onel Palmer; their numbers will be found in the Adjutant-General's Office. When the said companies are filled to the maximum General Lee will be able to exchange them for other companies of the same State, which have been so reduced as to require to be recruited. The men enrolled as above described will be returned in the reports to be made by enrolling officers to the conscript bureau. General Holmes, commanding reserves in North Carolina, should be informed of this special order, that he might give the necessary instructions to Brigadier-General Martin to supervise the proper execution.
My attention has been called to the order authorizing Colonel Thomas to recruit for his Legion men found in the section of country where the enrollment act cannot be enforced. If it has not been this order should be communicated to General Holmes, with instructions to define the country thus generally described, and to fix it geographical limits so as to prevent confusion and conflict with the authority of the enrolling officers in North Carolina.
Very respectfully, yours,
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Raleigh, January 3, 1865.
Honorable S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy Richmond, Va.:
SIR: Your letter of the 28th ultimo, with inclosure relative to the loss of the steamer Advance, has been received. You do me no more than justice in expressing your confidence in my willingness to "correct any error of statement into which you (I) may have been inadvertently led." It would afford me great pleasure to correct the supposed erroneous statement contained in my recent message attributing the loss of steamer Advance to the appropriation of her coal for the steamers of the Government, were I conscious of any error. Even from the proof submitted by Captain Pinckney's letter, and extract from which you inclose, were I to retract my statement I fancy I should be deliberately committing a greater error than the one which you are kind enough to attribute to inadvertency. I made the statement of which you complain deliberately and upon authority which I regard as reliable, and think I have been sustained by the facts. Power, Low & Company, were the part owners and agents of the vessels; it was their duty to accumulate coral for the use of our vessels by taking small quantities from each one which had a surplus for supplying those which were short. To this common heap the Advance contributed as others, and when she came to sail, this heap, destined as well for her and the others of the line, had been taken by the Navy Department, and she had to go with North Carolina coal. The inclosed certificate* of O'Reilly and Harris will show how much was taken, where from, and that it was actually applied to the use of the Tallahassee as I charged. The argument of Captain Pinckney to show that the Advance might not have got the coal, and, therefore, could have no interest in a thing she might fail to get, is a subterfuge more becoming a lawyer than a gallant,high-minded sailor, as is his reputation. The coals were reserved for her or any other vessel of the firm that might come in short of enough to return with; they were taken by the Navy Department. The Advance failed to get, therefore, what she
*Not found as inclosure, but see p. 1157.