GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C., January 12, 1863
Major General S. G. FRENCH,
Commanding, &c., Weldon, N. C.:
GENERAL: You are unquestionably in command of the forces on the Blackwater, those belonging to Petersburg, and General Pettigrew's command at Rocky Mount, &c.; and there is no order relieving Evans from your command, nor have I intended there should be, so far as reports, returns, &c., are concerned. I mean the last to apply to Evans. But as long as I am so much closer to him will give him direct orders in regard to his movements. Ransom is considered in transitu. General Le wishes him to return to Drewry's Bluff. I wish to bring him to North Carolina. In case he comes on at all,if he stops short of [this place] I will order him to report to you. I will direct the adjutant-general to return any reports, returns, &c., which may be forwarded by your command without being transmitted through your office. In regard to the official reports, no original reports had been received in my office previous to your leaving here. They were only copies sent for my information, and they were returned. The reports were handed to me by Evans the day before I left for Richmond, except that of the chief engineer. My own report was written hurriedly, and I am not certain what is in it, but remember distinctly making up my mind neither to blame nor praise any one, nor go into particulars, but to make the report in the barest outline and refer for particulars to the sub-reports. I am sorry that any omissions have given you concern, but allow me to say first that Evans' report should have been made to you, and you should have reported to me. It is perhaps my fault that I allowed him to hand me his report while I was visiting at Kinston. I will have copies of the reports sent to you that were handed me by Evans, and would be glad if you would get General Pettigrew to make out a report, and I will transmit them to the adjutant and inspector-general, to be filed with the others. This is but just and right.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
G. W. SMITH,
P. S. - Try a simple order on and test the question of command practically. The idea of an officer stationed at Petersburg saying that he is not under your command borders on trifling.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, NORTH CAROLINA, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, (MILITIA),
Raleigh, N. C., January 12, 1863.
COLONEL: You will forth with assemble all able-bodied men fit for military duty not called for as conscripts up to this date, and who are liable to militia duty under existing laws and orders, in your regiment, and organize them into one or more companies of 75 men each. Should the number of men in any regiment equal or exceed 120 they will be formed into two equal companies. Detachments of 40 men will be allowed a captain and second lieutenant; 25 men a first lieutenant, and 15 men a second lieutenant. A full company of 75 will be allowed all these officers, to be in all cases selected by the rank and file. The militia having been so much reduced by recent calls for conscripts, and this call including all who are fit for duty, renders it necessary that the commis-