War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0766 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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MECER COURT- HOUSE, VA., January 3, 1862.

Mr. WM. H. . HOWE.

DEAR SIR: I am a citizen of thecounty of Raleigh, residing near the coaurt- house, and have been driven fromhome with a good many other citizens of thecounty. Having just arrived here from that county the citizens of this village think it proper that the fact of the invasion of that county by the Federal troops should be made known so that the citizens of the countiesbetween that place and the erailroad may adopt some policy to repel their intneded raid upon the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. Hence I amtroubling you with this note that the people may have time to organize for their own protection.

After repeated visits by the enemy insmall forces, and commiting depredations wherever they went by stealing proeprty (cattle, horses, &c.) and arresting citizens pursuing their usual avocations, forcing them to take theoath, or taking them to Fayetteville and olding them in onfinement, on last Monday, the 30th day of December alst, our village was taken possession of by at least 1,000 Federal troops, arresting the citizens that were remaining and compelling them to take the oath or holding them prisoners. Theyare robbing the citizens of all their property, grain, provender, &c., leaving the families of those that havehad to flee from their persecutions entirely dpendent and helpless. Holding a commission as leitutenant colonel of the militai (the colonel being a prisoner in their hands) I have issued orders to call out the militia of Raleigh County to meet to- morrow in edge of this county; but the principal portion of thecounty being in possession of the Federals the number to assembel is very small, but we will assist with all our power in residting any further advances of the enemy, hoping to have the aid of the counties intersted with ourselves, and perhaps if the facts were properly represented to our authorities that they would dispatch a regiment of volunter forces to our assistance, for they openly avow that tjherir destination is ultimately the railroad.

Asking pardon for troubling you (being a stranger) and hoping that you willuse your influence in procuring aid,

I am, very respectfully,

JOSEPH CALDWELL,

Lieutenant - Colonel of the 184th Regiment.

HEADUQARTERS POST, Salisbury, January 7, 1862.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

SIR: At the request of the prisoners at this post I write in refernce to them. First. Some forty of the men were the first taken. They hope in the event of any exchanges they may be taken at an early day, especially Dr. [M. C.] Causten, of Washington, D C. Second. John Bion, a prisoner, is manifestly insane. He requires the same attention as a child. Third. It appears that some clothing has come through to RIchmond for some prisoners here. They are needed very much. Fourth. We have 295 prisoners securlely guarded and doing well.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c.,

B. CRAVEN,

Commandant.