Judah P. Benjamin
Confederate States of America,
The extreme pressure of official duties has hitherto prevented my replying to two letters of 9th and 11th Ult. addressed by you to the President--
The President is much interested in your system of signals and attaches high value to it, and is disposed to adopt your suggestions in relation to the details of officers instructed by you for duty at their points.--
I have therefore to request in his name that you will be good enough to send me a list of such persons as you would recommend for this purpose, with a statement of the rank deemed proper and suitable for each person, in order that it may be submitted to the President-- The points where we suppose the system would now be specially valuable are at Charleston, Pensacola, and Columbus, and officers sufficient for those three points would be very desirable.
Will you be good enough also to say what in your opinion and that of Gen'l Beauregard would be a fair appointment to be conferred on Mr. Bryan-- would a commission of 2nd Lieut. be sufficient or are his merits of a higher grade?
The other persons of whom you speak, Mrs. Morris, might receive pecuniary compensation if you deem it proper, and Secret Service money will be sent you for that purpose if you so desire.
If Major Alexander is employed in the signal service, will he desire a Commission in the Regular Army? If so, it must of necessity be much lower in rank than that which he now holds temporarily in the provisional army.
Please write to me fully and frankly your desire as to your brothers as well as the privates to whom you propose that commission be granted.
Yr. obt. svt.