War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0755 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

September 28, 1863.

J. M. McCUE, Esq., House of Delegates, Richmond, Va.:

DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 25th instant is received.

I do not think that it would be advantageous to the service to increase the number of partisan corps or augment those already in existence. Much inconvenience has already been experienced from these organizations, and I am satisfied that they do not accomplish as much as the same number of men in the regular service. For this reason, I cannot advise the increase of Captain McNeill's company, although I consider him a brave and efficient officer, and his company has done as good service as any other of the same kind. I would be very glad if Captain McNeil could increase his command to a battalion or a regiment for regular service, and in that event would recommend his being detached from the regiment to which he now belongs. But i do not think that in any case it would be practicable or judicious to give him the independent command of which you speak. It would be necessary for him to act under the orders of the officer commanding the department in which he serves, in order to secure that prompt and ready co-operation of all the troops which is indispensable to success. To do otherwise would be to place two officers in command in the same district and divide the forces required for its defense.

The policy which our necessities and the experience of the war have taught is the reserve of this, and nothing should be done which may interfere with the concentration of our forces.

I inclose the petition* to the President contained in your letter.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAPE FEAR,

Wilmington, September 28, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDON, Secretary of War, Richmond:

SIR: I wish you would cause, if possible, one regiment at least to be sent here. I have, as you know, but one in the whole district of infantry, and have not know the power to transfer at a moments warning as heretofore. I had intended previous to the change of command to make the transfer. This is an important matter and I beg your attention to it.

The defense of Wilmington is now a separate command, including the District of Cape Fear, this much reducing the responsiblity of the department commander, and I should think, the defense of Weldon being very properly conducted from Petersburg, so much nearer than Wilmington, that one regiment at least could be sent to me. I have not troops enough for garrison duty.

W. H. C. WHITING.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAPE FEAR,

Wilimington, September 28, 1863.

His Excellency Governor VANCE, Raleigh, N. C.:

SIR: I have to inform you that, in consideration of the increasing importance of this place, and that the attention of the officer in com-

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* Not found.

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