alludes to the iron of the Atlantic road. The State is but a stockholder in the road, a large portion belonging to private individuals. A meeting of the directors of the company has been called and your proposition will be submitted to them. Their decision will be made known to you.
Yours, very respectfully,
DAVID A. BARNES,
Aide-de-Camp to the Governor.
Petersburg, Va., November 16, 1862.
His Excellency ZEBULON B. VANCE,
Governor of North Carolina:
GOVERNOR: Your letter to the President of November 11* has been referred to me, in which you represent that some forty persons were arrested in the eastern part of North Carolina and sent to Salisbury for confinement. I have invariable instructed offices on the frontier not to molest any citizen unless they had positive proof of his having committed offense against our Government or violated its ordinances, and this because I found it resulted in no good, for often, however guilty, nothing could be proven against them, and when liberated they went home more embittered. Besides, the enemy can arrest any number of our friends for each one we may arrest, and it cannot now be prevented. I regret that Colonel Radcliffe should have brought them beyond Tarborough. I will write to Colonel Radcliffe to have him make out charges against such as have committed offenses, and that the others at least be sent back under guard by way of Goldsborough to Greenville, to turn to their homes under such obligations as you may impose on them. These obligations will readily suggest themselves to you. If, however, you wish to have nothing to do with them I will instruct the commandant of the post of Salisbury what to do with those against whom no charge is made; but this will take some little time.
Yours, very respectfully,
S. G. FRENCH,
Petersburg, Va., November 17, 1862.
Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,
Commanding Army, &c., Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: When I was on the Roanoke River the other day I passed over the route for several miles by which the army under General Foster advanced and saw many evidences of their wanton destruction of private property and heard related many of their acts of cruelty to in offensive citizens. At Hamilton they burned from sixteen to eighteen private dwellings, and in nearly every house in the town they made a forcible entry and destroyed all the furniture, broke all the crockery, and demolished the doors and windows. They entered houses by the roadside and in the presence of the inmates destroyed everything in the dwellings. They burned all bedding, all the ladies' dresses, and stole, in one instance, money from the bosom of an aged lady by force. They, in pure wantonness, shot cattle and hogs by the roadside and in the fields. In Williamston they quartered their horses in the parlors of dwellings, and in that place also destroyed the jail and other buildings.
*See Series IV.