take an cath of allegiance bringing ourselves to obedience to him and to disloyatly to our own States, he proposes to pardon us, and not to plunder us of anything more than the property already stolen from us and such slaves as still remain. In order to render his proposals so insulting as to secure their rejection, he joins to them a promise to support with his army one-tenth of he people of any State who will attempt to set up a Government over the other nine-tenths, thus seeking to sow discord and suspicion among the pople of the several States and to excite them to civil war in furtherance of his ends.
I know well that it would be impossible to get your people, if they possessed full knowledge of these facts, to consent that proposals should now be made by us to those who control the Government at Washington. Your own well-known devotion to the great cause of liberty and independence, to which we all have committed whatever we have of earthly possessions, would induce you to take the lead in repelling the bare thought of abject submission to the enemy. Yet peace on other terms is now impossible. To obtain the sole terms to which you or I could listen, this struggle must continue until the enemy is beaten out of his vain confidence in our subjugation. Then, and not till, will it be possible to treat of peace. Till then all tender of terms to the enemy will be received as proof that we are ready for submission, and will encourage him in the atrocious warfare he is waging. I fear much, from the tenor of the news I receive from North Carolina, that an attempt will be made by some bad men to inaugurate movements which must be considered as equivalent to aid and comfort to the enemy, and which all patriots should conbine to put down at any cost. You may count on my aid in every effort to spare your State the scenes of civil warfare which will devastate its homes, if the designs of these traitors be suffered to make head. I know that you will place yourself in your legitimate position in the lead of those who will not suffer the name of the Old North State to be blackened by such a stain. Will you pardon me for suggestig that my only source of disquietude on the subject arises from the fear that you will delay too long the action which now appears inevitable, and that by an overearnest desire to reclaim by conciliation men whom you believe to be sound at heart, but whose loyalty is more than suspected elsewhere, you will permit them to gather such strength as to require more violent measures than are now needed. With your influence and position, the promoters of the unfounded discontent now prevalent in your State would be put down without the use of physical force, if you would abandon a policy of conciliation and set them at defiance. In this course, frankly and firmly pursued, you would rally around you all that is bestyour State, and your triumph would be bloodless. If the contrary policy be adopted, I much fear you will be driven to the use of force to repress treason. In either event, however, be sure that you will have my cordial concurrence and assistance in maintaining with you the honor, dignity, and fair name of your State, and in your efforts to crush treason, whether incipient, if not now firmly met, it will in our future inevitably become.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours.
NEW MARKET, January 9, 1864.
General R. E. LEE:
Information received from Baltimore states that Butler is in Washington organizing a heavy cavalry expedition from Yorktown against