War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0879 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS,

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,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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

total. e

present.

Brigadier-General 134 1.854 2.028 2.288

Evans' brigade.

Brigadier-General 160 2.791 2.906 3.0151

Ransom's brigade.

Forts Caswell, 65 1.228 1.504 1.800

Johnson, and Saint

Philip (twenty-one

companies).

City and river 21 416 461 558

defense (one

battalion

artillery and

three companies).

Three unattached 11 144 159 188

companies.

3rd Battalion 10 134 135 158

North Carolina

Artillery.

Four light 18 446 460 487

batteries.

Three companies of 8 203 205 225

cavalry.

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.

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*Not found.

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