Sunday, April 29, 2012

There is the same material for . . .

. . . reconstruction in North Carolina.  Letters from the Burnside expedition speak of the Union demonstrations made at every point on the main land explored by our troops.  Among the documents captured at Roanoke was a letter from Jeff Davis to Com. Lynch, strongly urging “the importance of suppressing the Union sentiment existing among the people on these Sounds without a moment’s delay, a growing danger springing up in different sections of the Confederacy which will soon, if not put down, give us more trouble than the northern foe.”  The danger foreseen by Davis has already grown beyond his ability to suppress it.  A letter from Edenton, N. C., says –

“The authorities said the city was all Union, and that if we could protect the people in these counties we would have all the support the Government could desire, not only in Edenton, but throughout the entire State.  They said that they had not taken up arms against the Union, or suffered any fortifications to be erected about or near the city, or menaced the Government in any manner whatever.  On the contrary, they organized a Union company at the commencement of the rebellion, and continued to keep it up until a late day, when they were finally obliged to take a neutral position in order to save their lives and property from the vengeance of the Virginia rebels.  The county it appears is Union, two to one; as also are the eastern counties of the State, we are informed by the people, though they dare not openly express their sentiments.  It is truly an affecting scene to see with what reverence these oppressed Union people looked upon the stars and stripes.  I saw a group of men at Elizabeth city weeping under its ample folds, relating how much they had suffered since they had been deprived of its protection, kissing their hands at the proud emblem as they took their departure, wishing that their eyes might never again be insulted by the sight of the piratical flag of the rebellion.  I have been informed by many prominent Union men that just as soon as our forces can assure the people of this section of our ability to afford them permanent protection, that not only will we see at least two-thirds of the people arraying themselves openly on the side of the Union, but any number will volunteer to fight for the old flag.”

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, March 8, 1862, p. 2

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