has made the following report to the Secretary of War
relative to the obstacles it is alleged he threw in the way of recruiting for the Virginia State Line under Gen. Floyd
--I observe in the late message of the Governor
of the State
certain charges that, exceeding my authority as a Confederate officer, I had improperly and mischievously interfered with the non-conscripts in Southwest Virginia
, and demoralized the militia.
Deprecating a controversy with the Governor
, and disclaiming accountability to him for my official acts, I deem it proper to lay my action on the subject before you. In accordance with your telegram of August 15th, stating ‘"persons in the employment of the Government
are not regarded as ble to militia duty," ’ and directing me ‘"to retain them and remit the question of liability to be determined in a conference between the Secretary of War
and the Governor
,"’ I issued the following General Order
of August 17th:
‘"In accordance with instructions from the Secretary of War
, persons in the employment of the Government
are regarded as not liable to militia duty, and will be retained in their present occupations and employments until it is otherwise ordered and determined;"’ --and in accordance with your telegram of August 18, stating ‘"the militia may volunteer before enrolling, if they volunteer for three years, or the war, they are entitled to bounty."’ And your letter of August 21st, stating ‘"until mustered into the State
service the militia can volunteer, and will receive bounty.
If they enlist for three years or the war."’ I issued another General Order
, which follows:
‘ "The General commanding announces, upon the authority of the Secretary of War
to the militia in this department between 35 and 45 years of age, and not yet enrolled, that they may volunteer in the service of the Confederate State
for three years or the war, and by so doing will receive a bounty of $50." ’
These orders contain my action on the subject referred to, and in them there is certainly nothing to warrant the statements of the Governor
that I ‘"issued orders to stop the enrollment in Monroe
, and, perhaps, other counties."’
These orders offered to the citizens suddenly called into the public service the choice between the easier and briefer duties of the militia, and the more permanent and immediate duty in the regularly constituted volunteer army then in the field and in the face of the enemy.
The Governor seems to desire, less that a public duty be done in an efficient manner than that it shall be done in his own way, and he outrages the people whom he calls to arms when he denies them the proud privilege of becoming volunteers, and seeks to detain them forcibly in a though of the utmost dignity, yet whose service is temporary, local, and obliged by the laws.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obd't serv't, W. W. Loring