Surgeon Johns will send to the Surgeon-General's Office without delay all records, books, and papers connected with the duties assigned him under the above-named orders.
Adjutant and Inspector-General.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA,
BUREAU OF CONSCRIPTION,
Richmond, Va., February 25, 1863.
Hon. W. LANDER and OTHERS,
Congressional Delegation of North Carolina:
GENTLEMEN: Your remonstrance of the 18th instant against any other than a North Carolinian being put in command of the camps of instruction in your State has been referred to this Bureau by the Secretary of War, with the following indorsement:
Let answer be made that this has been referred to the Conscription Bureau with instructions if a competent but disabled officer from North Carolina can be commanded to assign him to the place. Regret is, however, felt that such susceptibility prevails in North Carolina, when it has not been displayed in other States where similar appointments have been made of officers not native. Indeed, some motives of policy would seem to recommend for such positions officers not liable to be affected by local associations or feelings. In this case, too, an officer of acknowledged gallantry and merit, appointed without a thought of exciting such feelings of dissatisfaction, will lose a situation desirable to him till complete restoration can be had from the wounds received in fighting for the common cause. Still, the change will be made to avoid the grave consequences of general dissatisfaction which, in the estimation of honorable Representatives so competent to judge, are likely to result in their State.
J. A. S.
In reply I beg to observe that I have on the 30th of January ultimo already expressed my willingness to put a North Carolina officer in this post when one could be found, as will be seen by the following extract from my letter of that date to the Secretary of War:
As the Governor appears to have taken exception to this temporary appointment, I will change it; but I have no knowledge of any officer from North Carolina of the rank and qualifications necessary to fit him for the position, having received no application, and I will be very thankful for being enlightened assistance of the Governor in this particular, assuring him that my interest in the well-being of my native State would not allow my doing anything detrimental to her welfare or honor. Finally, the business of this Bureau, connected with the Army generally, and the standing orders from the Department particularly to avail ourselves of wounded and disabled officers for such services, entirely divest it of any sectional policy, which, if carried out, might throw upon our hands unemployed officers who might otherwise benefit the country.
Not one name of a North Carolinian to relieve Colonel August has yet been suggested to me, nor do I know how to find one. It is necessary to have an officer of higher rank than captain, one in sufficient health and competent for the duty, and yet disabled for field duty. I have no authority to order any officers from the field, nor would the generals commanding listen to any application for such detachments. I myself am a North Carolinian, in daily supervision of the acts of Colonel August, whom I sent there by reason of his high qualifications, he being the only suitable officer at my disposal, to detect, correct, and report the multifarious errors and apparently willful abuses