of North Carolina, and gives a touching description of things in that region about which I spoke to you when in Richmond-in regard to the propriety of exempting it from any further call. The greater portion thereof I am convinced would form a proper object for the exercise of the discretion vested in you by the law. Should you not think so I would be glad to be allowed the privilege of receiving all such as organized companies for the defense of our coast this winter.
Z. B. VANCE.
NEAR FRANKLIN, November 3, 1862.
DEAR SIR: There are about enough men in Macon County between the ages of thirty-five and forty to make one company. We have an opportunity, as I understand, of getting into Colonel Folk's battalion. This is preferable to going as conscripts. I am requested by a number of our most respectable citizens, who are between these ages, to ask you whether in your opinion any other alternative will be presented than conscription or going to that battalion. We have no hesitation in believing that it is our duty to stay here and provide for the helpless while it is in our power to do so. Consultations were held, and it was agreed in family councils who should go and what ones should stay. Those on whom the lot fell to stay in many instances made the greater sacrifice of feeling. But we have taken upon us charges and responsibilities that we cannot throw off until compelled. Having acted conscientiously in the matter we feel that we have done nothing to deserve the punishment of going to the army discredited by conscription. Before we are taken to a camp of instruction discredited and scattered to the four winds we ask the privilege of doing what we should have done long ago had it not been for the earnest appeals of brothers who have fallen in the service to stay and take care of those left to our charge. I shall venture on a suggestion, though it may seem to come from a party interested. For every able-bodied man taken from this county there ought to be an able-bodied man retained. We have a number of men in the field now falling very little below the number of overs in the county. Our people, having poor facilities for communication with other sections, have learned to subsist mainly on the immediate production of their own labor. Deprive us of that labor and the innocent and helpless must perish, though their pockets were filled with current money. You know all about men and their powers of endurance for their wives and children. They can turn a way from the graves of comrades and brothers firm in the resolve to die, as they have died, for the see of objects coming to their recollection with thoughts of home. But what consolation or encouragement can come to a man's heart in an hour of trial from a home where the helpless are perishing for want of his hands to provide?
We have but little interest in the value of slaves, but there is one matter in this connection about which we feel a very deep interest. We are opposed to negro equality. To prevent this we are willing to spare the last man, down to the point where women and children begin to suffer for food and clothing; when these begin to suffer and die, rather than see them equalized with an inferior race we will die with them. Everything, even life itself, stands pledged to the cause; but that our greatest strength may be employed to the best advantage and the struggle