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by Alexander Hamilton, and still in use at Washington city, was with some modifications adopted by Mr. Memminger. At the commencement of his administration the Secretary was fortunate in securing the valuable services of a number of gentlemen, whose sympathies with the cause of the Confederacy prompted them to resign prominent positions in the United States Treasury Department and to tender their services to the Confederate government. Mr. Philip Clayton, who had been assistant secretary under Mr. Howell Cobb, at Washington, was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Confederate Treasury. Having a knowledge of the forms, and of the general working of the system at Washington, he rendered valuable services in the organiza tion of our department. Accompanying Mr. Clayton to Montgomery from Washington, was Mr. Charles T. Jones, who for years had served in the United States Treasury, and who possessed an accurate knowledge of the business formu-. las. He brought with him copies of all of the forms in use in all of the several bureaus. To the willing spirit and indefatigable labors of Mr. Jones we were more indebted than to any single individual for the rapid and perfect organization of the department in all of its details. Mr. Jones was a native of Indiana, a gentleman of many excellent social virtues, and as a careful and systematic business man, superior to any I have ever known. On the 10th of March, less than one month after the appointment of the Secretary to office, the Treasury Department of the Confederacy was thoroughly organized, with the following officers on duty:
Executive Office-C. G. Memminger, Secretary; Philip Clayton, of Georgia, Assistant Secretary; H. D. Capers, Chief Clerk and Disbursing Officer; J. A. Crawford, Warrant Clerk; Henry Sparnick, Edmund Randolph, H. Kennerworth, J. H. Nash, J. P. Stevens, J. W. Anderson, Thompson Allan, Clerks.
Comptroller-Lewis Cruger; John Ott, Chief Clerk.
First Auditor-Bolling Baker; W. W. Lester, Chief Clerk; J. W. Robertson, M. F. Govan, J. F. Ezell, Clerks.
Second Auditor-W. H. S. Taylor; J. C. Ball, Chief Clerk. Register—A. B. Clitherall; Chas. T. Jones, Chief Clerk; J. C. Thayer, James Simons.
Treasurer-Ed. C. Elmore; T. T. Green, Chief Clerk; Thomas Taylor, Cashier.
I regret that I have not the memoranda with which to refresh my recollection of the names of all the clerks who were at this date assisting in the several bureaus of the department. I have given above only such names as I am enabled to recall from memory after a lapse of many years. Excellent gentlemen and superior business men were among others whose names have been lost among the multitude I have since met with in the varied associations of the past years.
The terms under which the clerks and employes held their offices in the Executive departments of the Confederate government were such as to secure the best of service from competent persons, and to inspire a sense of personal self-respect by investing the employe with such security in his tenure as would naturally provoke fidelity in the discharge of his duty, while at the same time the government had the benefit of his efficiency. Cabinet officers were, of course, appointed by the President, who held their offices for six years, but all other executive and judicial appointments were for life, or during good behavior.
An officer, once appointed, could not be removed unless it was shown that he was intellectually incompetent, negligent in the discharge of his duties, or dishonest, or unless the office held by him had been abolished by the authority creating it.
In the service of the several departments of the government, each Secretary was the judge of the number of clerks necessary to perform promptly and efficiently the work of
the several divisions and sub-divisions of his department, and was expected to make such rules and such appointments to office as in his judgment the exigencies of the public service required.
While the assistant secretaries and chief bureau officers were confirmed in their appointments to office by the Senate on the recommendation of the President, they were by no means independent of the executive head of the department to which they belonged, and could be removed from office for cause or suspended at his pleasure by the consent of the President.
Mr. Memminger very wisely allowed the several chiefs of the divisions into which his department was divided to nominate the clerks for appointment who they desired to serve under their supervision to him. Upon this nomination being made and approved by the Secretary, the clerk received a temporary commission in these words
SIR,-You are hereby appointed a clerk of the class in the Treasury department of the Confederate States on trial for the period of six months, and are assigned to duty with to whom you will at once report. At the expiration of the time prescribed herein, if a favorable report is made on your character and efficiency, you will receive a permanent commission should the exigencies of the public services render it necessary to employ you."
The very correct opinion of the Secretary was that, as the bureau officers were held responsible for the proper discharge of the work in their several branches of the public service, and in several instances were under bond in large sums, that they should be allowed to select largely their own assistants. The probation prescribed would be sufficient to develop the fitness of the appointment and to give sufficient time in which to investigate the antecedent history of the clerk.
The worthy Secretary had spent his active life as a commercial lawyer, among the best business men of a seaport city, famous for its orthodox methods in America and in
Europe, and viewed the whole matter of appointments to office strictly from a business standpoint.
The gentlemen who had entered the Department of the Treasury from Washington were evidently much surprised at the surveillance under which they were kept, and were frequently comparing the lax methods of a clerk's life in that Capitol City with what some of them were pleased to call the banking-house service of Mr. Memminger. If there was a sinecure's place in his department, the Secretary of the Treasury was not aware of its existence.
It was my honor (and I use the word here to express its fullest import) to have had the confidence of Mr. Memminger. I understood then, and from him, the reason why he sought from the first to place his department under the regulation discipline, which, with a few exceptions, appeared to excite the disgust of those who had resigned clerkships in the department at Washington to accept the service of patriotism in Montgomery. It was as far from the mind of Mr. Memminger as it was in antagonism with his social spirit to play the role of a martinet or to be a tyrant. Of all public functionaries I have ever known, he was the most scrupulously conscientious. He believed that an officer of the government, who received pay for his services, should render a quid pro quo for the same just as completely and for the reason, in all honesty, that the same would be demanded in any properly conducted business establishment.
Hence, he fixed regular business hours, from 9 o'clock A. M. to 3 P. M., and if the exigencies of the public service required it, the working force was ordered back to their desks in the evening, to remain there until the pressing business was finished. As an example to his subalterns, the Secretary was the most punctual and devoted among all of the officials. Unless he was called to a Cabinet meeting or was engaged in the Senate, where, upon all questions affecting the financial interests of the government he had a voice,