War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0302 CORRESPONDENCE, eTC.

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no time nor enemy will be wasted in accomplishing the object. Shall I proceed to enroll in the counties of King and Queen, Middlesex, and Essex? I can soon get all in those counties, if authorized to do so. Inclosed I send you a letter from Captain John T. Seawell (and authority from Secretary Randolph), who has been taken by the enemy and paroled, relative to commissioning Captain Thomas C. Clopton as commandant of his company. I have on a list in camp, independent of those examined as above stated, sixty-five that have enrolled for Captain Clopton's company. Most of them are conscripts, and about one-half those that had enrolled for Seawell's company. Shall I organize the company under Clopton, or enroll them as conscripts? If allowed to be organized it will be a valuable guard to the people of this section, and much assist me in my work of apprehending and enrolling the unwilling conscripts. I presume Captain C. is too well known to you to require recommendation from me. I regard him a man of energy and courage. If authorized to organize the company I shall, as soon as they are sufficiently drilled, order them to Gloucester Court-House, and Captain Littleton's company to Mathews County. This force will keep off all marauding parties and quiet the people. In addition to the good these companies can do as represented, they can also render valuable services in apprehending the blockade-runners and their goods in this section of the State; and on this point I ask instructions. The most illegal traffic is daily going on between this class of citizens and the enemy. Flour, pork, meal, and, indeed, almost every article, are being carried across the bay to the Eastern Shore, and across the Rappahannock to the Northern Neck of Virginia, and exchanged for Yankee goods which they now run through the lines to Richmond. This class of men are mostly conscripts and outrageous extortioners. Give me the authority and I believe I could apprehend hundreds liable to military service, and secure for the Government (at reasonable prices) large quantities of heavy woolens, shoes, blankets, medicines, and other army goods; or by confiscation suppress the trade entirely. Please give me instructions what to do. I shall, however, in the meantime take charge of this class of individuals and their goods, and hold them until I get instructions from your Department. Captain Littleton's company, divided into squads, is now operating in portions of Gloucester and Mathews, by my order, arresting unwilling conscripts and bringing them in. The Northern Neck of Virginia, I understand, is worse than Yankeedom itself. The most unlicensed trade is going on. That section ought to be under military control by all means. Write me on this points also.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel and Enrolling Officer, &c.

P. S. - Since writing the above a detachment of Captain Littleton's company has brought into camp five persons engaged in running into our lines from those of the enemy a large and excellent assortment of goods. All the men, except one, are, in my opinion, liable to the conscript act. Two are from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, two from this county, and one claims to be a Marylander. From what information I can gather some of the party have probably taken the oath of allegiance to the United States Government, and may be spies. What shall I do with them and their goods? I have charge of both and will await your order. Is a Marylander found in Virginia liable to be