previous next

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."’


Mr. Thomas, 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.

Bills passed.

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.

John Letcher.

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:

Resolved, 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

Mr. Collier offered the following joint resolution, which laid over under the rules.

Whereas, 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 said:

Mr. President--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 service. 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. It must 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 service. 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.

Evening session.

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 found absent:

*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.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March 18th, 1862 AD (3)
February 18th, 1862 AD (1)
February 10th, 1862 AD (1)
February 18th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: