First Wednesdays – “…we took it a foot for fayetteville NC…”

By March 1865, the Southern experiment as a separate nation on the North America continent was quickly coming to a close. In Virginia, Union Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant was preparing his two field armies for a spring offensive to strike Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia one final time to wrench the Capitol from Richmond, Virginia, from Confederate control. Some 270 miles south in Cheraw, South Carolina, Union Major General William T. Sherman was pushing this force of two field armies northward through the Palmetto State with his focus on its border with North Carolina. Despite these ominous events, Confederate President Jefferson Davis wrote “In spite of the timidity and faithlessness of many who should give tone to the popular feeling and hope to the popular heart, I am satisfied that it is in the power of the good man and true patriots of the country to reanimate the wearied spirit of our people…”

The Confederate government was soon forced to abandon cities, towns, and military facilities due to General Sherman’s movements through South Carolina. Charleston, the site of the initial Confederate victory in 1861, was soon abandoned due to the threat of these federal forces. The Confederate military had realized that their invasion of Tennessee in November 1864 had not stopped General Sherman’s march through Georgia and South Carolina, but served only to leave these Confederate states undefended in the presence of “Sherman’s bummers.” To stop the Union forces, the Confederate military realized that they needed to create an army to take to the field and resist the invasion of the Carolinas. The abandonment of military posts brought about a large surplus of Confederate military personnel, who now found themselves as infantrymen marching northward to rendezvous in North Carolina. In many cases, it was a hard march due to some personnel being physically unsuited for active field service and the onset of rain storms throughout the Carolinas that winter.

One of those men marching northward was Henry Hunter Bowen, who was from Washington County, North Carolina. Bowen had enlisted in the Confederate States Marine Corps, and was stationed with the Confederate Naval squadron in Charleston, South Carolina. With the abandonment of Charleston, Bowen found himself with fellow blue jackets and marines moving by rail to Wilmington, North Carolina in early February 1865. The capture of Wilmington on February 22 forced the sailors and marines to leave the railroad to start an arduous overland march to Fayetteville, North Carolina to unite with other Confederate forces under the command of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston. In his letter dated 26 February 1865, Bowen writes to his wife of his arrival in Fayetteville, NC and the effect of the march on him. He writes that “I want to try to get a furlow to come home as soon as I can but cant tel you when …”

Unfortunately, there are no more letters describing what happened to Bowen after February 22. His unit was later incorporated into “Tucker’s Naval Brigade,” which was later dispatched from Fayetteville to Richmond, Va. The brigade was assigned to the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, and took severe losses during the Appomattox Campaign. It is not known whether if Bowen was presented in the heavy combat at the end of the war. We do know that he did survive the war, since he signed his oath of allegiance in September 1865.

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First Wednesdays – “…keep my luck for I have lost everything…

The hurrahs over the initial defense of Fort Fisher soon came to an end with the arrival of a new Union task force to take the fort and close off the Cape Fear River to the Confederacy. This new expedition was sent south from Virginia under the dual command of Major General Alfred Terry from the Union Army of the James and Rear Admiral David D. Porter of the Federal North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. This combined force of 9,000 infantry and roughly sixty naval vessels arrived in mid-January 1865, and soon started landing troops between the fortification and Wilmington, North Carolina. On 15 January 1865, Admiral Porter began a heavy naval bombardment on the Confederate redoubts, while General Terry maneuvered his Union forces into position to commence the ground assault. Toward the end of the bombardment, Porter set a mixed force of U.S. marines and sailors to from the beach to quickly strike at the Northeast Bastion of Fort Fisher. This assault was quickly repulsed with heavy losses among the blue jackets; however their attack drew the Confederate attention away from General Terry’s men, who soon started their assault on the land face of the fort. After many hours of heavy fighting, the main portion of the fort was taken and the Confederate survivors were pushed back to Battery Buchanan, which was situated to cover New Inlet going into the Cape Fear River. Confederate Major John Reilly found the position vacant, and faced with the prospect of overwhelming Union assaults, chose to surrender the remaining Confederate forces to General Terry.

The correspondent “R. P. G.” wrote on 24 January 1865 describing the naval bombardment of the fort by the Union Navy as a “fearfully grand picture.” He described the advance of the Union marines and sailors as a “…dark line advancing, at a run, on the fort…” He witnessed the severe hand to hand combat in the fort and wounding of both Confederate Major General William Whiting and Colonel William Lamb and the planting of the Union regimental flags on the Confederate redoubts on the land side of the fort. He was convinced that the reason of the loss of the fort was “…the cowardice of some 300 or 400 soldiers who were defending the Land Face of the fort…” Interesting enough, “R. P. G.” did not participate in the fighting, but chose to leave the fort. He noted that “…Myself and 3 of the Signal Corps – got into a small boat and by crowding managed to out of the enemy’s reach – We did not get off too soon – for just as we had gotten off the beach the enemy’s land forces took procession of the Battery [Battery Buchanan].”

Confederate First Lieutenant Henry E. Benton of the Company C, Thirty-sixth North Carolina Troops was not that lucky as “R. P. G.” He and the rest of the fort’s garrison were captured, and were soon shipped north to Union prisoner of war camps. Lt. Benton arrived on Governors Island, New York for incarceration at the old U.S. Army barracks. In his letter to his wife dated 28 January 1865, Benton wrote about the conditions in the barracks and telling his wife not to worry about him. He noted that “…I am enjoying very good health and am as pleasantly situated as [ ] us will admit…” However, he did note on the top of his letter “…Send me all the US money you have, keep the gold & silver…” He would remain in prison only a short time and was paroled and exchanged at City Point, Virginia on 5 March 1865.

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Second Mondays Lecture Series: General Whiting and Fort Fisher – Monday, February 9

Please join us for the Inaugural “Second Mondays” Lecture Series for 2015! 

Lori Sanderlin from the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport will speak on

“Confederate Major General William Whiting and Fort Fisher”

on Monday, February 9, 12 Noon to 1 Pm 

in the Auditorium of the Archives & History Building

Admission is FREE

Second_Mondays

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First Wednesdays – “…hoping you will not leave us to the mercy of the tories much longer…”

The first week of January 1865 heralded the beginning of a new year in North Carolina, but also marked the fifth year of the struggle define a new country within the boundaries of North America. This struggle for independence by the Confederate States of America was slowly and painfully coming to an end in the midst of great suffering by the population of the state. While the focus of attention was directed to the defense of Fort Fisher and Wilmington, North Carolina, the western portion of the state was on the verge of lawlessness. Confederate and state authority had broken down in many piedmont and western counties, where bands of Unionists (also known as Tories) were openly resisting the civil authority. Union Colonel George Washington Kirk, a native of Greene County, Tennessee, had formed a force comprising North Carolina regiments enlisted in Union service to conduct raids throughout Western North Carolina. These raids struck blows against the Confederate supply infrastructure, and prevented gathering of men and supplies for the state’s war effort. In addition to these raids, local bands of Unionists coupled with Confederate deserters conducted their own raids to gather foodstuffs from the population.

Despite the efforts of Governor Zebulon Vance to appeal to the patriotism of western citizens during his recent gubernatorial campaign, the disenchantment with the war continued to grow in the small communities dotting the piedmont and the western mountains. Many families had suffered greatly through their men being conscripted for Confederate service, and leaving their families in need during the fall harvest and winter months. In many cases, the absences became permanent, when news of the death of family member serving in Confederate service came back home. Other events, like the Shelton Laurel Massacre in 1863, served only to bring into question the entire Confederate war effort by citizens. By 1864, many North Carolinians serving in Confederate service had enough of the broken promises by their new government and begun the process of leaving (or deserting) their regiments to return home and care for their families. These veterans began their own resistance against the Confederate government by openly opposing the civil authority in their communities.

On 5 January 1865, Sue Combs wrote a letter to Governor Vance describing the conditions in the small community of Stony Point in Alexander County, North Carolina. She wanted Governor Vance to understand the hardships being suffered by the women of the community due to rising food prices brought on in part by local speculators and shortages due to roving bands of Tories. Her husband, Newton P. Combs, had enlisted in Company H, Fifty-Sixth North Carolina Troops in March 1862, and was captured in May 1864. He was exchanged on November 15, 1864, but died seven days later.

