War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0436 MD., e. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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prepared for market. Our cotton also ginned and baled, but st would prove a rich prize to the Yankee invaders. Roanoke Island, whilst under the command of Colonel Wright, of Georgia, was fortified by the erection of some four or five forts, but the number of guns upon them is entirely insufficient to prevent a fleet of light draft gun-boats from passing into Albemarle Sound, which, if accomplished, would yeild the country a prey to the enemy and open an easy route to the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, both by alnd and water, through the Chowan River to Suffolk and to the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad, and also through the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal to Norfolk, a distance of about fifty miles. When General Hill commanded this department he was very desirous to erect a fort at the entrance to the Bay of Edenton, but was removed too soon to accomplish his purpose. We are therefore defenseless, except so far as Roanoke can defend us. Our militia are gneerally patriotic, and would fight for their homes and liberties, but have no arms or ammunition. Burnside's fleet, or a portion of it, is reported to be in Pamlico, but a short distance below our forts on Roanoke.

The authorities heretofore in immediate command in this portion of the Department of the Pamlico seemed not fully to appreciate the dangers that threatened us or the duties that devolved upon themselves; and we who have given our best and dearest to our country's cause are left defenseless. I therefore appeal to you, as President of our country, and to whom each portion is equally dear, to render us that aid in guns and men which our present condition imperatively demands. Trusting that He who has called you to your present high station may in His mercy restore you to health to bless both your own family and our whole country.

I am, most respectfully,



JANUARY --, 1862. (Received 13th.)


President of the Confederate States, &c.:

SIR: The Senate and House of Delegates of Virginia have appointed committees, of which the undrsgined are the chairmen, respectively, in pursuance of a resolution to the effect "that a joint committee of five members of the Senate and seven of the House of Delegates be appointed to confer with the Confederate authorities and devise co-operative measures on the part of the State with the Confederate Government for prompt protection to the persons and property of citizens and the general defense of Wester Virginia against the invasion of the enemy; " and the committe so consituted have instructed us to address to you this communication. It was originally our purpose to casll in person upon yourself or the Secretary of War in order to a full and free conference upon these important subjects, but in view of the well-known, constant, and pressing demands upon your time and attention, we have deemed that perhaps it would be more agreeable to your to receive our communication in writing; yet if desired on your part, or on the part of the Secretary of War, that we should wait on your in person to presetn our views more fully on subjects so profoundly interesting to the people of Virginia, and to communicate such information as we have collected on the subject, we shall be happy to do so at whatever time yourself or the Secretary may be pleased to designate.