The committee retired, and after consultation submitted the following memorial:
His Excellency THOMAS H. WATTS,
The committee appointed at a meeting of the citizens of the county of Talladega and said State beg leave to call the attention of Your Excellency to the following facts:
First. This county has furnished twenty-seven companies of volunteers for the war. These were raised under a pledge, publicly given at a larger meeting of the citizens, that they would raise, if necessary, $20,000 a year while the war continued to aid in supporting the families of those who needed assistance.
Second. At that time, May, 1861, there was a white population in the county of 14,634 persons, and a slave population of about 8,865 persons, and there were only about 30 persons who needed and received aid from the county. Now there are 3,997.
This county is divided into what is called the "Valley" and the "Hills." A large proportion of these volunteers came from the "Hills." These twenty-seven companies are exclusive of those who have volunteered is other organizations, furnished substitutes, or ben enrolled.
Third. In accordance with the above pledge, the people of the county have raised sums each year, in additional to the fund raised by the State, to aid the wives and children of these soldiers. The slave population is mostly in the "Valley," and the men who have gone from the "Hills" have left at home, in most instances, none to plow a furrow or hoe a hill of corn, except their wives and little ones. They are therefore dependent, in a great degree, for support on the supplies raised in the "Valley."
During the year 1863, in addition to what the State furnished, the people of this county, under the pledge aforesaid, raised and placed in the hands of the judge of probate for distribution $7,276 in cash; 21,755 bushels of corn, at 50 cents per bushel; 2,570 bushels of corn, without any price, as a gift; 928 bushels of wheat, at $2 pr bushel; 102 bushels of wheat, without any price and as a gift; 23 sacks of self, at $20 per sack, and 16 sacks of salt without any price and as a gift.
It is proper to state that the average price of wheat, corn, and salt is much above these prices; the average price of wheat has been about $10, of corn about $3 of salt about $80 per sack.
Fourth. We would also state that these supplies are managed by the probate judge of this county, the Honorable W. H. Thornton, under a careful system of agencies for each beat or district in the county, and they are furnished to none but those who actually need assistance. Of course, this is entirely separate from the aid which every one is called on to render by individual calls on him for assistance.
Fifth. In view of this condition of things the undersigned beg leave to state that they will be unable to raise a sufficient crop this season to meet the just claims, the absolute necessities of these families, unless they are permitted to employ their slave labor for that purpose.
In this connection they would further respectfully call the attention of Your Excellency to the following facts, viz: On the 22nd of December, 1862, there were impressed 90 negroes in this county. On the 29th of January, 1863, 120 negroes were impressed. On the 7th