BIVOUAC NEAR WINCHESTER, VA., October 5, 1862.
His Excellency Z. B. VANCE,
Raleigh, N. C.:
YOUR EXCELLENCE: In accordance with the ananimous desire of my officers and men I beg leave, sir, to return to you colors intrusted to us by the State of North Carolina at the commencement of this contest. When the regiment was first attacked to the army before Richmond the Confederate battle-flag was issued to it and all other colors ordered to be discared. Previous to the battles in Maryland, however, our colonel, at the request of both officers and men, once more unfurled our North Carolina colors, a special guard was detailed for its defense, and, in addition to our battle-flag, carried this into the engagement at Sharpsburg. This is the only one in which it has ever been, and it been, and it bears evidence in its folds that it was in the very thickets, while our list of killed and wounded shows that we did not fail in our trust. Two of its bearers were killed and as many seriously wounded, yet not once were its folds allowed to touch the ground, and we have the satisfaction of knowing that it never left the field until we received orders from those in authority to withdraw. We have flattered ourselves that it is worthy of a place among the relics of which the State may be proud, and we send it to you, desiring that it may be kept ever sacred to the memory of those who fell upon the battle-field of Sharpsburg while engaged in the defense of home and liberty. I intrust the colors, together with a report of the engagement and a list of casualties, to Lieutenant John F. S. Van Bokkelen; and, in the name of my offices and men,
Am, sir, most respectfully,
S. D. THRUSTON,
Major Third North Carolina State Troops, Commanding.
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 233.
Richmond, October 6, 1862.
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XXVI. Major H. E. Peyton, assistant adjutant-general, Provisional Army, will report for duty to General Robert E. Lee, commanding C. S. Army, near Winchester, Va.
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By command of the Secretary of War:
WAR DEPARTMENT, ENGINEER BUREAU,
Richmond, Va., October 6, 1862.
Honorable G. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War:
SIR: In reply to your indorsement calling upon the Engineer Bureau to report what has been done in the way of defense on the rivers of Eastern Virginia and Eastern North Carolina, I respectfully, it is safe to say that the most important of these rivers is well defended, while something has been done on all or nearly all of them. The