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Confederate States Congress.

Tuesday, March 24, 1863.
Senate.--The Senate was called to order at 12 o'clock by Mr. Hunter of Va., and opened with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Solomon, of the Baptist Church.

Mr. Oldham from the Committee on Post-Roads, &c., reported back the resolution relative to a foreign mail, viz Matamoras and Havana with a resolution declaring that it was inexpedient to legislate upon the subject at this time.

Mr. Oldham reported a bill to proscribe the rales of postage on newspapers, periodicals, transient and other matter. Postage on newspapers to subscribers shall be one cent on each not weighing more than three ounces; half a cent for each additional ounce. Periodicals published oftener than twice a month shall be charged as newspapers.--Postage on other periodicals, of one and a half ounce weight, one cent each, and an additional cent on each extra outfit. Postage shall be paid in advance. The postage on every other newspaper, circular, periodical, etc., shall be one cent per ounce or fraction of an ounce; on boots, not over four pounds in weight, two cents, prepaid in all cases, except when sent by officers, dru and privates of the C. S. Army. Newspapers published out of the Confederacy shall be double the above rates. On all newspapers, etc., placed in any post office for delivery, and not for transmission; the postage shall be one cent each. The set to take effect on the 1st of July, 1863.

Mr. Wigfall reported a hill to provide tobacco for the army, which was passed. It provides that rations of tobacco shall be given to the soldiers, under such regulations as the Secretary of War shall establish.

The act to regulate impressments was next called up. The question was on agreeing to the report of the committee of conference of the two Houses on their disagreeing votes on the bill. The committee recommend that the House agree to the amendment of the Senate, with the following amendment: Strike out all after the word "that," in the second line of the first section, and insert:

