I am having accurate maps made of all the country between here and New Berne, as the last service I can render to the general you must send here to command. Believe me, my dear General, this is not false modesty on my part; I know my deficiencies, and I love the cause too much to permit its vital interests to be intrusted to my management. All my life has been passed in executing the orders of others; send therefore a superior to me, or else change me for another who is capable, or who has his own as well as your confidence.
Do not ascribe this to a want of ambition or to diffidence, but rather believe that I know myself and have the honesty to sacrifice my vanity to the interest of my country. I can execute, but I cannot originate.
I am, general, yours very faithfully,
TH. H. HOLMES,
HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., April 19, 1862.
General J. G. MARTIN,
Adjutant-General of North Carolina, Raleigh:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 16th instant to Major-General Holmes, in reference to the condition, &c., of the new North Carolina troops at Raleigh, has been referred to me. I regret very much to hear of the great reduction in their strength by sickness and of the inability on the part of the State to furnish them with arms. All that were available have been forwarded to General Holmes, to be placed in the hands of the unarmed troops in his department. It was hoped that the State would succeed in collecting numbers of private arms for the new regiments and by this time have them ready for the field. I have been compelled to remove one regiment from General Holmes' command and may have to deprive him of more. I had relied upon the new regiments to replace those removed. It is earnestly requested that you will spare no efforts to get them in condition for active field service.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Abstract form statement of the troops serving in the Department of North Carolina, commanded by Major General T. H. Holmes, April 19, 1862.
Troops. Effective Aggregate Aggregate
total present present and
1st (Ransom's) 4,295 4,954 6,211
2nd (Branch's) 3,169 3,820 4,795
3rd 2,873 4,030 4,665
4th (Walker's) 3,693 4,520 5,373
District of 3,623 4,369 4,962
the Cape Fear
Fort Macon 294 375 427
Total 17,947 22,068 26,433