HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WILMINGTON,
Wilmington, N. C., April 1, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel J. A. CAMPBELL,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of North Carolina:
SIR: I respectfully and eanreslty ask the major-general commanding to put under my orders a detachment of cavalry. I have none whatever now. A few horses of theThirteent Pennsylvania Cavalry (were left by Major-General Terry), but they have all been ordered up, of course, as he had no authority to leave them longer than until they could well march. I was obliged to retain eight of them for orderlies. The country over which I am obliged to exercise more or less control extends on radii of from ten to forty miles. The authority of the Government is weakened and brought into contempt by the impunity with which stragglers, deserters from either army, marauders, bummers, and strolling vagabonds, negroes and whites, commit outrages upon the inhabitants. To say nothing of insults and plundering, there have been three cases of rape and one of murder, to say nothing of rumors of others. Wherever it is possible, as it is at least in most of the region east of the Cape Fear and Northeast Rivers, I desire to assist the people in returning to the culitavion of their farms, and the Treasury agent has already leased some abandoned plantations. But a borken-down mule and a bushel of corn that I may give a cracker family to get out of town with are not safe from some of these scoundrels, and I have known safeguards given to undoubtedly honest families by General Terry and myself to protect the little they had left, treated with contempt. If I had 200 or even 100 good mounted men I could maintain order in all this country and keep Brunswick Country and the region up toward Black River, as far as Corbett's Ferry, and on the Northeast well into Onslow, well scouted and protected. It is delicate business to encourage the inhabitants to organize for their own defense, though I am satisfied that three-fourths of those who remained in the neighboring counties are sincrely desirous of seeing peace and union. As another reason why I need cavalry, I may remark that about 1,000 of General Sherman's troops have arrived from the Department of the South and several thousand are to follow; that 4,500 from the same army, under General Cruft, are arriving from Tennessee, via Washington or Annapolis; that 500 substitutes have to-day arrived from Hart's Island, and of courxe large detachments will be continually marchign hence toward Goldsborough. Cavalry are needed to gather up the stragglers and deserters from those columns.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOS. R. HAWLEY,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA, ARMY OF THE OHIO,
Goldsborough, N. C., April 5, 1865.
Respectufully returned to Brigadier General J. R. Hawley, commanding District of Wilmington.
No cavalry can be spared. If considered necessary, infantry can be mounted from captured stock to serve as scouts, but the amount of territory held is not material.
By command of Major-General Schofield:
J. A. CAMPBELL,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.