War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 1067 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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Sabine, and of North Alabama, is sufficient. North Carolina is divided, and her divisions will prevent her from taking upon herself the support of the war as Virginia has done. With the evacuation of Richmond, the State of Virginia must be abandoned. The war will cease to be a national one from that time. You cannot but have perceived how much of the treasure, of the hopes, and affections of the people of all the States have been deposited in Virginia, and how much the national spirit has been upheld by the operations here. When this exchequer becomes exhausted, I fear that we shall be bankrupt, and that the public spirit in the South and Southewestern States will fail. It is the province of statesmanship of consider these things. The South may succumb, but it is not necessary that she should be destroyed. I do not regard reconstruction as involving destruction unless our people should forget the incidents of their heroic strunggle and become debased and degraded. It is the duty of their statesmen and patriots to gaurd them in the future with even more care and tenderness than they have done in the past. Thee is anarchy in the opinions of men here, and few are willing to give counsel. Still fewer are willing to incur the responsibility of taking or advising action. In these circumstances I have surveyed the whole ground, I believe, calmly and dispossionately. The picture I do not think has been too highly colored. I do not ask that my views be accepted, but that a candid inquiry be made with a view to action. I recommend that General Lee be requested to give his opinion upon the condition of the country, upon submission of these facts, and that the President submit the subject to the Senate or to Congress, and invite their action.*

Very respectfully,


Assistant Secretary of War.


RICHMOND, VA., March 7, 1865.

His Excellency WILLIAM SMITH,

Governor of the State of Virginia:

SIR: I have the request that you will, if practicable, furnish a force of at least 5,000 men to relieve a division of the C. S. Army now on the intrneched line covering this city. General Lee desires immediately to withdraw that division for operations in the field.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Richmond, March 13, 1865.


Secretary of War:

SIR: In connection with my communication of the 10th instant, in reply to your call for information, I am now reluctantly compelled to ask your attention to the dispatches of this morning from Raleigh. My estimate of the means of procuring subsistence for the army until the next crop was based on uninterrupted railroad communication to Abingdon, Va., and Charlotte and Goldsborough, N. C. If the latter


*See Breckinridge to Lee, VOL. XLVI, Part II, PAGE 1292.