CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, Va., February 12, 1865.
General HOLMES, Raleigh, N. C.:
Colonel Forno has been ordered to remove prisoners from Florence to some other point. He was directed to communicate with you. Give him such assistance in supplies and guards as may be in your power.
J. A. CAMPBELL,
Assistant Secretary of War.
RICHMOND, February 12, 1865.
General W. M. GARDNER, Commanding, &c., Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs that you take measures to remove immediately the Federal prisoners now at Columbia and Florence, S. C., to points farther north. For example, Charlotte and Raleigh, N. C.
H. L. CLAY,
HEADQUARTERS POST, Salisbury, N. C., February 12, 1865.
His Excellency Z. B. VANCE, Governor of North Carolina:
GOVERNOR: On arriving yesterday I found yours of 16th ultimo and 1st instant, which have heretofore been replied to by Captain Booth, assistant adjutant-general. I avail myself of my first time to acknowledge personally your liberal offer. Colonel Hoke informs me that the condition of the reserves is greatly ameliorated, but they still want clothes. I think 350 outfits will do-jackets, pants, shirts, drawers, shoes, stockings, and caps. Please to order them sent to Captain Goodman, post quartermaster, and have an invoice sent me also, so that I can see they are properly applied to your reserves exclusively. No one can feel more acutely than I do the condition of the prisoners of war here. It is disgraceful to our country. Captain Booth's letter showed you that as to food I feel they were well supplied, but they suffer for clothes and shelter. General Winder proposed removing them before Christmas, and therefore forbade any buildings to be erected here. A large per cent. have therefore lived in holes in the ground. Were I to attempt to erect barracks here spring would come in before they could be finished. I must therefore try to get tents. Can you lend me or procure for me in Raleigh 150 or 200 wall-tents? If so, pray send them on at once. I recently visited Richmond for the main purpose of pressing on our authorities our duties to ourselves and these people, laying before them the terrible suffering and mortality among them. I have procured from the Federal officer for distributing goods in Richmond 3,500 blankets, which will be here to-morrow. With the tents, their condition will be tolerable, but nothing will alleviate it but speedy exchange. In Richmond, and since from Vice-President Stephens, I learned that General Grant is willing to receive from us 3,000 per week. I have telegraphed General Gardner, at Richmond, urging him to press the immediate delivery of all the prisoners in North and South Carolina at Wilmington. This could be done from Florence and Columbia, S. C., by the Manchester road, and from here by way of Raleigh, without encumbering our transportation. If this is not done speedily the prisoners from Columbia will have to be moved up here or to Greensborough, and those from Florence toward Raleigh, and thus North Carolina will have to subsist 20,000 more men, eating up supplies