previous next

Considerate Congress!

Thursday, October 9, 1862.

Senate--the Senate met at 11 o'clock A. M. the Hon. Mr. Hunter in the chair. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Jeter.

Mr. Sparrow introduced a resolution authorizing the Sergeant at Arrirs to lent rooms for committees by the opening of the next . Adopted.

A Senate kill to authorize the suspension of the write of habeas corpus was taken ap.

On motion of Mr. Haynes, the consideration of the bill was postponed until to-morrow.

A Senate bill to establish a Court of Claims.--Postponed until next session.

A Senate bill to amend an act for the organization of a general staff of the army. Passed over informally.

A Senate bill for the relief of certain officers of the navy and marine corps who resigned from the service of the United States, giving them leave of absence, pay from the time of their resignation to their enlistment in the Confederate service.--Passed.

The Senate then went into secret session.

House of Representatives.--The House met at 11 o'clock. Prayer by Rev. Dr. Read.

Mr. Ayer, of S. C., from a special committee, reported a bill to fix the pay of Collectors of the War Tax in States which have assumed the payment of said tax.

Mr. Dupre, of La., hoped the bill would not be considered until it could be printed and examined by members. It was apparent that the bill had been prepared under a misapprehension on the part of the committee of the real duties which had been performed by many of the collectors.

Mr. Ayer, of S. C., concurred in the statement of the gentleman from Louisiana, that the amount fixed in the bill did not sufficiently remunerate many of the district collectors for the labors performed by them, but it was based upon information furnished by the Secretary of the Treasury that these collectors had performed about one-half of the duties devolving upon them by the bill providing for the collection of the war tax, before the States assumed the payment of said tax. The bill fixed the compensation at $800, and the committee had allowed them one- half of that sum.

Mr. Jones, of Tenn., thought the amount proposed to be allowed by the committee was too large He moved to amend by inserting $200 instead of $400. The motion did not prevail.

Mr. Duprechoved to amend by striking out $400 and inserting $500. The motion was not agreed to.

The bill was then engrossed, read a third time, and passed.

The Chair laid before the House a message from the President, transmitting a communication from the Secretary of War, requesting that some legislation may be had to provide for filling vacancies in the army, where no provision is made by promotion or election. Ordered to be printed and referred to Committee on Military Affairs.

Also, a message from the President transmitting a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, in relation to the necessity of adopting some law to provide for the absorption of the present heavy issue of Treasury notes. Referred to Committee of Ways and Means

Also, a communication from the President, transmitting a report of the Secretary of War of the battle near Richmond, Ky.

Mr. Elliott, of Ky., from the Committee on Indian Affairs, reported a resolution declaring E. T. Boudinot entitled to a seat on the floor of the House as a delegate from the Cherokee nation.--The resolution was agreed to, and the delegate appeared at the Speaker's desk and took the oath required.

Mr. Kenner, of La., from the Committee of Ways and Means, to whom was referred certain resolutions instructing the committee to report a bill to provide a tax for the support of the credit of the Government, submitted a bill, which was ordered to be printed, and made the special order for to-morrow, after the morning hour.

[This bill is in lieu of the tax bill recently reported by the committee, and which we published about two weeks since.]

Mr. Kenner also reported a bill to reduce the rate of interest on the funded debt of the Confederate States, as follows:

The Congress of the Confederate States do enact, That the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to reduce the rate of interest on all bonds and certificates of stock to be issued after the 1st day of December next to a rate per annum not exceeding six per cent., payable annually; and all Treasury notes issued after the said 1st day of December shall be fundable only in the said bonds or stock issued at such reduced rate: Provided, however, that this reduction shall not include any bonds or stock which are required to meet any contracts made before the date aforesaid, or any Treasury notes which shall then have been issued.

2. The said Secretary shall have authority, by public notice, duly advertised, to require the holders of Treasury notes to come in and fund the same in eight per cent. bonds or stock within four months after the date of such notice; and all notes which shall not be presented for funding within the said time shall thereafter be entitled to be funded only in the bonds or stock which shall thereafter be issued, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, at such reduced rates of interest.

