War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0916 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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critic. But old, blind, feeble, and ignorant as I am, I would have risked a general battle to have got into the valley of the Ohio, to have prevented the vote from being taken to-morrow on the question of the new State of Kanawha, which territory is militarily occupied by the Federal Army, and they really do not seem to care at present about any other portion of Western Virginia. If that vote shall be overwhelmingly in favor of it, which it is likely to be from the circumstance of the friends of the South being overawed, and Congress shall next winter at Washington pass a law admitting it, you will find that the Federal Forces will swarm there this winter; fortifications will be erected, the militia of that region will be called out,m and the remainder of Western Virginia will be assailed from each fortress, each one of which will be made a base of operations. It will be very highly prejudicial to the State in a civil and commercial point of view, and very prejudicial to the State in a civil, and commercial point of view, and very prejudicial to the Confederacy. Look at it for one moment. It is the great coal field of America from which the South it to obtain the fuel down the Ohio River that will drive their spindles and propel their commerce, both oceanic and river. The timber of that country is indispensable to the South for many purposes-barrels and hogsheads for their molasses and sugar, flooring, and even for building a mercantile marine. That country would supply the whole confederacy with salt during the blockade, for my county alone (Mason) can turn out on thousand barrels a day of salt, and Kanawha County could double that. Some fuel, and flour to almost any amount, would descend the Ohio to the South, to say nothing of butter, lard, and other things of that nature, such as the oils, both natural and artificial, for it is in that region that the cancel coal [is found], out of which they make oil, and in the county of Wirt, northeast from Parkersburg about 30 miles, are the finest wells of natural coal oil in the world. My country has for years past sent east about one thousand head of stall-fed cattle annually and large quantities of hogs. These things are articles of prime necessity to the South, which, if not produced in the Southern Confederacy, must be admitted free of duty from the North, and it is no doubt that object in view that induces the attempt to attach that part of Virginia to the Lincoln Government.

Then look at it with reference to the State. In the first place, great fortunes of many here, friends of the State, are situate there-Judge Allen, Judge Camden, Colonel Jenkins, and hundreds of others, whose property will be confiscated; and if the Governments give up that portion of Virginia a large but just claim will exist against the Governments for compensation-more, perhaps, than the expense of reconquering it. To leave that portion of Virginia with the Lincoln Government will also very much retard the action of Northern Kentucky, and perhaps also strengthen the Loncolnites in that of part of Kentucky; for in my opinion those two sections are acting and reacting on each other, and any decided preponderance of one party or the other in any part of that section in either State will seriously affect the other section. Besides the command of the Ohio River from near its head-for Northern Virginia reaches within 40 or 50 miles by water of the head of the Ohio, and if Kentucky goes with us, as she will do if not withheld by the State-of that portion of Virginia, it will give the Confederacy such a control of the Ohio River as would enable them to get better terms with reference to the navigation of other rivers not within their boundary-for instance, the Upper Mississippi and Missouri, the upper portion of the Chesapeake Bay, and perhaps other desirable waters.

Leaving these views of the subject, there is another one which ought never to be lost sight of by a Virginia statesman. If a new State is .