  • "Whenever the exigencies of any army in the field are such as to make impressments of forage, articles of subsistence or other property absolutely necessary, then such impressment may be made by the officer or officers whose duty it is to furnish such forage, articles of subsistence, or other property, for such army. In cases where the owner of such property and the impressing officer cannot agree upon the value thereof, it shall be the duty of such impressing officer, upon an affidavit in writing of the owner of such property or his agent, that such property was grown, railed, or produced by said owner, or is held or has been purchased by him not for rale or speculation but for his own use or consumption to cause the some to be ascertained or determined by the judgment of two loyal and disinterested citizens of the city, county, or parish in which such impressment may be made, one to be selected by the owner, one by the impressing officer, and, in the event of their disagreement these two shall choose an umpire of like qualification whose decision shall be final. The persons thus selected, after taking on oath to appraise the property impressed fairly and impartially, which oath, as well as the affidavit provided for in this section, the impressing officer is hereby authorized to administer and certify) shall proceed to assess just compensation for the property to impressed, whether the absolute ownership or the temporary use thereof only is inquired.
  • "Sec. 2 That the officer or person impressing property, as aforesaid, shall, at the time of said taking, pay to the owner, his agent or attorney, the compensation fixed by said appraisers, and shall also give to the owner, or person controlling said property a certificate over his official signature, specifying the battalion regiment, brigade Civitan, or corps is which no belongs, that sold property is essential for the use of the army, could not be otherwise, procured and was taken through at absolute necessity; setting forth the time and place, when and where taken, the amount of compensation fired by said appraisers, and the su if any, paid for the same. Said certificate the evidence for the owner, as well of the taking of said property for the public use, as the right of the owner to the amount of compensation fired as aforesaid. And in also said officer or person, taking said property, shall have faced to pay the owner or his agent, said compensation as herein before required. then said owner shall be entitled to the speedy payment of the name by the proper dirt carried officer which, when shall be in of all claim against the Government of Confederate States.
  • "Sec. 3 Whenever the appraisement provided for in the 1st Section of the act shall for any reason be impen at the time of said impressment them and in that case the value of the property impressed shall be asserted as soon as possible by two loyal and disinterested citizens of the city, county or parish, wherein the property was taken, the son as follows: One by the owner, and one by the Commissary or Quartermaster General, or his agent, who, in case of disagreement, shall choose a third citizen of like qualification, as an umpire to decide the matters in dispute, who shall be sworn as aforesaid, who shall bear the proofs adduced by the parties, as to the value of said property and assess a just compensation therefore, according to the testimony.
  • "Sec. 4 That whenever the Secretary of War. shall be of opinion that its is necessary so that private property for public use by reason of the impracticality of procuring the same by purchase, so as to accumulate necessary supplies for the army, or the good of the service in any locality, he may, by general order, through the proper subordinate officers, authorize such property to be taken for the public use, the compensation due the owner for the same to be determined and the value found as provided for in the first and second sections of this act.
  • "Sec. 5 That it shall be the duty of the President, as early as practicable after the passage of this act, to appoint a commissioner in each State where property shall be taken for the public use, and request the Governor of such of the States in which the President shall appoint said commissioner to appoint another commissioner to act in conjugation with the commissioner appointed by the President, who shall receive the commission of eight, dollars per day, and ten cents per to be paid by the Confederate Government. Said commissioners shall a board, whose duty it shall he to fix upon the prices to be paid by the Government, for all property impressed or taken for the public use, as aforesaid so as to afford just compensation to the owners thereof. Said commissioners shall agree upon and publish a of pas every two months, or oftener if they shall deem it proper; and in the event they shall not be able to agree to say matter confided to them in this act they shall have power to appoint an umpire to decide the matter in dispute whose such fort shall be the decision of the board; and said umpire shall receive the same rate of compensation, for the time he shall serve, allowed to said commissioners respectively: Provided, that said commissioners shall be residents of the State for which they shall to appointed; and if the Governor of any State shall refuse or neglect to appoint said commissioner, within ten days after a request to do so by the President, the President shall appoint both commissioners by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
  • "Sec. 6 That all property impressed or taken for the public use as aforesaid, in the hands of any person other than the person who have raised, grown, or produced the same, or persons holding the same for their own use or consumption and who shall make the affidavit hereinbefore required, shall be paid for according to the schedule of prices fixed by the commissioners as aforesaid. But if the officer impressing or taking for the public use said property, and the owner shall differ as to the quality of the article or property impressed or taken as aforesaid thereby making it fall within a higher or lower price named in the schedule, their the owner or agent and the officer impressing or taking, as aforesaid, may select each a loyal and disinterested citizen, of the qualifications as aforesaid, to determine the quality of said article or property who shall, in care of disagreement, appoint an umpire of like qualifications, and his decision, I approved by the officer impressing, shall be final. But if not approved, the impressing officer shall send the award to the commissioners of the State where the property it impressed, with his reasons for disapproving the same, and said commissioners may hear such proofs as the parties may respectively adduce and their decisions shall be final: Provided that the owner may receive the price offered by the impressing officer, without prejudice to his claim to receive the nigher compensation.
  • "Sec. 7 That the property necessary for the support of the owner and his family, and to carry on his ordinary agricultural and mechanical business, to be ascertained by the appraisers, to be appointed as provided in the first section of this act under oath, shall not be taken or impressed for the public use; and when the impressing officer and the owner cannot agree as to the quantity of property necessary as aforesaid, then the decisions of the said appraisers shall be building on the officer and all other persons.
  • "Sec. 8. There property has been impressed for temporary use, and is inst or destroyed, without the default of the owner, the Government of the Confederate States shall pay a just compensation therefore, to be ascertained by appraisers, appointed and qualified as provided in the third section of this act. If such property when returned has, in the of he owner, been injured whilst in the public use, the amount of damage shall be deter lead in the described in the third section of this set, the officer returning the property being authorized to act on behalf of the Government, and upon a quiey, the certificate of the value of the property, when originally impressed shall be reserved prima facts evidence of the value to seal.
  • "Sec. 9 Where slaves are impressed by he Confederate Government this or on us of other public works, the impressment shall be made by said Government according to the rules and regulations prescribed in the laws of the state wherein they are impressed, and in the able such law in a with such rules and regular ...... when they can be hired or by the consent of the owner or agent.
  • "Sec. 10. That prov to the 1st day of december next no slave laboring on a farm or plantation, exclusively devoted to the production of grain and provisions, shall be taken for the public can without the consent of the owner, except in case of urgent necessity.
  • "Sec. 11. That any commissioned or non-commissioned officer or private who shall violate, the provisions of this act shall be tried before the Military Court of the corps to which be in attached, on complaint made by the owner or other person; and on conviction. If an officer he shall be cash-freed and put into the ranks as a private; and if a none on missioned officer or private, he shall suffer such punisb not inconsistent with military law at the Court may direct."
And that the title of the bill be amended so as to read, "An act to regulate impressments."

Several members explained their position insert-Gard to the report, and

Mr. Brown, of Miss., obtaining the floor, called the previous question.

The ayes and noes were demanded by Mr. Simms, and resulted:

Ayes--Messrs. Baker, Barnwell, Brown, Caper Lon. Davis, Dortch, Hayner Henry, Bill, Hunter, Johnson of Ga., McEwell, Mitchell, Oldham, Orr, Feyton, Paelan--17

Noes.--Messrs Clay, Commes, Sparrow--4.

House of Representatives.--House met at 11 o'clock and was opened with prayer by Rev. Henry A. Wise.

Mr. Boteler, of Va., moved a suspension of the rules, to allow him to call up the bill reported some time since from the Committee on Ordnance. The motion did not prevail.

Mr. Royston, of Ark, moved that the House proceed with the consideration of the bill to provide for the assessment and collection of direct taxes and internal revenue. The House, by vote, decided that this bill was a part of the order that no business should be taken up until the currency and tax bills were disposed of.

A number of amendments were offered to the various sections of the as they came under consideration but without final action upon the bill, the House, at 3½ o'clock, adjourned to meet at 11 o'clock to-morrow.

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