War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0410 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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RICHMOND, June 28, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER,

Secretary of War:

The Governor and council of Virginia commissioned Charles Smith colonel of a regiment of active volunteers in the two counties of Accomac and Northampton, forming the Eastern Shore of this State, and ordered them into encampment. The regiment was to consist of ten companies of not less than 50 nor more than 100 strong. This regiment is now in camp, part in Accomac and the others in Northampton. This force is, from necessity, obliged to be local. It cannot be removed into any other part of Virginia, nor can the Government without a large naval force afford any protection to those counties in the event of invasion. A portion of the volunteers would be glad to have an opportunity to mingle in the army movements in other parts of the State, but so long as Maryland is under military occupation and the Chesapeake Bay is blockaded it is physically impossible for them to do so. The blockade can only be run by row-boats or small vessels occasionally in the night, with favorable winds.

First. I wish to know whether the volunteer regiment under Colonel Smith has been transferred to the Confederate Government under the treaty of alliance, offensive and defensive, or otherwise.

Second. If it has been transferred, are the officers and men entitled to pay from the time they were ordered into encampment by Governor Letcher?

Third. If they be, inasmuch as there will probably at the present time be on invasion of the two counties by a regular Federal force, but only occasionally by marauding or foraging parties, can any arrangement be made by which only a part of the regiment may be required to be in camp at a time and receive pay only when doing camp or other duty?

The difficulties of obtaining any information from the Government on this side of the Chesapeake Bay by persons on the other side induces me to request the Secretary to be as full in his answers as he conveniently may, so that I may be enabled when I return to the Eastern Shore of the State to inform the officers and men of the regiment upon what footing they stand. An invasion of the peninsula is threatened from time to time, and occasionally reports that an army is marching through Delaware down upon the border of Accomac, but as yet no enemy has made his appearance-at least had not ten days ago. Northampton is entirely loyal and three-fourths of Accomac are, and some of the disloyal in the latter county I have heard have petitioned Lincoln's Government to send forces there to protect them, when they have not been disturbed because they have done nothing except to vote against a ratification of the ordinance of secession. But this movement renders a regular organized force there necessary, independent of apprehension from any other cause.

Very respectfully,



Richmond, June 29, 1861.


Ordnance Bureau:

SIR: Your communication of the 28th, returning governor Brown's letter to me of the 5th instant, and also covering one to yourself