RICHMOND, VA., June 12, 1762.
C. R. DICKSON,
An article copied from the Raymond Gazette is calculated to create the impression that I have preserved my cotton when that of my neighbors was burned. I do not know what has been done, but no know that it is basely false that I have sought to preserve my cotton or given the ordinary attention to my private affairs. Please learn the facts and answer.
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Raleigh, June 12, 1862.
Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: The first section of the conscription act places in the military service of the Confederate States all the white males between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years, and those in the twelve-months' regiments or continued in the service for the war, except those over thirty-five years, who are discharged after ninety days form the 16th of April, and there would appear no allusion to those enlisted for the war over thirty-five years. But in your letter to me of April 30 you use this language:
I will accept the State troops in their present organization, to be received on the same footing with other regiments already in the Confederate service; the men over thirty-five to be discharged within ninety days from April 16, and their places supplied with enrolled conscripts.
Now, the term "State troops" we here have always applied exclusively to our first eleven regiments, which were enlisted for the war, and have always been in the service; and the regiments about which I had corresponded with you, and which you then alluded to as "State troops," had but then just organized, and had volunteered for the war (fifteen regiments). Between these we had organized and tendered twenty-eight regiments for twelve months, to which the wording of the conscript act clearly applied.
I don't know that you were aware that the regiments you alluded to as "State troops" were volunteers for the war, and therefore cannot determine whether you have decided to discharge those over thirty-five year who have enlisted or volunteered for the war. This decision affects a great many of the best-drilled soldiers on our regiments, who never made any calculation on a discharged till the publication of your letter of April 30, which seemed to embrace them so plainly. If there is any error in the application of your construction the sooner it is corrected the better, and therefore I invite your immediate attention to it, and publish it in your instructions immediately. I don't know what other States are affected by this, or to what extent; but it procured a very serious diminution in the quota of North Carolina troops now in service.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully,
HENRY T. CLARK.
Since writing this I have received yours of June 10, which settles the matter by saying, "Men over thirty-five years of age in regiments enlisted for the war are not discharged from service. " The answers