September 21st 1862
Venerable Sir I desir to lay my former & present course befor you hopeing you will be kind as to answer me and tell me what I may depend on in regard to the subject which I shal hear address you upon. Sir I am a native citizen of the county of Alamance & early last spring at the request of Mr. Jils Meaban one of the representatives of our county I toke stepes to rais a company for sirvis &c was joined in that effort by Mr. G.M. Albright & had elisted men to the amount required to give me a commisheon but not a sufficient number for a ful company when I was sent for by Messrs Mendenhall Jones & Gardner to worke for them in thear gun mansfactoring establishment near Jamestown N.C. I then had to give up my company & Mr. Albright who assisted me in raising it becum the captain of the company he is now in the armey & I have bin imployed by Messrs Meridenhall Jones & Gardner from that time on. It is sum distance from my place of imployrnent to my residence in the county of Alamance though I make it a rule to go home to my family once a month & have never yet been molested on my way to or from home.
But thear has bin men arrested on thear way to home & to this place & tooke to the army & put in sirvis, this has all occured since the inroleing of the conscrips.
I would have had no objection to going in the armey if I could have went last Spring when I had the chance of being capten of a company but after having maid up a company I would be very reluctan to have to go now as a privet when I had the chance of a more honorable persition which I would have held had. It not have bin that I was put on another Duty.
Now Sir as thear seams to be no bounds to the Milatary arthoroty I wish to know wheather or not I may Expect your protection if I should be arrested when on my way home & bak to this place. The time that I loose is but very little as this establishment is near the N.C. railroad and I can go the most of the way by railroad.
And the arthoretys of the confederate stats has saw fit to exemp men from Military service who were imployed in manufacturing fire arms for the goverment. I thearefore would prefur to remain at my present vocation.
Sources: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Original in Governor Vance Papers, North Carolina State Archives.