Widow's Pension for Newton P. (Sue) Combs, State Archives of North Carolina

Widow’s Pension for Newton P. (Sue) Combs, State Archives of North Carolina

As a recent widow, Sue Combs was particularly sensitive to the needs of her two children and the other families suffering through the winter of 1865. She also wanted Governor Vance to have her father released from military service. He had been drafted into the Senior Reserves, and was detailed as a guard at Salisbury Military Prison. Ms. Combs described that her father “…would do his country more good to be home [and] work for the people than 20 good soldiers…” In her mind, her father was needed at home to support the community due to the lack of protection by the local militia officers. She noted that “…the tories [and] deserters have gotten procession almost from the upper edge of Iredell County to the brushy mountains.” She continued to support the idea of a separate Confederate government; however she wrote “I will close now hoping you will not leave us to mercy of the tories much longer…”

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A Man of His Word.

In our last blog past we highlighted Governor Vance’s call to arms – his resounding cry for his fellow Tar Heels to meet him at the coast to repel the Yankees attacking Ft. Fisher!

For all his bloviating about shouldering arms and defending the Old North State, even going so far as to say “your Governor will meet you at the front and will share with you the worse,” the proclamation gives rise for one to beg the question – did Vance in fact go to Wilmington “to share with” fellow Tar Heels “the worse?”

These two telegraphs – one to Vance and one from Vance – from December 27th, 1864 confirm that Vance, who had been Colonel of the 26th NCST and who had been under fire at New Bern in March 1862, backed up the bravado of the proclamation and went to Wilmington to meet with his fellow Tar Heels to protect the state from the invading Yankees.  His role in the action was minor – he did travel out to Ft. Fisher (accompanied by women from the local Ladies Aide Society) as the last of the Yankee forces withdrew from the area.  Accounts indicate that the governor congratulated Colonel Lamb and General Whiting – joining in the hurrahs of the troops defending the fort.  He was a man of his word.

Vance would return to Raleigh shortly thereafter and remain in Raleigh until the irresistible approach of Sherman’s main army forced him to flee westward.  In the meantime the threat of another attack on Fort Fisher hung like the sword of Damocles over the men assigned to defend it.  The sword would fall in mid-January 1865.

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First Wednesdays – “Your Governor will meet you at the front and will share with you the worse”

By December 1864, the Confederacy was slowing disappearing from the face of the planet. Invading federal armies were now piercing its borders at will, and the current Confederate government was losing the ability to protect its citizens and institutions from outside invaders. Union Major General William Tecumseh Sherman moved his combined federal armies southeast out of Atlanta, Georgia on a “raid” to Savannah, Georgia to gain access to the Atlantic Ocean. The Confederate Army of Tennessee had attempted to besiege Nashville, Tennessee after a failed effort to draw General Sherman and his “bummers” out of Georgia, but was nearly destroyed by attacks mounted by the recently reorganized Union Army of the Cumberland. Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia remained bottled up in and around Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia by the combined federal forces under the command of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant. As in 1861-1862, the active military operations were coming back to North Carolina, and the state was unprepared.

As the threat to Wilmington, North Carolina became more apparent, the inability to raise additional forces to react to the upcoming Union military operations at the coast became a large concern for Governor Zebulon Vance and the Confederacy. The state was torn apart over the issue of conscription and peace movement over the last two years to a point that lawlessness governed large portions of the state. Despite this internal conflict, both Governor Vance and General Robert E. Lee were convinced that there were legions of men, who were available to come and defend the Confederacy in its dying days.

On December 20, 1864, Governor Vance issued a proclamation to call men to rally and defend the North Carolina coast from Northern invasion. The wording of the proclamation directed “…all good people, whether by law subject to military duty or not, who may be able to stand behind breastworks and fire a musket of all ages and conditions, to rally at once to the defense of their country and hurry to Wilmington.” Governor Vance was convinced that his words calling for all North Carolinians to assemble and defend the coast would be entice those men, who had up to this point, had avoided military service. He referred to the excuse of “be more useful at home” as a statement of cowardice. He was convinced that the immediate threat of invasion would bring men into the ranks. He closed the text of the proclamation by saying “Let every man physically able then hurry with his blanket to Wilmington, where arms and rations will be furnished, and let those left behind mount themselves and patrol their counties, looking after the women and children and preserving order. Your Governor will meet you at the front and will share with you the worse.”

