General Assembly of Virginia.
Tuesday, March 18, 1862.
The Senate was called to order at 12 o'clock M., the President
in the chair.
Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Brown
, of the Presbyterian Church.
On motion of Mr. Johnston
, it was resolved that ‘"after this day the Senate shall meet at 11 o'clock A. M."’
, of Henry, presented petitions of citizens of that county praying that John Tylee
and Joseph Echols
, of said county, be exempted from military service.
Referred to the Committee
on Military Affairs.
A bill making an appropriation to the Civil Contingent Fund
; a bill providing for the
trial of persons charged with offences committed in counties now in possession of the enemy, or threatened with immediate invasion.
On motion of Mr. Alderson
, the following communication and report were taken up and considered:
Executive Department, Va., March 18, 1862.
Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:
I have received from Col. A. C. Bailey
a communication, accompanied by a receipt from the Paymaster
of the Virginia
forces, which are herewith transmitted for your consideration.
A personal interview with Col. Balley
has satisfied me that he did not intend to defraud the State
in the transaction referred to in my communication to you of the 18th February last, and I recommend, therefore, that no further action be taken in his case.
The Committee on Military Affairs have had under consideration the message from the Governor
of February 18th, 1862, so far as the same refers to the case of Colonel A. C. Balley
, and have come to the following resolution:
That the Governor
, having, by his message of March 18th, 1862, stated his belief that Col. Balley
did not intend to defraud the State
, and recommended that no further action be taken in his case, therefore, be it resolved that the Committee
on Military Affairs be discharged from the further consideration of the subject.
The report of the committee was adopted
offered the following joint resolution, which laid over under the rules.
by reason of the want of conformity in the State
and Confederate legislation, or a want of concert in executing the same, Virginia
is likely to have in the field a larger force than her due proportion, that the General Assembly do not deem it advisable to counteract by any additional legislation at this advanced stage of the session, now near its constitutional close, and in the present aspect of the war; and whereas, it is not supposable that any State of the Confederacy
expects or is willing that any other State shall make an unequal contribution of men or means to the general defence; therefore, be it.
Resolved, by the General Assembly,
That the Confederate
authorities be, and are hereby desired, in such way as may be suitable and shall do no detriment to the public service, to rectify this inequality indicated; and our Senators
are instructed and our Representatives requested to address all suitable endeavors within their sphere.
In presenting this resolution, Mr. Collier
--I propose this joint resolution from the highest and purest sense of public duty.
I shall forbear on this occasion to fully discuss the whole subject.
That our laws relating to military affairs are not as plain as they should be, the General Assembly has itself put forth the most significant commentary, by raising a joint committee to explain them.
It is only to one of these laws that the resolution I have offered refers.
I desire to handle that product of military genius and legislative skill with all possible tenderness.
I must refer to two of its objects only — the one troubles its execution by the State
authorities, the other leaves the State
without security to get a credit for those of her citizens who engage, at once, directly, in the Confederate
The first defect is where the act directs that ‘"at least thirty days"’ before the expiration of the current term, the company shall be mustered to ascertain how many and which will re-enlist.
There are vagueness of idea and looseness of language in this provision.
It falls to fix the time at which the ascertainment shall be made.
be thirty days before the expiration of the current term, but it may
be, as well, sixty days or four months, antecedently.
If the law had declared that within the ten or twenty days next before the last thirty days of the term, the facts should be ascertained, as was otherwise and indeterminately directed as to the time, the Executive
would not have been left, by the act of any subordinate or himself, to select the time, and so to complicate the execution.
The call made by the rolls sent to the camps by the Adjutant General
of the State
, for the number re- enlisted and of those not re-enlisted, ought not to have delayed, but was calculated, as it was meant, by ascertaining their strength, to facilitate the filling up of the companies to the complement of 100 men each.
The other defect, and the one of most importance in our Confederate relations, is, as already intimated, that the State
is not secured any credit, either expressly or constructively, for the volunteers who might engage, and were strongly tempted to engage, outright in the Confederate
The act of February 10, 1862, only secures a credit to the counties, cities, and towns, as against one another; but it falls to secure the credit for the State
as against the Confederate Government; and this is so, although it was known that the Confederate Government was inviting volunteer companies, whilst the Governor
was denied the authority to accept new organizations.
The Tax bill.
The order of the day, being ‘"a bill imposing taxes for the support of Government," ’ was, on motion of Mr. Brannon
, taken up; pending the consideration of which, on motion of Mr. Collier
, the Senate took a recess until 7½ o'clock P. M.
Pursuant to adjournment, the Senate met at 7½ o'clock. The Tax bill being under consideration when the Senate adjourned, there being no quorum present, Mr. Brannon
moved a call of the Senate.
The motion prevailed, whereupon the roll was called, and the following Senators
*James D. Armstrong
, Cyrus A. Branch
, Charles Bruce
, *W. W. Carraway
, Boliver, Christian
, *Joseph Christian
, *Ro A. Coghill
, W. H. Day
, Asa D. Dickinson
, *B. B. Douglas
, *Wm. L. Early
, J. R. Garnett
, Richard Logan
, *James K. Marshall
, Charles Massie
, Wm. N. McKenney
, B. H. Nash
, Wm D. Pate
, John D Pennybacker
, Wm. D. Quesenberry
, *James M. Taliaferro
, Wm. F. Thompson
, T. H. Urquhart
, J. W. M. Witten
The doors being closed, Mr. Johnston
moved that the Sergeant-at-Arms be directed to summon to the bar of the Senate such Senators
as were absent.
He wished the community to know who it was that was neglecting the public business at this important juncture.
The motion was agreed to, and the Sergeant-at-Arm proceeded to execute the same.
Returning with several absentees, their excuses were heard, and at a late hour the Senate adjourned.
*Excused; sufficient reasons being given for their absence.