Ransom, and Cooke); two are at Kinston, and the third has one regiment at Weldon and three below, at Magnolia Depot, 50 miles above Wilmington. If you think that one more should be sen, I will send Cooke.
I feel confident that Ransom and Daniel can whip Foster. But with Foster's superiority of numbers and great water facilities he can cut the railroad and make most destructive raids on the Roanoke, Chowan, and Tar, and it will be impossible to prevent them.
There is nominally a large force in the State, but there is a heavy garrison in Wilmington, and the four regiments of cavalry are not worth four companies of inferior infantry. In fact, did we not need a large number of couriers over this 300 miles of coast, I would prefer them to be ordered off.
I have laid the facts before you in regard to the Confederate strength and that of the Yankees as far as can be ascertained, and must leave it to your discretion whether to order off more forces or not.
D. H. HILL,
Tarborough, N. C., May 7, 1863.
Major General D. H. HILL,
Commanding Dept. of North Carolina, Goldsborough, N. C.:
GENERAL: Upon my arrival here last night I found that Colonel Evans had gone toward Greenville instead of Rocky Mount, as we supposed. I immediately recalled him.
Claiborne's regiment has, strange to say, not yet arrived. As soon as possible I shall relieve the companies of the Sixty-third (Evans) below Kinston, and also the couriers between Goldsborough and Greenville and between Snow Hill and Kinston, as all the men belong to Ferebee's command.
Please inform me by Captain Worthington (who will deliver this) how many men those lines will require under existing circumstances. There are a great many more at present than are needed on that duty since the withdrawal of the troops from Hookerton and Greenville.
While on the railroad I should very much like to send the dismounted men of Claiborne's regiment to procure horses, and if this request meets your approbation instruct Captain Worthington to telegraph me at once before the men leave here. You can readily perceive, general, the necessity for the step proposed, which I hope you will approve. Colonel Claiborne is absent from his regiment, I understand. Was the authority granted from your headquarters?
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. H. ROBERTSON,
Where had Claiborne's regiment better encamp? About Greenville forage is scarce and Griffin is there.
HEADQUARTERS, May 8, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to return herewith a letter and dispatch from General Lee. All of our reports represent the enemy's main cavalry