HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, June 24, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of war, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to report that Governor Stanley arrived at this place yesterday, after having made an extended visit to Washington, N. C., which has, in my opinion, resulted in very great good to the Union cause. He has no doubt given you a detailed account of his visit. I had a lengthy conversation with him last evening, in which I gave him as accurate a statement as I could of the interview which I had the pleasure of having with the President, yourself, and other distinguished gentlemen, and he expressed himself highly pleased with the result of the interview.
He very frankly said to me that he was much annoyed by the course that had been pursued by a portion of the Northern press and the criticisms of some distinguished Senators, all of which were caused by the statement of a very insignificant person, who had seized upon an accidental expression of his opinion, and taken decided action on the ever-agitated negro question, and then ran off to the North for the purpose of creating an excitement and thereby gaining a little temporary notoriety, without thinking of the embarrassment it would cause the Government. Like all men who are working for the restoration of the Union, he has ceased to think of the matter, and when Mr. Colyer returned to the department this morning he received him as kindly as if nothing had happened; in fact, the mild course which he pursued toward a man who had done all he could to injure him had the effect to cause me to change my determination to dismiss Mr. Colyer if he again came into the department. We both of us feel that we had rather be annoyed by an over-officious person than to do any act to embarrass the Government by causing discord among the members of Congress at a time when harmony should prevail and all should unite in sustaining the policy of the Government at any sacrifice of opinion, comfort, or means.
I sincerely hope that you will find it for the interest of the public service to sustain the Governor.
The miliary affairs of this department are in fair condition, the health of the command is improving, and we now have near 15,000 men for duty. The infantry regiments are in fine spirits and discipline, have excellent arms and plenty of ammunition, a good supply of clothing and camp equipage, and are abundantly and well provided for by the Commissary Department. The cavalry regiment is also in fine condition, and are equally well supplied, their only want being hair saddle blankets, which are very necessary in this climate, and which have already been required for. I hope the Quartermaster's Department will forward 1,000 of the same at once.
You will remember that this regiment was only armed with sabers and pistols, which I am convinced is a most excellent general rule to adopt in any cavalry, but in this thickly-wooded country a great portion of the skirmishing has to be done on foot, which renders carbines very necessary, and I would be very glad if you would authorize General Ripley to issue 1,000 good carbines, with the cartridge-boxes and slings, and a good supply of ammunition.
You will, I am sure, pardon a very natural prejudice when I say that I would prefer what is called the "Burnside-carbine," if the Ordnance Department have them, but I would much prefer "Sharp's" or any good carbine rather than delay the shipment even for one week.