War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0067 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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frontier. We cannot disguise from ourselves that the country isin a state of war. Not only are our ports blockaded and our navigable waters held by armed vessels, but the forts on our limits are filled with troops, while armed thousands are encamped on our border, and these thousands arenot regular and disciplined soldiers, but fanatics and lawless rufians ready for every outrage and violence. My residence, as you will possible recollect, being so near the place of your nativity, is within that crescent formed bythe potomac in its course from Fort Washington to the late Feederal city. The chord of this are for half its distance is constituted by the most direct highway leading through Alexandria to Fredericksburg, and which passes by my door, and which cord is nowhere more than a mile fromteh navigable waters of the Potomac. Within this territory below Alexandria we have but a very sparse white population, and more than half of that being now Yankee settlers. Since the secession of Virginia all or nearlyu all of their young men have fled to Lincoln's camp, unwilling to take up arms indefense of the State. Of our native population we have nothalf a dozen men subject to militia duty; the rest are old men, women, and children with many slaveto watch over and our houses to guard. We have not men enough of any age sufficient to form even a patrol tolook out for an warn us of impending danger or stop our slaves should they abscond. Surrounded ont heree sides by the potomac and its tributaries, we are completely open tot he incursions of marauding parties at all times, and this likewise affords the greatest facility tot he escape of our slaves. We are directly in the track of invasion, should it be attempted. THoughthere have been stationed at Alexandria for weeks past some hunderds of troops, their guards have never been extended in this direction beyond the limits of the town fartehr tan the northern end of Hunting Creek bridge, and there has never been at any time, as fa ras I can lear of horse and foot anuywhere, either along the roads or hsors below Alexandria. With the Kansas ruffians and murderers brought to Washington and the hordes of Norhern outcasts constituting the armed assemblage there and in its vicinity, the whole navigaion of the river r and its tributaries under their control, we must naturaly look for incursions and depredations on this defenseless region. The violence, outrage, andmurder perpetrated lately in Washington under the very eyes of the Government on men even suspected of Southern sentiments is a warning of what we may constantly anticipate here. I therfore most respectuflly but earneslty call your attention to our situation. It is not for me to presume to even initmate a suggestion as to military movements, but I am sure you will cheerfully recognize our calim to protection.

With great respect and esteem, yours,

G. MASON.

P. S.- As I have seen from yesterday's papers that my intimte friend and old neighbor, John A. Washington, esq., late of Mount Vernon, is a member opf your staff, I have to- day written to him in detail on this dubject, and beg to refer you to him for particulars.

[2.]

GENERAL ORDERS,

HEADUQARTERS VIRGINIA FORCES,

Numbers 10.

Richmond, Va., May 5, 1861.

Troops called ou under the proclamation of the Governor of the State of the 3rd instant* will be accepted and mustereditno the service

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*See VOL. II, p. 797.

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