War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0456 OPERATOINS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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tion up the Albemarle Sound or against Wilmington. I much doubt if they will make any attack requiring land transportation.

Your telegram is received. I will hold my disposable force ready to march at a moment's notice, though I do not believe it should be moved until it is certain it will all be required elsewhere. It has reassured the people here, and to a certain extent restored confidence where I grieve to say, despondency was fast generating indifference to our cause, and if the troops are removed without a necessity, perfectly apparent to the people, it will produce a panic that will be most serious in its effects. I shall therefore make no move until further instructed by you.

I am, General, very respectfully,

TH. H. HOLMES,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS, Goldsborough, April 6, 1862.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding Army, C. S. A.:

GENERAL: I telegraphed you yesterday that I should not send the troops to Suffolk until further developments of the enemy's intentions. General Burnside's whole force is available for an invasion in this direction, and my efficient force (12,000), including the troops that were defeated near New Berne, is not more than would be required to resist him.

A serious panic will result if it be materially diminished, and as there is a general feeling that North Carolina has been neglected by the Government, the steps I have taken to reassure the people and restore confidence would be to a great extent nullified, and hence it is that I shall wait until I certain that a blow will be struck at another point, or until, in your superior wisdom and better information, your shall direct me otherwise.

The Georgia regiments have not arrived, and yesterday the Governor of North Carolina ordered Rogers' battalion of five companies back to Raleigh to complete its organization as a regiment. I permitted it to go, because it had not been turned over to the Confederate Government and had been ordered here only to meet an emergency.

I have ordered a large amount of transportation to be collected here, so as to throw the command in the shortest time possible to any point where it may be required.

There are in Raleigh five or six regiments organized, or partially so, but as they have not been turned over to the Government I have no authority over them. Would it not be well to receive them as they are, in order that I could arrange for their proper instruction while waiting to be armed?

I thank you, General, for the kind confidence you so blindly repose in me, and can only pray that God will give me strength to justify it.

I am, General, very respectfully,

TH. H. HOLMES,

Major-General.

P. S.-I received a letter from General Burnside, saying that he had released on parole our sick and wounded, and requested me to release certain of his prisoners. As the United States Government acted in