War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0062 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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State Government if they were sure that they would be protected against the violence of the secessionists. It is alo thought that a Union convention would be called at once, and that these counties would vote themselves back into the Union and take up arms to defnd themselves.

In view of the foregoing facts I would suggest that a force of at least 1,000 men be scattered through one or two of the counties which are supposed to be Union intheir sentiment; that the people call their convention and vote and that the U. S. forces at hand afford them such protection as may be necessary. Could this be done now I have no doubt that one-third of the State of North Carolina would be back in the Union within two weeks.

I am over-anzious that these suggestions should be acked upon at once and that I may be allowed to continue in the work which I have commenced. These people who look to me for protection I have already taken a very deep interest in; I sympathize with them in their misfortunes superseded the promises I have made will not be carried out and that the measures I have commenced will fall to the ground.

I regret to be compelled to state to you that the conduct of the men and some of the officers of the Twentieth Regiment New York Volunteers has been that of vandals. They have plundered and destroyed. The first night they were on shore they visit one of the encampments which had been abandoned by the enemy. I am informed that this party was under the charge of three or four commisioned officers; that they first commenced breaking open trunks left behind by the officers and men who had abandoned the camp. After they had broken all the trunks and boxes open and partly destroyed what they did not want or could not carry, they then set fire to the buildings and everythink except a few tents was consumed. After this they went to Fort Clark where they had a repetition of the above. By these two transactions the United States has lost a large, amount of valuable property, consisting of arms, cooking utensils, medical stores, &c.

The next day they commenced breaking open private houses and stores, and I saw party after party come in, some of them headed by commisioned officers, loaded down with the result of their plundering. This conduct continued until I was compelled to adopt the most severe and stringent measures.

* * * * * * *

Most faithfully, your obedient servant,

RUSH C. HAWKINS,

Colonel Ninth Regiment N. Y. Volunteers, Commanding Fort Clark.

[Sub-inclosure A.]

COMMAND OF FEDERAL FORCES AT HATTERAS INLET.

DEAR SIR: We, the citizens of Cape Hatteras, do ask of your honor that you will allow us to return to our homes and property and protect us in the same as natural citizens, as we have never taken up arms against your Government nor has it been our wish to do so. We did not help by our votes to get North Carolina out of the Union. Believing that your clemency will not allow you to treat us as rebels, who have always been loyal citizens, we do earnestly request for the sake of our women and children that you will comply with our wishes, as we seek protection from your honor.

Yours, very respectfully,

CITIZENS OF HATTERAS.

P. S. -Please let us know by the bearer what we can depend upon.