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A Thorn in the Union’s Side: Rose O’Neal Greenhow, Part 2

[This announcement comes from Andrea Gabriel, Outreach and Development Coordinator for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

“A Thorn in the Union’s Side: Rose O’Neal Greenhow, Part II”

When: Noon—1:00 p.m., Monday, November 10

Where: State Archives and State Library building; 109 E. Jones St., Raleigh

Join us as archivist Debbi Blake presents the second part of her lecture about Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow. Part of the State Archives Civil War Sesquicentennial series, this presentation follows Greenhow from her imprisonment to Europe and her downing while attempting to re-enter the Confederacy.

Questions? Contact Andrea Gabriel in the State Archives at (919) 807-7326 or andrea.gabriel@ncdcr.gov.

About the State Archives of North Carolina

The State Archives of North Carolina State Archives collects, preserves, and makes available for public use historical and evidential materials relating to North Carolina. Its holdings consist of official records of state, county, and local governmental units, copies of federal and foreign government materials, and private collections. For more information about the State Archives, visit http://www.ncdcr.gov/archives/Home.aspx.

About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives. Cultural Resources champions North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy.  Learn more at www.ncdcr.gov.

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First Wednesdays – “all quiet now but Guard insufficient…”

By November 1864, the Confederacy was slowly collapsing upon itself. The loss of manpower and territory was dooming the young nation ever quickly, and responding to threats was becoming harder to do. The growing fears of a possible Union attack on Wilmington, North Carolina, and its outer forts were increasingly taking center stage as the standing order of business for Governor Zebulon Baird Vance and Confederate officials in the state. Wilmington remained the only viable port on the eastern seaboard to supply the Confederacy and North Carolina, and the only connection to the rest of the world.

Roughly two hundred miles to the west of Wilmington, the inmate population at the Confederate Prison at Salisbury, N.C. was growing at an alarming rate. The ending of the prisoner exchange by Union Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and the inability of the Confederacy to transport prisoners to Camp Sumter at Andersonville, Georgia turned the compound into the main prisoner of war camp for the Virginia Theater in the fall of 1864. As a result, the prison population grew by 15,000 in two months. This rise in the prison population brought further deterioration of the conditions within the prison, and food rations were reduced as a result.

The rise in the prison population prompted the Confederate government to move the Sixty-Eight North Carolina Troops (NCT) from Morganton to Salisbury to guard the prison compound. The threat of a possible prison riot by an ever-growing prison population was becoming a real threat, especially by men who were becoming desperate by a lack of food and were forced to live in holes for cover from the weather. The arrival of the regiment stabilized the situation until the threat to Wilmington became the main focus of military high command in North Carolina. In response to pleas by Confederate Major General William Henry Chase Whiting and others, Governor Vance wrote to Confederate General Robert E. Lee to allow the Sixty-Eight NCT to be redeployed to Wilmington on 2 November 1864. Since October 20th, Governor Vance have been trying to get the regiment moved to the coast, but was overruled by Confederate officers who were concerned about having enough soldiers to guard the prison compound.

By the morning of November 25 at six o’clock in the morning, Governor Vance’s request was finally acted on by the Confederate army. The prison commander, Major John H. Gee, telegraphed that the regiment had left Salisbury, but he did not have enough men to effectively guard the compound. At two o’clock, relief guard of ten soldiers was overpowered by a number of prisoners. As those prisoners of war armed themselves with the guards’ weapons, another force of roughly 1,000 prisoners rushed the sentinels guarding the parapet. Those Confederate reservists were unable to return fire and quickly retreated in the face of the advancing mob. Two cannon were quickly employed to fire shot into the advancing prisoners, and coupled with the rallying of the remaining guards, were able to disperse the prisoners back into the camp. Unfortunately, one cannon shot ricocheted off the ground and bounced into the town itself, but no civilians were injured. The Confederate guards suffered two killed, one mortally wounded, and 10 wounded. The prisoners had thirteen killed, three mortally wounded, and 60 wounded. During the next two days, Major Gee pleaded with his superiors to send reinforcements to the camp, which was finally done with members of the Home Guard.

On Monday, 28 November 1864, the Salisbury Carolina Watchman newspaper reported details of the riot and noted that:

“It is madness for them to expect to get out and make their escape. But in the mean time let the citizens thoroughly organize so as to render any assistance that may be required in such an emergency.”