Mr. Garnett, of Va, moved to amend the bill by substituting for the first section, down to the provise, the following:

‘"All Treasury notes issued after the 1st day of December next, shall be made lendable only in bonds bearing interest, at the rate of six per cent, per annum; but in all other respects similar to the bonds bearing interest."’

Mr. Bussell moved to amend by striking out in the original bill the words ‘"six per cent.,"’ and inserting ‘"seven-per cent."’

Mr. Smith, of N. C., proposed to amend the first section of the bill by making it obligatory upon the Secretary of the Treasury to reduce the rate of interest on bonds issued after the date specified, and also to make the interest payable semi-annually instead of annually. The propositions were accepted by the chairmen of the Committee of Ways and Means.

The motion of Mr. Russell to strike out ‘"six per cent."’ and insert. ‘ "seven per cent.,"’ was not agreed to.

The amendment of Mr. Garnett was then voted upon and agreed to.

Mr. Foote, of Tenn., introduced an amendment to make all Treasury notes and bonds a legal tender in the payment of debts, which the Speaker decided not in order, as it was not germain to the question.

Mr. Garnett. of Va., moved to strike out the ‘"Proviso"’ in the first section, which was agreed to The words ‘"said Secretary"’ in the second section were stricken out, and the words ‘"Secretary of the Treasury"’ inserted in their stead.

Mr. Gray, of Texas, moved to amend the second section by striking out the words ‘"four months"’ and inserting ‘"six months,"’ This amendment was adopted.

A motion was then made to strike out the second section as amended, and on this the ayes and noes were ordered, and the vote being taken resulted as follows — ayes 30, noes 31.

The bill as amended was then engrossed, read a third time and passed.

Mr. Kenner, of La., from the Committee of Ways and Means, reported a bill making appropriations for the month of January, 1863 and for deficiencies and other purposes therein named.

Ordered to be printed.

Mr. Dupre, of La., offered a resolution requesting the President to inform the House by what authority ‘"Wheat's Louisiana battalion."’ which was mustered in for the war, has been disbanded, and its officers put out of commission.

Resolution agreed to.

Mr. Jones, of Tenn., offered two resolutions--one declaring it the duty of Congress to pass a tax bill at its present session, and the other rescinding the resolution fixing Monday next as the time of adjournment; and moved a suspension of the rules to allow their consideration.

The House refused to suspend the rules.

The special order was then called for, and the Speaker announced that the question was upon the call of Mr. Gartrell, of Ga., for the previous question. At the request of his colleague, Mr. Hartridge, Mr. Gartrell withdrew the call.

Mr. Jones, of Tenn., called the main question, and the call being sustained, the House was brought to a vote upon the amendment of Mr. Foote, reported yesterday.

On this vote the ayes and noes were called, and the amendment was lost, as follows — ayes 14, noes 45.

The vote was then taken upon the substitute to the committee's bill, introduced by Mr. Lyons, of Va., and it was rejected.

Mr. Hartridge, of Ga., then introduced the following substitute for the substitute offered by Mr. Buldwin yesterday, and addressed the House in its support:

The Congress of the Confederate States do enact, That in all cases where any person or persons, target on oath with treason, misprision of treason, or other crime or misdemeanor against the Confederate States, and endangering the safety thereof, shall be arrested or imprisoned by virtue of any warrant or authority from the President of the Confederate States, or from any person acting under the direction or authority of the President of the Confederate States, the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall be, and the same is hereby, suspended, from and after the passage of this act, until after the expiration of thirty days after the commencement of the next session of this Congress.

The vote was taken by ayes and noes, and the substitute above was agreed to as a substitute for the substitute yesterday offered by Mr. Baldwin, by ayes 36, noes 29.

The question was then upon the substitute of Mr. Hartridge in place of the original bill, on which the ayes and noes were had, as follows — ayes 30, noes 37. So the substitute was not agreed to.

