War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0154 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

you should be aware of what is doing on our coast, and also because I did not know but that Stanley's proposition might foreshadow something of importance to our cause. *

Very respectfully,


RICHMOND, VA., November 1, 1862.

His Excellency Governor VANCE,

Raleigh, N. C.:

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge yours of the 25th ultimo, and regret the disappointment to which some of the recruits of North Carolina have been subjected. I concur with you as to the policy of allowing the conscripts, as far as the state of service will permit, to select the companies and regiments in which they are to serve. The rights secured by law to the volunteer to select his own company was lost, it is true, by enrollment; but the policy was so obvious of associating men together who would best harmonize with each other that it was my purpose to continue the privilege beyond the limit fixed by the law. The danger to the coast of North Carolina and our inability to draw troops from the Army of Northern Virginia rendered it proper that the greatest exertion should be immediately made to fill up the regiments in General French's command; but this did not interfere with allowing the conscripts to select among those regiments the one to which they would be assigned, so long as vacancies existed in the companies chosen, and that I expected would have been done. I will send your letter to the War Department, with a copy of this reply to you, and hope for the future there will be no ground for dissatisfaction, and that, as far as feasible, the disappointments to which you refer may be corrected by transfer. I feel grateful to you for the cordial manner in which you have sustained every propositth the public defense, and trust that there will always be such co-intelligence and accordance as will enable us to co-operate for the public good. The conscript act has not been popular anywhere out of the Army. There, as you are aware, it served to check the discontent which resulted from retaining the twelve-months' men beyond their term of original engagement, and was fairly regarded as a measure equitably to distribute the burden of public defense, but the State authorities have nowhere offered any opposition to its execution, or withheld their aid, except in the State of Georgia, and, so far as the cadets of the military institute are concerned, in the State of Virginia. I shall endeavor by judicial decision to settle the questions raising in those two States, and in the meantime have been cheered by the evidence of a popular sentiment which supports any measure necessary to protect our country and secure our political independence. Like yourself, I have hoped that the party distinctions which existed at a former time would be buried in the graves of the gallant men who have fallen in the defense of their birthright, and that we should all, as a band of brothers, strike for the inheritance our fathers left us.

With sincere regard, I am, yours, respectfully and truly,



*For inclosures, Stanley to Vance, October 21, 1862, and Vance to Stanley, October 29, 1862, see Stanley to Stanton, November 20, 1862, Series III, VOL. II, p. 845.