Our county unfortunately is divided, the western portion being disloyal. The Union men as they call themselves have called upon Lincoln for protection. He in answer to their call has sent amongst us a set of base characters who not only protect the Union men but under thierguidance are committing acts unheard of in anycountry claiming civilization. We have been wholly unprotected and unable to protect ourselves. Our enemies have met with no resistance. We do not complain, as it is perhaps impossible to give protection to all who are suffering like depredations; but we would suggest whether the interest of the Confederacy apart from the large private interest involved does not require the protection of our beef, our ork and our corn for the use of the Southern Army. General Lee is now drawing his supply of corn from us. There is perhaps no valley in America of the same extent that produces more fat cattle and hogs than the valley of the South Branch. Were we protected in the possession of our property we should be able to supply the army with several thousand cattle and hogs and at the season of the year when the supply from other sources fails; but if no protection should begiven us and the present state of thino on we may well despair not contentwith driving off our cattle and sheep byhundreds and our horses in numbers are to-day we are most reliably informed enaged in thrashing out the crops of wheat of some of the farmers of Hampshire.
We have been hoping for relief from General Lee's army in Western Virginia-that the necessities of General Rosecrans would compel him to withdraw his forces from us. In this we have been disappointed. We find still a force on our border acting with the Union men sufficient to rob us. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at New Creek Station is but about thirty miles from our county seat, and so long as that point is suffered to remain in the possession of the enemy we must be insecure. We plced ourselves under the protection of the Confederate States with a full knowledge of our exposed situation, being a bordr county, yet relying upon the ability and willingness of our more Southern brethren, who are less exposed, to defend us.
We now would most earnestly call upon you, the chosen head of the Confederacy, for relief and continued protection if not inconsistent with more important interests.
JACOB VAN METER.
[AND NINE OTHERS.]
HEADQUARTERS VALLEY RIVER, September14, 1861.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
GENERAL: In compliance with your letter of the 7th instant containig instructions from the President I addressed to the general commanding the forces of the enemy in my front the letter of the 13th instant of which I send you a copy, and received from him to-day the accompanying reply.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,