The Confederate Congress

By Wilfred Buck Yearns | Go to book overview
Save to active project

VII
MORE MEN!

BY THE WINTER OF 1863-1864 IT WAS STILL APPARENT THAT THE Confederate armies could not hold their own against the seemingly endless number of Northerners. General Lee had been begging for recruits for over a year and had advocated new laws, particularly the ending of all class exemptions, for the better use of the available manpower. William J. Hardee and twenty other Generals proposed changes which would place all men, black and white, between 15 and 60 at the complete disposition of the military.1 In his message of December 7, 1863, to the last session of the First Congress President Davis firmly stated that Congress must "add largely to our effective forces as promptly as possible." He advised it to substitute a system of executive detail for that of class exemption and to extend the draft age beyond 45, the older men to be used mainly to replace able-bodied men performing inactive duties.2 The Secretary of War added two important requests. He explained that the first draft law had required all troops then in the army to serve for a total of three years. In 1864, 315 regiments and 58 battalions were eligible for discharge and he asked that they be continued in the army for the duration. He further suggested that Congress organize groups of non-conscripts and "the least available conscripts" to hunt down deserters and assist the enrolling officers when needed.3

Both houses contained men willing to go the limit and they vigorously sought the initiative. On December 11 Senator Wigfall proposed to draft everyone between 16 and 60 and leave their service almost entirely to the President.4 Senator Albert Gallatin Brown of Mississippi, ordinarily opposed to extreme army measures, now demanded a levy en masse. He deplored the practice of frittering away the reserves by drafting a few men here and a few men there, and if his suggestion smacked of despotism he

-86-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Confederate Congress
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 293

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?