XVI. Brigadier General Carter L. Stevenson will report to Major-General Huger for assignment with troops on the line of railroad near Weldon, N. C.
By command of the Secretary of War:
RICHMOND, VA., March 17, 1862.
Gov. HENRY T. CLARK, Raleigh:
I did not request that militia should be called out. If not armed, they would be of no service. I will arm all the volunteers you send. If you have more than two regiments, send the remainder to Goldsborough. Tents, camp equipage, and blankets will be sent immediately to Goldsborough.
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Raleigh, March 17, 1862.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States:
SIR: I have the honor to present to you the inclosed memorial and resolutions of the people of Wilmington, which have just been handed to me, and I feel a deep anxiety that it should receive your attentive consideration. I would not press it on your attention if I could grant them assistance myself, but I have no troops at my disposal, and a call for militia, with their tardiness of action, destitution of arms, and the requisite of a soldier, leaves no hope of benefit from them.
The only troops at Wilmington are the few that I could put there, and insufficient as they were, they have been removed by Confederate officers to other positions, till there are less than 1,500 left, which could not resist even a fourth of the Burnside expedition.
Wilmington has the great machine-shops, the railroad connections (our only means of getting salt), furnishes the materials, supports, and access for the Confederate States Arsenal. Any one of these presents sufficient claims to be defended by the Confederate States, and it must be done quickly or not at all; for it is doubtless the next move of Burnside, which will destroy the last connection of North Carolina with the ocean.
The people of Wilmington must know in time what to depend on, either to be defended or to seek safety in flight. If the great public interests will not secure a defense for them, they must secure their private interests as far as possible by removal to some more secure spot.
I will take the liberty of further adding that the adjacent counties to Wilmington have sent out an unusual number of volunteers, who are now absent on duty elsewhere, and presents the great difficulty of procuring within reach any amount of militia.
I take pleasure in introducing to you the committee who present these resolutions, Messrs. Strange, Thomas, and De Rosset, and hope they will enlist your attention in behalf of a cause which so much interests both you and them.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, yours,
HENRY T. CLARK.