JULY 6, 1864.
Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.
The matters referred to in this letter which appertain to this Department had been already attended to.
A. R. LAWTON,
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Raleigh, July 4, 1864.
Honorable J. A. SEDDON,
Secretay of War:
DEAR SIR: You are peergaps aware that this State has had salt-works in operation near Wilmington that have been our principal source for a supply of salt for more than two years past. In case of an accident tto the salt-works in Virginia these works would be our sole dependence for an article of indispensable necessity to our people. General Whiting has recently issued a most peremptory order to the superintendent of the works to suspend his operations, and has addressed me a letter suggesting that I have the State property removed from the sound where they are located, and he has impressed the boats that have been used in supplying the works with wood. Considering the vast importance of this manufactory of salt to the people of this State, it apears to me that the reasons General Whiting has given in his letters to me and the superintendent for his course in regard to it are unsatisfactory. His principal reason is that the operatives are in many cases disloyal and there iis danger of their communicating with the eneny. This objection to the continuance of the works might be easily obviated by having a guard of soldiers stationed at the point where they are located, and I have offered to spare a guard for the purpose from my State troops in case General Whiting cannot detail a sufficient number from the troops under his command. I am willing, of course, that this guard shall be subject to his orders. The State must have salt, and I know of no other point on our coast available for its manufacture, or, at any rate, where it could be made at a price to put it within the reach of the majority of our people. I earnestly request that you will give this subject, of such importance to the State, your early attention, and hope you will see proper to forbid any interference on the part of General Whiting with the State's manufacture of salt. The General Assembly at its recent session again recognized the importance of these works and ordered their continuance.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Z. B. VANCE.
Wilmington, N. C., July 4, 1864.
His Excellency Governor VANCE,
Raleigh, N. C.:
SIR: Your letter of the 30th ultimo, about salt-works of the State, iis receiv ed. While I fully acknowledge the need the State has to procure salt for the poor, I see no reason to change anything I have reported concerning the prejudice of these establishments to a much
*See Seddon to Whiting, VOL. XL, Part III, p. 787, and Whiting's reply, ibid., p. 789.