Wilmington, N. C., February 15, 1863.
His Excellency the GOVERNOR, Raleigh, N. C.:
SIR: I send for your information a letter* just received from Lumberton, in Robeson County, respecting a deplorable condition of things in that section, die to the presence and depredations of deserters. Accordingly, I have ordered Captain J. R. McDonald, Fifty-first North Carolina, and his company (all Robeson County men) to proceed there and either capture or, if necessary, destroy these freebooters. A copy* of his orders is herewith. The statement of the inadequacy of the militia force and the disaffection of the free negroes renders this action on my part necessary, and I think it will meet your approval.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. C. WHITING,
Abstract from Field Report of the Troops of the District of the Cape Fear, commanded by Brigadier General W. H. C. Whiting, February 15, 1863.
Present for duty.
Troops. Officers. Men. Efficient Aggregat
Brigadier-General 134 1.854 2.028 2.288
Brigadier-General 160 2.791 2.906 3.0151
Forts Caswell, 65 1.228 1.504 1.800
Johnson, and Saint
City and river 21 416 461 558
Three unattached 11 144 159 188
3rd Battalion 10 134 135 158
Four light 18 446 460 487
Three companies of 8 203 205 225
Signal Corps. 1 17 17 20
Bridge guard. 1 24 24 27
Grand total. 429 7.257 7.899 8.902
NOTE.- Aggregate present and absent not reported.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., February 16, 1863.
General R. E. LEE, Fredericksburg, Va.:
General Pryor reports:
Scout from opposite Newport News reports transports landing there since Wednesday evening. Knows nothing of the number. Saw eleven steamboats at one time.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.