judiciary be instructed to inquire into and report on the expediency of prescribing by law, while the facts, are fresh and susceptible of proof, some uniform mode of taking, authenticating and preserving the evidence of the abduction or reception, by the enemy, of slaves owned by any of the Confederate States, as also of the age, sex and value of said slaves, to the end that indemnity may be hereafter exacted from the enemy.

’ Referred as directed.

Mr. Russell, of Virginia, offered the following, which was agreed to:

Resolved, That the Committee on Postal Affairs inquire into the expediency of conferring the franking privilege on John Tyler, late President of the United States.

Mr. Staples offered the following, which was agreed to:

Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs inquire into the expediency of so amending the law as to authorize officers of the Medical Department to exercise command over all enlisted men, like other commissioned officers.

Mr. Staples also offered the following, which was agreed to:

Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs inquire into the expediency of so amending the law as to authorize the Secretary of War to employ a Messenger in the office of the Surgeon General.

Mr. Avery offered the following, which was referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs:

‘ An Act to further amend an Act to provide for the Reorganization of the Navy, approved March 16, 1861.

The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the President be and is hereby authorized to nominate, and by and with the consent of Congress to appoint all officers of the navies of any of the States of this Confederacy, who have been officers of the United States Navy, and who may be fit for active service, to the same rank and position in the Navy of the Confederate States which they would have held in the Navy of the U. States, by the ordinary course of promotion therein, if they had remained in the said U. States Navy until the date of their said appointment in the Confederate Navy: Provided, however, that no such officer shall be appointed to a higher rank or position than he has held in the State Navy to which he has been attached; and, provided further, That no such officer shall be appointed a captain, commander, lieutenant, or sailing-master in the line of promotion, who did not hold, at the time of leaving the United States Navy, one of the said ranks, or the rank of passed midshipman therein; or in default thereof, shall have seen at least six years of sea service in the navy and merchant service combined, and shall, before receiving his commission, successfully pass an examination before a Naval Examining Board, composed of captains or commanders to be designated by the Secretary of the Navy, touching his fitness for said appointment, in which case the officer so passed may be nominated and commissioned to a rank not higher than that of Lieutenant. And, provided further, that no officer shall be appointed, by authority of this act, who may at any time have committed any act of hostility against the Confederate States, or any one thereof.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That in case any such officers of any State Navy or Navies, as are comprised in the first section of this act, should receive appointments in the Navy of the Confederate States, the President is authorized to affix to their commissions such dates as may be necessary to secure to them the same relative position that they held, or at the date of their said appointment would have held as aforesaid, in the Navy of the United States.

Congress then went into secret session.

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