GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C., May 6, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, C. S. A.:
The troops reported on the transports could scarcely have come from North Carolina. if my scouts and spies can be relied upon, Foster has a large force in this State, some forty-five regiments. One or two or these were expected to leaves about the 1st May, term of service having expired. These may be the troops seen on the transports.
I have written several times in regard to the utter worthlessness of the cavalry-Partisan rangers-in this State. Yesterday a company was surprised and captured. They will neither fight nor watch.
I earnestly repeat my request to have authority to dismount and conscript all who are surprised and who run. Unless you clothe me with this authority I can do nothing with them, and would prefer to have them sent out of the State.
In the whole brigade of cavalry there has been but 1 man killed in the war. I propose to have a magnificent monument erected to his memory.
With great respect,
D. H. HILL,
Wilmington, N. C., May 6, 1863.
Major General [D. H.] HILL,
Commanding, Goldsborough, N. C.:
GENERAL: I am sorry to hear of the loss of a cavalry company at White Oak. I think our cavalry in the poorest in the world. I only depend on Major [George] Jackson, Fairly, and Shays,who are worth a whole regiment. I have not yet received a report of this affair; will probably hear to-night. One regiment of Clingman's is at the advanced lines; one of Cooke's ought to be near Bannerman's, where are works. You will see it on the map. The remainder of Clingman's are on the road, on hand for need. I do not think Foster is in a hurry to advance. He has certainly or some troops from South Carolina, but not yet I think, all; Jackson is of opinion about 5,000. If he tries the Sound road he ought to be a lost Foster; but I should have another brigade to insure holding him at bay long enough to destroy him. The news is very good from Lee; he has certainly given Hooker a terrible thrashing. That last battle, driving Sedgwick over the Rappahannock and reoccupying Fredericksburg, is masterly. But what is Stuart doing, allowing that band of scamps to harry the county? Not one should escape. I am much concerned about Jackson.
I send you a return of field and siege guns. Your chief of ordnance ordered field and heavy armament of this command which he is not entitled to. I wrote you about it.
W. H. C. WHITING,