Petersburg, Va., March 21, 1863.
General D. H. HILL,
Commanding, & c., Goldsborough, N. C.:
GENERAL: Your letters of the 19th and 20th are received. If Ransom's brigade is brought to Goldsborough you will not need Kemper's, and it had better be returned at once, and Ransom's being at Goldsborough will relieve me of all anxiety about that place and save the necessity of sending General Pickett down. I have ordered my Whitworth gun to be sent you for the expedition, but I cannot let it go any farther, as General Lee regards it as part of his command, and will require it if he recalls me to his aid. The snow is 10 or 12 inches deep, and the Whitworth at Fort Powhatan. I fear therefore that I will not be able to get it here in time to ship it to-morrow afternoon, but it shall go as soon as it is possible to get it off. Send some one to meet it and conduct it to you. It will be ordered to Tarborough from here.
I desire you to move from Greenville as quickly as possible. The success of such expeditions depends altogether upon their promptness and action. If you need Kemper at any point in your rear keep him for the time, but send him back as soon as possible. General Pickett will not be sent down, as General Ransom's presence at Goldsborough will satisfy all conditions. You must always have an eye to drawing out the supplies from the country in which you move. You will not confine yourself to the prices fixed by the Department in purchasing supplies, but give the market price and liberal prices for transportation whenever you purchase near the enemy's lines; and when you purchase and find that you can draw off the supplies, take every pound that is in the market, and when you find it necessary impress at the market prices. If it is necessary, you can leave Garnett's brigade to protect trains, & c., while hauling. I suppose that you will need General Pettigrew's at Goldsborough. If not, you can also use it in aiding you to get out supplies.
I remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Kinston, N. C., March 21, 1863.
Major General D. H. HILL,
Commanding at Goldsborough, N. C.:
GENERAL: Your note of this date has been received. From its contents I presume you intend me to await Kemper's arrival, should he be accidentally detained beyond Monday. I understand Blount Hall to be the place you desire me to go to. I think it a more suitable position than Snow Hill for the reason you assign. The place I refer to is, I presume, the one you mean; it is on one of the roads leading from this place to Greenville, and some 6 or 8 miles from the Neuse. I shall take with me three days' rations. I have but four pieces of artillery now belonging to my brigade, General Pettigrew not having returned the two rifle guns. I wish to take one of the four-gun batteries here; there will then be left twelve pieces besides those Kemper will bring with him. I would like to have the troops I leave behind on picket duty relieved as soon as possible. I think they can be relieved on Wednesday, and wish you would so order it. Nethercutt's people will