The bill was then engrossed, read a third time, and on its passage the ayes and noes were called, and resulted — ayes 38, noes 29.

Mr. Barksdale, of Miss., moved a suspension of the rules, with a view to take up a bill reported from the Committee on Printing. The House refused to suspend the rules.

On motion of Mr. Jones, of Tenn., the House went into secret session.

[Previous to going into secret session, the House determined to most again at 7 ½ o'clock this evening.]

Evening Session.--The Chair stated that the next special order demanding the consideration of the House, was the bill reported from the Military Committee, entitled an act to purge the army of ignorant and incompetent officers. [The bill was published when first reported.]

Mr. Miles, of S. O., from the Military Committee, reported an additional section to the bill as originally reported, which reads an follows.

Been further enacted, That whenever any officer of a company, battalion, squadron-for regiment shall have been dropped or honorably retired. In accordant with the provisions of this act, then the officer next in rank shall be promoted to the vacancy, if competent; and if not competent, then the next officer is rank shall be promoted; and so on until all the commissioned officers of the company battalion, squadron, or regiment shall have been gone through with and if there be no officer of the company, battalion, squadron, or regiment competent to fill the vacancy, then the President shall, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, fill the same appointment: Provided, That the officer appointed shall be from the same State as that to which the company, battalion, squadron, or regiment belongs; and provided further, That nothing herein contained shall be construed as limiting the power heretofore conferred upon the President by existing laws to fill any vacancy by the promotion of officers or the appointment of privates ‘"distinguished in the service by the exhibition of extraordinary valor and skill. "’

Mr. Baldwin, of Va., moved to strike out of the 2d section of the bill the words, ‘"or careless and inattentive in the discharge of his duties."’ He thought it was going too far to strike a man's name from the roll of the army for mere inattention.

Mr. Miles hoped the amendment of the gentleman from Virginia would not prevail. If a man was fit to discharge his duties as an officer, and failed from carelessness to do so, the heavy hand of justice should be laid upon him.

Mr. Garnett, of Va., sustained the bill as reported, and concluded by calling the question on the motion to strike out, and the vote being taken, the motion was rejected.

Mr. Sexton, of Texas, moved to amend the second section by inserting in the third line, after the word ‘"or,"’ the word ‘"habitually."’

Mr. Wilcox, of Texas, opposed the motion of his colleague. He would vote for a much stronger bill than the one before the House. He was in favor of reducing careless and incompetent officers to the rank.

The motion to amend was further discussed by Messrs. Sexton, Baldwin, Chambers, and Garnett, when the question was called, and the vote being taken, the motion was not agreed to.

Mr. Gartrell, of Ga., moved to amend the second section by the addition of the following: Provided, That such officer shall be entitled to be heard, and to call witnesses in his defence." This amendment elicited some discussion, which was participated in by Messrs. Gartrell, Hilton, Harris, Holt, and Foote.

Mr. Collier, of Va., called the question upon the amendment of Mr. Gartrell; and the call being sustained, the ayes and noes were ordered upon the amendment, with the following result — ayes 36, noes 22

The further consideration of the bill was continued up to the time our report closed — at 10 o'clock.

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 People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Gartrell (5)
Garnett (5)
Jones (4)
Kenner (3)
Hartridge (3)
George S. Foote (3)
Baldwin (3)
Sexton (2)
Miles (2)
Dupre (2)
Ayer (2)
Wilcox (1)
Wheat (1)
Sparrow (1)
Kirby Smith (1)
Russell (1)
Read (1)
Lyons (1)
Jeter (1)
Willis Hunter (1)
Holt (1)
Hilton (1)
Haynes (1)
Harris (1)
A. W. Gray (1)
Elliott (1)
Duprechoved (1)
John E. Collier (1)
Chambers (1)
Bussell (1)
Buldwin (1)
E. T. Boudinot (1)
Barksdale (1)
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.
January, 12 AD (3)
January, 1863 AD (1)
October 9th, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: