There has been no [attack] made on parties traveling on the Asheville road; the stage has not been destroyed and no acts of hostility committed that I can hear of but the plunder of Marshall and of Allen's house. The whole force that went to Marshall did not exceed 50 men. All the reports stating the existence of organized bands of armed men numbering 300 or 40 are false beyond a doubt. The attack on Marshall has given rise to wild rumors of organizations of armed tories throughout the mountains, bent on sacking towns and the plunder of loyal men. The reports, greatly magnified as they went to Raleigh, have no doubt led the Governor of North Carolina to call on the Confederate Government for a protecting force. I think you can safely assure him that the militia re not needed.
* * * * *
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. G. M. DAVIS,
RALEIGH, N. C., January 21, 1863.
General [HENRY] HETH, Knoxville, Tenn.:
Yours received. I hope you will not relax until the tories are crushed. But do not let our excited people deal too harshly with these misguided men. Please have the captured delivered to the proper authorities for trial.
Z. B. VANCE.
GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C., [January] 21, 1863..
Major General S. G. FRENCH, Commanding:
When Griffin's cavalry arrives use such couriers as may be necessary, but except in case of emergency I prefer that the regiment should be kept concentrated as much as possible and under the orders of General Robertson. A train has been sent to Tarborough for supplies. Get all you can from the country you are in.
G. W. SMITH,
GOLDSBOROUGH, January 21, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
MY DEAR SIR: The reports from the front to-day are that the enemy in some force, exact numbers not known, was last night within 3 miles of Jacksonville, Onslow County - cavalry, artillery, and infantry; probably the same force that appeared at Trenton some three days since.
I have had no information through our secret agent in New Berne later than the 16th, which was received on the 18th. I am still clearly of the opinion that their forces at New Berne and Beaufort, &c., number from 20,000 to 40,000. But our latest advises go to show that the effect of the storm upon their iron-clads, the opposition to the proclamation of Lincoln freeing the negroes, and the rapid retreat of Foster from this place in December have together caused great discontent and shaken the morale of their army. I suppose there is really some truth in these reports. That their plans have been interfered with to some extent is certain, and I think but for the disaster to the monitor and