Under this condition of affairs I write you,and request you to lay the matter before. His Excellency the President to enable him to consider the prosperity of having Foster and his officers declared to be no longer entitled to be regarded as soldiers, and that they have forfeited all claim to the benefit of the cartel, &c. I have written to Ex-Governor Clark at Tarborough to collect the facts in regard to this malicious destruction of private property. I saw two carriages which they had stolen and left in their camps and which they could take no farther, stripped of curtains and otherwise rendered useless.
Yours, very respectfully,
S. G. FRENCH,
Respectfully referred to General French.
It is better that General French should address a letter to General Foster inquiring whether these outrages were committed with his knowledge and sanction, informing him that such outrages are considered as forfeiting the right to be treated as prisoners of war, and that the action to be taken in the case will depend on the answer received from him. If no answer is received within-days it will be considered that he admits and holds himself responsible for the acts charged.
By command of Major General G. W. Smith:
SAML. W. MELTON,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Raleigh, N. C., November 17, 1862.
General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,
Acting Secretary of War:
DEAR SIR: His excellency Governor Vance received a communication from your immediate predecessor, Honorable G. W. Randolph, in which he states that in consequence of the threatened attacks upon the railroad connections in the eastern portion of North Carolina and Virginia, and our inability at present to withdraw from the Army of Northern Virginia re-enforcements sufficiently large to secure those connections, it is considered very important to complete the Danville and Greensborough connection as speedily as possible, and asking him to aid in procuring hands to work upon that improvement. His Excellency instructs me to say that he will most cheerfully give whatever assistance he can consistently with his sense of duty to further the speedy completion of this work, but at the same time he hopes it will not be improper to remark that the Government should at all hazards and at all times defend our present railroad connections at Weldon. That section of the country is of the utmost importance to the Government, abounding in abundant supplies for the army. His Excellency must decline authorizing or recommending the Legislature to authorize the drafting slaves for this purpose. Vast numbers of slaves are leaving our eastern counties, threatened with invasion, and their owners and anxiously seeking employment. The contractors upon the work can, without the intervention of the public authorities, obtain the most abundant supply of hands if they will offer fair and remunerating prices.
Yours, very respectfully,
DAVID A. BARNES,
Aide-de-Camp to the Governor.