already done more to demoralize our people and weaken our cause than all other causes together. I venture to hope that prompt punishment will be inflicted, and that the quartermaster at Athens, Ga., may be ordered to pay Mr. Barnard and the other sufferers full value for their property.
Z. B. VANCE,
AT HOME. CLAY COUNTY, N. C., December 30, 1865.
DEAR SIR: The small acquaintance and your plain friendly manner encourages me to write you a few lines, hoping that you will hear and consider my complaint and assist me in obtaining justice from the public authorities. My case is this, sir: On the night of the 8th instant a band of Confederate soldiers (nine in number) rode up to my premises, into my horse lot, and commenced trying to bridle some young horses that had never been used. They were will and stout and hard to manage, but they finally succeeded in getting two. They then took two of my using horses, four inn all; and left (I remonstrating al the time), but they needed not; said their officers had sent them to get horses, and they were going to have then wherever they could find them. I then asked the officer of the squad his name, and some showing that I could get pay for my stock; he refused to give it, more than that they belonged to Major Graham's battalion, then camped near Athens, Ga.; that the property was for the use of the Government, and there would be a man along next day who would settle with and give me a certificate; than man has not yet appeared. I have since learned there were 150 scattered over the county engaged in the same business; they gathered through the night between thirty and forty head in this and adjoining county in Georgia. Some were rescued, but they made their escape with twenty-five or thirty head, mine of the number. They were accosted next day by a man in Towns County and asked for their authority. He presented an order, signed by General Reynolds, for Captain Thompson to proceed to Northeast Georgia and Western North Carolina and take horses from disloyal men.
Now, sir, myself and sons have never been accused of being disloyal that I know of, and as an evidence I had four sons who went into the Confederate service early it the war: one died at Richmond in 1862; the other three are still in the service-one in the Second North Carolina Cavalry, now lying at Petersburg, the other two at Kinston, N. C., Colonel Folk's regiment. Now, sir, three of the horses forced from me belonged to two of those sons, left under my care and protection; one a favorite animal left for the use of this wife, who is staying with me. I was so much hurt at the loss of the property that myself and some others of my neighbors followed them to Athens, thinking that General Reynolds would perhaps restore our stock. We went before him with a good recommendation as loyal citizens; he received us kindly; we stated our business; he exclaimed loudly against the conduct of his men, and wished we had killed half of them, and assured us we should have our stock back if we could find it; gave us an order to Major Graham's camp to get our stock if it was there. We went and searched the camp, but could not find a horse we knew; we could get no satisfaction out of Graham or his men, so we returned to the general's quarters. He then said he could do nothing more for us.