I directed, for your immediate needs, one of Ransom's regiments to Goldsborough. I learn to- day that it has arrived there. It had better probably remain there for a while. The pressing calls I have made on the President, and the representations I have made of the dangerous condition of tis department will, I think,meet with a respomse, and I shall have some more force. I want to come to Inston very much, but just now, in view of the state of affairs at Charleston, and my bing my own engineer, hurrying up important work, makes me loth to leave at this juncture. If a large force is gathered at Kinston I shall come on; but the probability is that at no distant time both friends and enemies will be gathered round this place, now become the most important point in the Confederacy. It will repuire an army to attack it and one to defend it.
As to the gunboat, I care very little. I never expect it to be finished, or if finished to do anything. So far the gunboats have caused more trouble, interfered more with government business and transportation, been bound up more and accomplished less thatn any other part of the service. Here I do not permit them to interfere any longer. They must give place to more useful business.
I am glad to learn that Peck has no greater force. Neither he nor Potter are much.
I consider Kenansville a very important point. You may add the remaining section to the one now there. I wish that they would push Claiborne's case and get red of him.
Very truly, yours.
W. H. C. WHITING.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, NORTH CAROLINA,
Raleigh, August 26, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
DEAR SIR: The vast numbers of deserters in the western counties of this State have so accumulated lately as to set the local militia at defiance and exert a very injurious effect upon the community in many respects. My home guards are poorly armed, inefficient, and rendered timid by fear of secret vengeance from the deserters. If General Lee would send one of our diminished brigades or a good strong regiment to North Carolina, with orders to report to me, I could make it increase his renks far more than the temporary loss of his brigade, in a very short time. Something of this kind must be done.
Z. B. VANCE.
Referred to General Lee by Secretary of War, August 29, 1863.
September 8, 1863.
General Hoke, with two regiments and a squadron of cavalry, has been sent to Governor Vance.
R. E. LEE,