Barnwell at Sumter. If so, the people of Charleston will feel very uneasy, as Ripley is by far the most efficient and thorough officer here, and has been working night and day to put Sumter in fighting order. If a fleet comes in the heavy 10-inch columbiads and Dahlgren guns and mortars in the parapet cannot be managed without some such man as Ripley. I owe him more than any other single man, and the people of Charleston know it. I merely mention these things for your private consideration.
F. W. P.
[MAY 13, 1861. - For Cooper to McCulloch, authorizing the organization of two Indian regiments, &c., see Series I, VOL. III, p. 575.]
MARION, ALA., May 13, 1861.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
SIR: I learn that under the policy recently adopted the Confederacy will not accept the services of any more volunteer companies, unless for the war, and that under its operation the twelve-months' volunteers not yet mustered into service will be rejected. The convictions I have, arising from circumstances not perhaps within your knowledge, impel me to regret the extension of this policy to twelve-months' volunteers raised under your former requisition. Instead of going into an elaborate argument and trespassing upon your valuable time, I will state a few facts as they exist in our (Perry) county.
We have some 20,000 slaves in this county, but much the greater number of our white population own no slaves. The political controversies as heretofore conducted have had the effect of exciting in the minds of some of the non-slaves-holders improper and unfounded jealousies, and to impress them with the belief that nothing is now in peril in the prevailing war but the title of the master to his slaves. And having no sympathy with the slave-holder, numbers of men in our country taking a grossly erroneous view of the subject, have not infrequently declared that they will "fight for no rich man's slaves. " As a consequence of this sentiment, the two companies of volunteers form this county, and now in actual service, include in their ranks but few of the non-slave-holding working class. By some care and diligence we have partially succeeded in correcting these treasonable sentiments and exciting amongst the laboring classes a desire to take up arms in defense of their country. And within the last two weeks three other companies, embracing from 80 to 100 men each, have been raised in our county and their services been tendered to and accepted by the Governor under the twelve-months' requisition. These companies are composed almost entirely of men from "the hills" - poor laboring men, who own no slaves and live in non-slave-holding communities in our county. Expecting to go to the war they abandoned the service in which they were engaged and went into camp in order to drill and qualify themselves for the duties of a soldier. Their ardor being cooled, and in some instances giving way to impatience by reason of the delay of being mustered into service, they suddenly find their offer to serve for twelve months rejected.