HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Goldsborough, March 12, 1865.
General D. H. HILL,
Your note of to-day received. The general commanding entirely approves your suggestion concerning the Raleigh papers. On his arrival here from Wilmington he adopted toward them the course intimated, though a renewal of the restriction is probably necssary. This morning a squadron of cavalry was ordered here for the picket duty you suggest. They are expected to-morrow. You correctly apprehend the kind of field return called for, viz, effective total, total present, and aggregate.
Very respectfully, &c.,
JOHN B. SALE,
HEADQUARTERS NORTH CAROLINA RESERVES,
Raleigh, March 12, 1865.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. Army:
GENERAL: By orders of General Johnston, I have ordered all the Reserves and detailed men in this State to be assembled at convenient points on the railroads, with a view to call them into immediate service in the field. The reasons for this order have doubtless been given to you by General Johnston. In my judgment they are paramount. The failure to destroy the column advancing on Kinston and the abandonment of that important position makes it very doubtful whether a junction of that army with Sherman's can be prevented, and hence every musket that can be brought to bear will be required. The evils to be apprehended are the conseuqences that may result from withdrawing the Reserves from the apprehension of deserters, a duty to which they have recently been assigned, and which is now being prosecuted with some success. This, together with the stoppage of all public and private works on which detailed men are employed, is, in my judgment, more than counterbalanced by the imperious necessity of increasing General Johnston's force. The three regiments of Reserves lately stationed at Salisbury as a prison guard were reduced by desertions and other causes to one-quarter their proper strength, and I have some fear that the feeling of disaffection among the people will prevent their rallying in time to be of service, though I am assured by their colonels that such will be the case. The apprent certainty that this capital is the point at which the enemy's united armies will strike has induced me, by the advise of General Johnston, to order the camp of instruction and conscript office to be removed to Greensborough. Every preparation for this will be immediately made, but the movement will not commence until the intentions of the enemy are certain. I shall remain here, and if it bepossible to assemble the desultory troops I have called out, will take the immediate command of them. If there be any objection to what I have done, or intend doing, I respectfully ask that you will instruct me by telegraph, as there will be ample time to restore the original status of things before any injury is done.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
TH. H. HOLMES,