STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Raleigh, January 26, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I had the honor to complain to His Excellency the President and your immediate predecessor, Mr. Randolph, in regard to the manner of enforcing the conscript act in this State and of disposing of the men in regiments during the month of October last. I am compelled again, greatly to my regret, to complain of the appointment of Colonel August as commandant of conscripts for North Carolina, who has recently assumed command here. Merely alluding to the obvious impropriety and bad policy of wounding the sensibilities of our people by the appointment of a citizen of another State to execute a law both harsh and odious, I wish to say, sir, in all candor, that it smacks of discourtesy toward our people, to say the least of it. Having furnished as many (if not more) troops for the service of the Confederacy as any other State, and being, as I was assured by the President, far ahead of all others in the number raised under the conscript law, the people of this State have justly felt mortified in seeing those troops commanded by citizens of other States, to the exclusion of the claims of their own. This feeling is increased and strengthened into a very general indignation when it is thus officially announced that North Carolina has no man in her noblest sons and best officers are now at home with mutilated limbs and shattered constitutions. Without the slightest prejudice against either Colonel August or the State from which he comes, I protest against his appointment as both unjust and impolitic. Having submitted in silence to the many-very many-acts of the Administration heretofore so well calculated to wound that pride which North Carolina is so pardonable for entertaining, it is my duty to inform you that if persisted in the appointment of strangers to all the position in this State and over her troops will cause a feeling throughout her whole borders which it is my great desire to avoid.
Trusting, sir, that you can appreciate the feelings of our people and will pardon the frankness with which I have spoken,
I have the honor to remain, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Z. B. VANCE.
To CONSCRIPT BUREAU:
When and why was Colonel August sent to North Carolina? Have you at command any equally competent North Carolina officer for the position?*
J. A. S.,
[JANUARY 26, 1863. -For proclamation of Governor Vance in relation to the return of deserters from North Carolina organizations, see Series I, VOL. XVIII, p. 860.]
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 11. Richmond, January 27, 1863.
The military courts appointed and organized under the act approved October 9, 1862, will be governed and controlled, as other courts-martial,
*See Rains to Seddon, January 30, p. 378.