regiments now at Winchester under his command, it is deemed the wiser course to refer the entire case, together with the question of discharge, to your better knowledge of the facts and your judgment in the premises.*
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War.
Honorable JOHN LETCHER, Governor of Virginia:
The undersigned members of the county court of Shenandoah, at the August term, 1861, sitting, and others, respectfully represent:
1st. That they feel deeply interested in the present struggle for the Southern independence, and that they are willing to yield to none in the sacrifices which they are required to make. Yet they are likewise conscious that unnecessary evil and suffering may arise from circumstances not within their control, but fully within that of the Government. Of his nature they conceive the existing levy of militia to be, not in itself, but from its attendant circumstances, which may be enumerated, as follows:
1st. The population of our country, according to the last census, was 12,829. This under the terms of your proclamation, would require us to furnish 1,282 volunteers. We have 900 in the field, exclusive of about 100 or 120 teamsters, who have been taken into the service by impressment with their teams or those of others. This would leave us 282 yet to be furnished, provided there were no exempts. These, however, are considerable in number, such as railroad hands, millers, overseer, saddler, shoemakers, tanners, &c., who would otherwise have been liable to duty. If these were deducted, it is doubtful whether more than 200 would be required to fill out our complement under the proclamation, if, indeed, that number.
2nd. What, then, is the fact as to levies already made of the militia, exclusive of the volunteers, teamsters, and exempts?
In the first place, General Johnston, of the Confederate Army, and General Carson, of Frederick County, called out the residue of the militia en masse. They were discharged after a few days' service, with instructions to be ready at an hour's notice.
In the next place these generals drafted out of the militia in this county 600 men, out of which, in part, two regiments were formed (two regiments from this brigade being required). Subsequently the residue of the militia of the county was drafted under your last proclamation, although we had already furnished more than the 10 per cent., as will be perceived by the above statement. Under this last call some 900 men have been taken into the service, to the great detriment of their private interests, of their families, and the public. Could we be induced to believe that this is required for the attainment of the great object in view, we would not utter one word of complaint, but we do not so think.
3rd. It may be replied that al the needed relieve might be secured by making up the difference between the volunteers now in service and the quantum required by the proclamation in volunteers. This might be done, we presume, but for the fact that the militia officers (General Meem, &c.), we understand from good authority, deny the right of any
*See Johnston to Walker September 1, p. 826.
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