I have not been unmindful of the condition of the eastern portion of your State, and can make allowance for the anxiety felt by those who reside there. Efforts at industriously made to organize and instruct the new levies of mounted troops, that force being most relied on to protect your exposed districts, and you may be assured that the Government will do everything in its power to defend the citizens of Onslow against the depredations of the enemy. With this view General French has received orders to send thither as soon as practicable a force to prevent marauding expeditions and afford protection to private property.
The large and increasing numbers of the enemy at Suffolk, whence he threatens North Carolina and Virginia as well as our principal line of communication, has rendered it necessary to concentrate our forces at a point where they can offer the most effective resistance; and in the success of that resistance I am sure that the intelligent citizens of Onslow County, as well as of the rest of North Carolina, will perceive how deeply they are interested.
I gratefully acknowledge the earnest and patriotic manner in which, since your assumption of the executive authority in North Carolina, you have labored to fill her battle-thinned regiments and recruit our armies in the field. I am happy in the confidence that you will continue to afford this Government your valuable co-operations, and beg to assure you of deep interest I feel in all that relates to the security and welfare of your State.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Raleigh, October 20, 1862.
His Excellency President DAVIS:
DEAR SIR: Pardon me for addressing you in regard to a matter that should ordinarily come before the Quartermaster-General, but its importance justifies me in bringing the matter directly to your notice.
Large quantities of harness are made in this State by contract with the Confederate Government agents. The prices paid being more remunerative, almost two-thirds of our leather is made into harness instead of shoes. As shoe are now our greatest need I respectfully suggest that the Quartermaster-General cease to contract for leather harness and allow the whole product of our tanneries to go into the manufacture of shoes. Harness sufficiently strong for all reasonable purposes can be made of heavy cotton goods. Much of it is in use in this State, and is found to answer every end. So far as my observation goes it would enable us to double the amount of shoes produced.
I need not remind you of the importance of this item for the army nor of the great difficulty we are realizing in getting a supply.
Hoping you may think favorably of the suggestion, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Z. B. VANCE.
Richmond Va., October 20, 1862.
Colonel WALTER GWYNN, Kinston, N. C.:
COLONEL: I am in receipt of your letter of the 17th instant, in which you describe the position of the defensive works on the Neuse River, 3 miles below the town of Kinston, constructed by Major W. B. Thompson