War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 1062 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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regard thereto. The special committee on salt, however, to whom I submitted your communication, d esired me to express for them their satisfaction as to its explanations, and to say that they considered their previous action as hasty. I desire, Governor, to add expressons of my own regret for any hasty condemnation of the action of the constituted authorities of your State calculated to impari those friendly and intimate relations which have and should exist between North Carolina and Virginia. Whilst I cannot say that the requirement levied upon foreign trains by your Board of Public Works to transport salt for the Confederate States is unreasonable, it is yet open to the objection that, as we understand it, Virginia is furnishing the Confederacy salt by contract, and that we should not be required to assist in filling Virginia's contracts; and, further, that the trains we sent there to haul for North Carolina were hired at a cost of $200 per day, and we were compelled to pay full freight on every bushel of salt beside. This, you will acknowledge, would render it peculiarly hard on us, unless the State of Virginia or the Confederate Government would pay all expenses of the fourth load. Of that we could not complain. Again, one of the trains hired by this State was required to haul wood for the furnaces of the Virginia works, and, in case of refusal, was forbidden to run at all; so my aent informs me. Of this no explanation was offered, and I must suppose escaped your attention altogether.

It seems to me that this requisition was entirely unreasonable and not to be allowed. I agree with you in the opinion that there may be private axes to grind in this matter of transportation of salt, but have not been able to ascertain precisely where the fault lies. It is due to you to be informed, however, that considerable quantities of salt have been sold in various towns in this State by a Mr. Gilchriest, said to be a partner or agent of Colonel Clarkson. Whether it be the salt of that gentlemen or of the State of Virginia, I submit that its transportation here shows a capacity of the Virginia roads to transport more salt from Saltville than is required either by her citizens or the Confederate Government; and to the extent that this salt prevents North Carolina salt from coming forward we have the right to complain. In regard to the order which I gave that no supplies should go from this State to Virginia, I regret that you regard it so harsh and unneighborly. I did nothing more than verbally request our railroads not to transport provisions from this State to yours, which I thought warranted by the order of your Board of Public works prohibiting our salt from coming over your roads even on our own trains except upon such conditions as we deemd unjust. Had I applied it only to supplies belonging to the State and going in your State trains the order would have been precisely similar, and I must be pardoned for adding-just. I shall, however, take great pleasure in revoking it, and shall hereafter require trains from your State to do only the amount of transportation here as is imposed upon ours in Virginia. I make no allusion to the constitutional question raised in your letter, as a tu quoque is a poor argument, and I earnestly desire that our relations should have a deeper and more friendly foundation than the requirements of the constitution, sacred as they should be. To make some definite arrangement of this matter, I have authorized Mr. Woodfin, our superintendent, to call and see your, and to make any accommodation which may be just and right. He is fully posted as to my own views and thoroughly conversant with the matters in hand, and I hope he may be able to suggest such terms as will be acceptable to your and profitable to both parties. I am, Governor, very respectfully, yours,