WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., January 11, 1863.
Gov. ZEBULON B. VANCE, Raleigh, N. C.:
With the President's concurrence I recommend the calling out of the militia in North Carolina to such extent as we can arm-say 5,000 men. The Governor of Virginia will call out the militia from the counties near North Carolina, and the Department at the same time calls for conscripts from those counties to rendezvous at Petersburg. We send every man to North Carolina who can be spared from points not vital, but have no further regular troops at command. We must rely on irregulars for any further force.
J. A. SEDDON.
Secretary of War.
GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C., January 11, 1863.
Major General S. G. FRENCH,
Commanding, &c., Weldon, N. C.:
DEAR GENERAL: Yours of the 9th is received. In regard to Ransom's division there is some conflict of opinion. General Lee ordered it to Richmond. I ordered it to move to Petersburg without stopping in Richmond, take position in that immediate vicinity and be held constantly in readiness to move in any direction on the shortest notice. General Lee objects to their being this side of Drewry's Bluff. I object to their returning to Drewry's Bluff unless that place is attacked, and have asked to be allowed to order them into North Carolina. This is objected to at present. I consider this division in transitu and can determine nothing in regard to it at present. Fifty telegrams and letters have passed, I think, about this division from quartermasters, railroad, State, and General Government officers. Have you determined where you desire the four 32-pounders to be placed? As far as I am now advised it seems to me that Weldon and Halifax would be suitable positions for them, relying upon lighter guns and rifles for the defenses of points lower down. Have you seen Colonel Gwynn? I directed him to report to you at Weldon and carry out your instructions. The four 32-pounders from Charleston (ready to be put in position complete) are here on the cars. As soon as you determine where to place them they will be sent forward. General Whiting seems satisfied that Wilmington will be attacked, and thinks that they will occupy our attention at Weldon and Goldsborough at the same time. I have written again to the War Department in reference to sending re-enforcements, and have warned them that they are losing time. I hope that we will not be too late; but we will do the best we can with the means we have and can get together. I am always glad to hear from you. Write as often and fully as you can.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
G. W. SMITH,
P. S. - Can you not have a bridge constructed over the Roanoke at Halifax? I think it is very important, and will, if you require it try to send you some one to take charge of it.