force at Petersburg, at Drewry's Bluff, and at Chaffin's Bluff. The accumulation of force at Suffolk is such that in case they should land below the obstructions on James River a force from their large fleet of transports, we would need all the available force from North Carolina. Please have the two regiments that will be left at each of the points named-Wilmington and Kinston-ready to move whenever called upon. In case the enemy makes a very strong demonstration upon Gordonsville and General Lee is not in position to meet it, I shall have to move some of the forces from here in that direction; and as both Richmond and Petersburg must be guarded, this might require that all the troops except the heavy artillery, some cavalry, and a few infantry companies for guards of bridges, &c., should be withdrawn from North Carolina. Be ready. I directed the adjutant-general to send you the information received here upon which the telegram of yesterday was based. How far down the James River does your signal line extend now? Give us the earliest practicable accurate information of the movements of the enemy. I am much obliged to your for sending General Rains' letter. I directed it to be returned, thinking you would prefer to file it in your own office. Let me have Burroughs' cavalry companies as soon as you can. They are much needed above. It the particular company you refer to from the vicinity of Suffolk cannot be spared now, keep it for the present; send on the others. Say to General Pettigrew, please, that it is contemplated that his brigade will be called in this direction for active service. I know he will be ready. Communicate with me freely and in full all your views and wishes.
I remain, respectfully and truly, yours,
G. W. SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Raleigh, N. C., October 5, 1862.
Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR:
SIR: When I was assigned to the command of this district by the direction of General Lee I assumed the general control of the conscription or recruiting business in the State. So, after doing so, I deemed it advisable to issue the inclosed order, in connection with the order and proclamation of Governor Vance. The good effect of that order has been very perceptible. Your telegram* to Major Mallett of yesterday's date will set aside this order and cause great complaint. I respectfully suggest the men be not forces into regiments, but be allowed the choice assured in my order, Major Mallett only using such influence as he can to direct their choice. Should a sudden emergency require the use of 400 or 500 men in the vicinity of Richmond it would be better, in my judgment, to order the camp guard there for a week or so than to compel conscripts to go to those regiments.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. MARTIN,
Write to General Martin that it was deemed necessary, in order to insure uniformity in the execution of the law for the enrollment of conscripts, that it should be conducted under the control of the department, and it was so ordered on April 28 last in General Orders, No.