War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0460 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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have seized indiscriminately all merchandise brought into this district and proceeded to dispose of it without particular reference to the law of the claims of the Treasury Department. The consequence has been difficulties and embarrassments that only work to the public injury without nay corresponding good. Good thus seized and often inadequately protected are lost or depreciated, and a case violation of law being proven the claimant applies to the court, bonds his goods, and thus the matter ends, with bad feeling, the duties lost, and nobody benefited.

This section of the country is in extreme want of articles of first necessity. On the lake shore corn is worth from $10 $15 per bushes, sweet potatoes about the same, and other things in proportion. Those exorbitant prices of course stimulate that questionable class of trades that always flock to the confines of warring nations, who, I think, should be regulated accordingly as they may be useful in supplying the extreme wants of our Army an people, especially in cases the courts are inaccessible and the proof of violation of law is doubtful and not likely to be made out.

In other words, while I would not sanction or encourage trade with the enemy by an exchange of commodities, I would endeavor to regulate these matters in a time of war rather by a policy which would work to the benefit of our cause and to the injury of the enemy than by a rigid application of the law. Now the enemy has clearly indicated his starvation policy be refusing to allow the smallest amount of supplies to come out of his lines, and inducing the shipment of the largest amount of cotton and other produce to his. I would meet this by a corresponding policy within the limits of the law.

Should this view meet with your approbation the interests of your Department could be protected and some good accomplished if the honorable Secretary of War would issue instructions to the commanding general of this department that all merchandise seized should be turned over to this department, and such aid and support be given as I might require in the proper discharge of my duties.

This order is necessary to accomplish the first object, and I respect fully submit it for your consideration.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Richmond, Va., March 26, 1863.

His Excellency Z. B. VANCE,

Governor of North Carolina:

SIR: The application recently made by General Edney, of your State, sustained by your indorsement, asking tasures be taken to repress and disperse that banks of marching deserters and refugees represented to be collecting in the mountains of your western counties, has been submitted to the President and receive the attentive consideration of the Department. It is not deemed judicious to assent to the suggestion of the petition presented by General Edney that the conscript law be suspended in the counties west of the Blue Ridge in your State and that local organizations of the militia or State forces be formed to operate against these marauding bands. In addition to the objection that the conscripts of the district where safely available might thus be withdrawn from the calls of the public service, where they are now so needed, it is feared that the use of