venture any attack or raids on you. We have, however, intelligence, deemed reliable, that about 20,000 men, from Newport News mainly, with, as is reported, Burnside in command, have been hurried rapidly into Kentucky by the Baltimore and Ohio and Pennsylvania Central Railroads. They may compel our light-armed forces there to retreat rapidly, and in pursuit the enemy may be encouraged to approach or threaten the district under your ward. I have no disposition to thwart or impede any other plan of action you may be contemplating, but it is impossible to say positively what requisition may be made in some contingencies on your forces. It is possible even that a brigade or a regiment or two may be called for to join a force to be sent from here to the re-enforcement of General Bragg's army. The President has such a step under consideration, and if advices from Hooker's army render it likely he will not advance, it is not unlikely the thought may ripen into action. I am unable, therefore, to give you as definite information as I would be gratified to do of the dispositions you may be required to make of at least a portion of your command. You will, however, have as early notice as I can give, and meantime you had better proceed to mature your own plans for execution if no obstacles is interposed.
With high esteem, very truly, yours,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, April 1, 1863.
Raleigh, N. C.:
GOVERNOR: Your letter of the 21st instant [ultimo], addressed to the Secretary of War, referring to letters received from Lieutenant-Colonel [A. F.] Cook and General Jones, has been referred by the Secretary to me.
I presume you refer to my indorsement of the 28th February last in Lieutenant-Colonel Cook's letter, for I wrote no letter myself, and I regret extremely to find that you think I have indulged in any imputation against the loyalty of the people of any region of North Carolina.
I can assure Your Excellency that such was not my intention. It had been reported to me that some men in the western part of North Carolina had so far manifested their disloyalty as to refuse to sell, for Confederate money, forage for the use of Government horses which I had send to that part of your State, on the advice of the Secretary of War, and that the men who refused to sell had an abundance. From that I inferred that there were a few disloyal men in that part of North Carolina, and the report only confirmed some information which I received last fall, in October I think, in a letter which Your Excellency addressed to me at Knoxville, whilst I was in command of the Department of East Tennessee.
In that letter, as well as I remember (for it is not by me just now), you asked me to send a body of troops to co-operate with the militia of your State in dispersing bands of disloyal North Carolinians and East Tennessee who were collected together on the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee for the purpose of resisting lawful authority, and I very promptly sent the troops as you desired.
I thought, therefore, that I was justified in believing that there were some disloyal men in the western part of North Carolina, as I knew there were in other States where I had commanded, including Virginia, and