CURRITUCK COUNTY, August 10, 1863.
Brigadier General H. M. Haglee:
Your communication of the 28th ultimo, addressed to the undersigned and others, has been received, and as much publicity has been given to the same as circumstances would admit.
With a spirit becoming humanity and due to non-combatants, you seem desirous that the disturbing and irregular mode of warfare now existing in our midst should cease or be removed, and at the same time you seem to entertain the opinion that the citizens are responsible for and have the power to remove and control it.
While we readily admit that the consequences fall entirely and most heavily upon non-combatants, the defenseless, and the innocent, we at the same time most positively declare and affirm that the citizens are not responsible for it, and can exercise no control whatever over those who are thus engaged. They are not, as you suppose private citizens, but are soldiers, organized under officers commissioned by the State or Confederate authorities. This being a true statement of the facts in the case, you will readily perceive that they are entirely beyond the control of the citizens.
In regard to your proposition to permit our citizens to sell their produce, and purchase the necessary supplies for their families in Norfolk and Portsmouth, we must say we have no doubt that many could gladly avail themselves of such privilege for the legitimate purpose of supplying their families; yet there are others so waded to speculation and the love of gain, that they would risk everything even life itself, for the sake of money. Hence you cannot fail to see how utterly useless for us to make any pledge that no attempt shall be made to carry information or supplies beyond your designated line. j
Situated as we are and have been since the reception of your communication, it has been impossible to obtain a full and free expression of pinion, the citizens being disposed to remain at home, but after as thorough an inter change of opinion as we could get, and at as early a day, we have thought it due to you and to ourselves to submit this candid statement of facts; hoping and believing that with a knowledge of them you will no longer hold us responsible for what we cannot possibly control, and also to remove from your ming any prejudice or misapprehension heretofore entertained.
[Signed by] Richard B. Flora, Thomas L. Saunderson, John Barnard, E. F. Baxter, Joseph B. Morgan, John L. Cox, B. M. Baxtef, William O. Mercer, S. Ferebee, William Jones, James M. Ferebee, Henry J. Wilson, John B. Be; C. G. Lamb, of Camden County.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, Norfolk, Numbers -.
September 14, 1863.
It is hereby ordered that Bartlett Smith, Dr. Tibault, ----Forbes,
Thomas Keeling, J. P. Keeleng, John Duffey, Horatio Cornick, Henry Gournto, Martin Harris, Charles Brook, and S. Brook shall rebuild