I certify the above and foregoing is a true copy from the record of minutes of the Board of Directors of the Georgia and Alabama Railroad Company.
CHAS. H. SMITH,
Secretary pro tem.
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Raleigh, October 25, 1862.
His Excellency President DAVIS:
MY DEAR SIR: When in Richmond I had the honor to call your attention, in the presence of Mr. Randolph, to the subject of allowing the conscripts the privilege of selecting the regiments to which they should go. I understood you and the Secretary both to assent to it willingly. A few days after my return home, therefore, I was much surprised and grieved to find an order coming from the Secretary to Major Mallett to disregard an order to this effect from Brigadier-General Martin and to place all of them in certain brigades under General French. I immediately addressed a letter to Mr. Randolph protesting against it and giving my reasons for so doing. * To this letter, after the lapse of two weeks, I have received no reply.
Last week about 100 men were brought into camp from one county alone, from a region somewhat lukewarm, who had been got to come cheerfully under the solemn promises made them by my enrolling officer that they should be allowed to join any regiment they desired, accordingly to the published orders. Under the circumstances General Martin said they might yet have their choice, started them accordingly, and wrote to General French, begging his consent to the arrangement. He refused, of course, and according to a note received from him the men were stopped at Petersburg and "distributed equally" to certain regiments, as quartermaster's stores or any other chattel property, alleging that by not coming in sooner they had forfeited all claims to consideration.
Of the shortsightedness and inhumanity of this harsh course toward our people I shall offer no comment. In bringing the facts to your attention I wish not only to ask that a more liberal policy be adopted, but to make it the occasion of informing you also of a few things of a political nature which you ought to know.
The people of this State have ever been eminently conservative and jealous of their political rights. The transition from their former opinions, anterior to our troubles, to a state of revolution and war was a very sudden and extraordinary one. Prior to Lincoln's proclamation the election for delegates to our proposed convention exhibited a popular majority of upward of 30,000 against secession for existing causes. The late elections, after sixteen months of war and membership with the Confederacy, show conclusively that the original advocates of secession no longer hold the ear of our people. Without the warm and ardent support of the old Union men North Carolinaomptly and generously have been brought to the support of the seceding States, and without that same influence constantly and unremittingly given the present status could not be maintained forty-eighth hours. These are facts. I allude to them not to remind you of any heretofore political differences (which I earnestly hope are buried in the graves of our gallant countrymen), but simply to give you information.
*See October 10, p. 114.