General Orders #25 – Gov. John Letcher Transfers Command of Virginia Forces to Confederate Government

19 12 2020



O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 911-912

General Orders,
No. 25

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., June 8, 1861.

By the Governor of Virginia.
A Proclamation.

The delegates of the people of Virginia, in Convention assembled, having by their ordinance passed April 25, 1861, adopted and ratified the Constitution of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, ordained and established at Montgomery, Ala., on February 8, 1861, and the State of Virginia having been, by an act of the Confederate States, passed May 7, 1861, admitted as a State into the Confederate Government, and the President being, under the Constitution of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States and of the militia of the several States when called into the service of the Confederate States:

Now, therefore, I, John Letcher, governor of Virginia, by and with the advice and consent of the executive council, do hereby transfer to the authorities of the Confederate States, by regiments, all the volunteer forces which have been mustered into the service of Virginia, and do order a like transfer, by regiments, battalions, squadrons, and companies, of all volunteers or militia, as the same shall be formed, and their services may be required.

I further hereby transfer to the authorities of the Confederate States the command of all the officers, seamen, and marines of the Provisional Navy of Virginia, for service in the Confederate States.

I do further order that all officers of the Virginia service now on duty in any of the departments of the staff continue to discharge their respective functions, under the direction and control of the President, until otherwise ordered; and that all quartermasters, commissary, and medical stores belonging to the State and in charge of said officers, to be turned over for the use of the Confederate States, upon proper receipts for the articles turned over, to be forwarded to the accounting officer for settlement. All moneys in charge of any of the departments will be forthwith returned into the treasury of the State.

I do further order all the Provisional Army of Virginia to respect and obey all lawful orders emanating from the President, or those commanding under his authority, and that the same may be incorporated, in whole or in part, into the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, at the pleasure of the President.

I do hereby authorize the use of all public property, munitions of war, &c., captured from the United States, the machinery at Harper’s Ferry excepted, by the President or those acting under his authority, for the common defense.

Given under my hand as governor, and under the seal of the State, at Richmond, this 6th day of June, A. D. 1861, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Commonwealth.

By the governor:

Secretary of the Commonwealth.

In compliance with the foregoing proclamation, the command of the military and naval forces of the State of Virginia is transferred to the Confederate States. All officers of said forces will obey the orders they may receive from the heads of the War and Navy Departments, respectively. Officers of the staff will receive their instructions from the chiefs of the several branches of the Confederate States Government.

R. E. LEE,
General, Commanding.



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