more North Carolina regiments. The only change that could be made, if there is any advantage in so doing, would be to join the Fifty-fifth to Steuart's brigade. There would then be three North Carolina and three Virginia regiments together; but that would break up Davis' brigade.
I see no public benefit that would result from the changes within proposed; therefore cannot recommend them. The men, I believe, would be satisfied if let alone. In connection with this subject I inclose a letter received from General Lane which I did not previously understand.
R. E. LEE,
JANUARY 7, 1864.
Respectfully returned to Secretary of War, with General Lee's indorsement.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
HEADQUARTERS LANE'S BRIGADE,
November 12, 1863.
Colonel R. H. CHILTON,
Asst. Adjt. and Insp. General, and Chief of Staff:
COLONEL: Some of the friends of Colonel C. M. Avery, Thirty-third North Carolina Troops, are anxious to have him promoted and assigned to the command of a new North Carolina brigade, to be carved out of Davis', Steuart's, and my own. To accomplish their object, I am told they are endeavoring to persuade the officers of the First, Third, Thirty-third, and Fifty-fifth North Carolina Regiments to petition for the formation of this new brigade, with the view of forwarding their petition to Governor Vance, of North Carolina, who will be urged to use his influence in Colonel Avery's behalf. I believe the Thirty-third Regiment, if let alone, would be very well satisfied to remain where it is, and I am opposed to having my command reduced to gratify the aspirations of any of my subordinate officers.
As the President will, of course, consult General Lee before making such a change in this army, I most earnestly and respectfully ask the commanding general, through you, to use his influence to prevent the Thirty-third or any other regiment being taken from this, the oldest North Carolina brigade in the Confederate States Army, for the purpose of making a brigade for any one.
Most truly, your obedient servant,
J. H. LANE,
HEADQUARTERS WILCOX'S LIGHT DIVISION,
November 13, 1863.
I have no knowledge of any effort being made to create a new brigade for some colonel who expects or hopes to be promoted; but