side at this time. I think your force will enable you to prevent such a movement, and in the mean time I hope you will be able, with the improved arms that have been sent you and the country arms, to prepare a sufficient number of the new regiments to supply the place of the troops that have been withdrawn from you. It would not be well to send the new brigade to be organized at Raleigh to Fredericksburg instead of Ransom's. The new men would no doubt suffer greatly, and their efficiency suffer less if retained in North Carolina.
General Johnston writes that the situation of affairs in the Peninsula is such that it is impossible for him to spare General Pettigrew.
With reference to the promotion of Colonel Daniel the Secretary is unwilling at this time to increase the number fo brigadiers. There are two now without commands, Generals Wise and Pryor, either of whom can be ordered ot you if you desire it.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS, Goldsborough, April 30, 1862.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding C. S. Army:
GENERAL: I telegraphed last night, asking permission to retain the brigade ordered from me to Virginia.
I know you will not consider me importunate when I tell you that it will be better to withdraw all the troops from North Carolina except a few regiments for the defense of Wilmington than to reduce this command, because that would give you material aid in Virginia, and the demoralization of the people here would be scarcely less than it will be if I am deprived of the means of fighting Burnside.
General French has made a positive and stern demand on me for troops and I must send them, because the great uncertainly and mismanagement of the trains will not justify me in trusting to them for defending Wilmington by the troops that are here.
As for troops at Raleigh, it is doubtful when I shall get them and still more doubtful when they will be armed. The military camps there is a short of hobby with the authorities, and they require all the arms they have to exercise their men.
I wrote immediately on the receipt of your letter for six regiments. This was three days ago, and yet I have had no word in answer and no evidence the regiments are coming, and if they do come they will be nothing better than raw militia.
Immediately on the receipt of your order yesterday i sent to the railroad authorities for transportation for the brigade, and was informed it could not be furnished before to-morrow, the 1st May.
I am, General, very respectfully and faithfully,
TH. H. HOLMES,
P. S.-The common council of Wilmington has sent a committee to the Governor and to me begging for help.