War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0841 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -CONFEDERATE.

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You will pardon, sir the apparent discourtesy in not giving you your title and rank as I am unacquainted with both.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major and Assistant Inspector-General.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Raleigh, February 28, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War.

SIR: Some six months since a disturbance occurred in Madison County, N. C., near the Tennessee border, by some disloyal persons capturing the little country town and seizing a lot of salt and other plunder. An armed force was promptly sent from Knoxville under command of General Davis to suppress the insurrection which was accomplished before the local militia could get there, though ordered out immediately. But in doing so a degree of cruelty and barbarity was displayed, shocking and outrageous in the extreme on the part of Lieutenant Colonel J. A. Keith, Sixty-fourth North Carolina Troops, who seems to have been in command and to have acted in this respect without orders from his superiors so far as I can learn. I beg leave to ask you to read the inclosed letter* (copy) from A. S. Merrimon, State's attorney for that judicial district, which you will perceive discloses a scene of horror disgraceful to civilization. I desire you to have proceedings instituted at once against this officer, who if the half be true is a disgrace to the service and to North Carolina. You may depend upon the respectability and fairness of Mr. Merrimon who made an investigation officially by my order. I have also written General Davis.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Richmond, February 28, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War.

SIR: In reply to the letter from the House of Representatives dated February 24, 1863, containing copy of a resolution passed by that body calling for the "authority by which a number of yankee prisoners have been admitted to take the oath of fidelity to the Confederate States and have been allowed to locate as free laborers in Rocksbridge County, Va. " which letter was indorsed to these headquarters on the 26th instant for report, I have the honor to state that upon representation to the War Department that a large number of Yankee deserters had accumulated in the military prisons I was instructed by the Secretary of War to allow such of them as were willing to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States and permit them to seek work wherever it could be found.

These instructions referred exclusively to deserters and my action was in strict conformity thereto.

I wold further beg leave respectfully to state that those men mentioned in the resolution above referred to as having located in Rockbridge County, Va., were employed by Joseph R. Anderson, esq., of the Tredegar Works, who forwarded them to that county to labor.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




*Omitted here; see Merrimon's two letters, pp. 836, 839.