take it a unit into a battle. You are well aware how soon the best troops can become demoralized. But recently, during a very short absence from my brigade, I had reason to regret that I had left it. I beg you will do what you can not to spilt my command to pieces and cause it to become of little use. If you could see it together I know you would award it a place second to no other. Whatever may be your orders I will obey with zeal and faithfulness.
I wrote to Major Anderson to-day. Everything as quiet as possible. I can get no news from New Berne; have tried hard, and am still making efforts.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. RANSOM, JR.,
Kinston, N. C., April 13, 1863.
Major General D. H. HILL:
GENERAL: I inclose a note* from General Whiting by a courier, whom I sent with your letter to him. It has just come in. I hear that the enemy is landing heavy forces below Charleston. Whiting will doubtless give you the news.
R. RANSOM, JR.,
KINSTON, N. C., April 14, 1863.
General D. H. HILL,
Commanding in North Carolina:
GENERAL: Your note of yesterday was received early to-day. I had sent off about a dozen conscripts. Will retain the others. With no evidence except against one of the 14 sent up by your order from Beaufort I can make but a poor investigation. Major Kennedy sent me only one letter from Ed. Stanly, addressed to a United States naval officer, that commits partially one of the parties. He too, I should say, was over forty years old. The rest had best be sent to Richmond or directly to the Rappahannock. My Quakers are obstinate. They have withstood hunger and thirst for over four days. I sent down Major Guion, of the Engineers, to superintend, but so low to the water that a slight rise would wash it away. My scouts report a larger force now in New Berne than for some weeks past. They say re-enforcements have arrived within the past few days. If so, an advance will be attempted toward this place and an attack by the gunboats be made on Wilmington. They will thus hope to prevent your sending any one to Wilmington, and perhaps to pass over us before you can get here, or it may be they will be content to hold us all here. If you do not order the demonstration on New Berne I shall not make it. If you do not order the demonstration on New Berne I shall not make it. With half the number of my force in the town I cannot take it. With half the number of my force in the town I cannot take it. Two demonstrations have already been made upon the place, and, with respect, I suggest that a repetition of these feints tend to weaken us and give courage and importance to the enemy. If the enemy go out again I will be as rapid as man can be to take his place; and if in your better judgment it be wise to make the demonstration let me know and it shall be promptly