HEADQUARTERS SECOND DISTRICT, DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA AND SOUTHERN VIRGINIA, Goldsborough, August 25, 1864.
His Excellency Z. B. VANCE,
Governor of North Carolina:
GOVERNOR: I deem it my duty, as commander of this military district, to apprise you of the fact that in all probability combinations are being made by the enemy which will call for the earnest effort of all men in the state to avoid catastrophe. I have information from Plymouth that one iron-clad gun-boat has already passed the bar and that another is being lightened over, and that re-enforcements of infantry are expected for the purpose of recovering possession of Eastern North Carolina. You are aware that the enemy holds the Petersburg road, and I have reason to believe that Weldon will be seriously threatened soon. As soon as he is sufficiently fortified in the front of his present position he will be able to detach a large force against Weldon. I think he is already moving in that direction. In addition to this, General Whiting is in expectation of an early movement upon Wilmington, in which case I am expected to render him all the assistance in my power. Heretofore I have been able to rely on General Beauregard for assistance from Petersburg, but this is now taken away by the occupation of the Petersburg road. If these movements are made simultaneously the State will be in danger, and in case of either one of them being made it will require the service of the arms-bearing portion of the population to enable us to drive them off. In view of the apparent necessity and the danger which may threaten us at any moment I must earnestly and respectfully urge upon Your Excellency to call out the whole force of the State and send them to me at this place, where they can be made available in any direction. Even if the present signs fail the moral effect upon the enemy of the knowledge that you are able to throw a large force into the field for the defense of the State will be very great and may deter this very movement.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Your Excellency's obedient servant,
L. S. BAKER,
[AUGUST 26, 1864.--For Lee to Seddon, reporting battle at Reams' Station, see Part I, p.851.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., August 26, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge your letter in regard to recruiting for the army.* I share your solicitude respecting the decreasing number of our forces, and have been endeavoring, by all the means in my power, to give activity to the conscript service. The suggestions made by you shall receive earnest attention, and it is hoped may contribute to the recruitment so essential to the success of our cause. I hear from various sources that there are still many active men in the
*See August 23, p.1199.