 

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First Wednesdays – CSS Shenandoah takes sail

October 1864 was the month that the CSS Shenandoah took sail on her infamous cruise N_98_1_48 James Iredell Waddellaround the world. It is, with that in mind, that the State Archives of North Carolina is happy to announce that the CSS Shenandoah Log Books have just been uploaded to the Civil War 150 Digital Collection. The log books are part of the Military Collection, and due to their delicate nature, are kept in the Archives vault, so having them now available to the public is exciting. Along with the log books, the letter of surrender that Captain James Iredell Waddell wrote to Lord John Russell is now included in the digital collection as well.

If you read over the log books of the CSS Shenandoah the story that unfolds looks somewhat like this…

October 1864, Captain Waddell rendezvoused with the Sea King, a British merchant ship that the Confederacy had secretly purchased. Waddell took command, and the ship was quickly refitted as a warship and rechristened, as the Confederate States Steamer, Shenandoah. The mission of the Shenandoah was to cruise the seas and destroy Union shipping fleets. The destruction of this type of commerce was an effort to directly affect the economy of the New England states of the Union. With a small crew of only 19 crewmen and 23 officers, the Shenandoah took sail, heading first to the Indian Ocean. A ship the size of the Shenandoah usually would require 150 men to sail, Waddell and his officers hoped to be able to recruit seamen from their prizes while on their cruise.

The Alina of Searsport, Maine, was the first ship captured by the Shenandoah. She was on the way to Buenos Aires with a load of railway iron and other supplies. The supplies were brought aboard, and they were able to recruit seven more crewmen. After that the Charter Oak from Boston was taken, an old Boston bark carrying beef and pork, The Susan from New York, Lizzie M. Stacey, of Boston, a New Bedford whaler, from which they took on many fine prizes and the Delphine, who had no cargo but from whom they received six new crew members.

In January, the Shenandoah and her crew came to port in Melbourne, Australia to make repairs and pick up provisions. While in port, Waddell had 14 men desert, but he also gained 45 “stowaways.”

Leaving Australian waters in the early spring of 1865, Waddell took the Shenandoah North toward the Okhotsk Sea. On the way, he entered the harbor of Ponape (now spelled Pohnpei) and took 4 more prizes; the Edward Carey of San Francisco, California, the Hector, of New Bedford, Connecticut, the Pearl of New London, Connecticut, and the Harvest of Oahu, Hawaii. From these prizes, Waddell was able to obtain whaling charts, which gave him a great advantage on the rest of his journey.
It was mid-April 1865, Confederate generals Joseph E. Johnston and Robert E. Lee had surrendered their armies and the war was over, however Captain Waddell and the rest of the crew of the CSS Shenandoah did not know that. They were heading north toward the Okhotsk Sea.

After six weeks they crossed into the Okhotsk Sea, the weather was getting cold and ice was starting to form. On May 27, 1865, they came across the Abigail, from her they obtained a large amount of alcohol, a new acting master’s mate, Thomas S. Manning, and 14 crew members changed their allegiance and joined the crew of the Shenandoah.

On June 6, 1865, the Shenandoah turned toward the Bering Sea. On June 22, 1865, the Shenandoah captured the William Thompson and the Euphrates. The captain of the William Thomas informed Waddell that the war was over. Waddell did not believe him and torched the ship anyway. While in the Bering Sea, the CSS Shenandoah captured and either burned or bonded another 21 ships. Some of those captains also spoke of the end of the war, but without proof, Waddell and his crew resumed their raids.

It was August 1865, when the British bark, Barracouta arrived with newspapers proving the war was over.

“Having received by the Br. Barq “Baracouta” the sad intelligence of the overthrow of the Confederate Government, all attempts to destroy shipping or property of the United States will cease from this date, in accordance with the first lieutenant William C. Whittle, Jr; received the order from the commander to strike below the battery and disarm the ship and crew.”

The efforts of the CSS Shenandoah were very successful, in the short time they were at sea; they captured 38 ships, 32 of which they destroyed, with a total worth estimated at $ 1,772,223. The issue was that of those 38 ships, 25 of them were taken after the war was over.

Waddell and his officers knew that they would be regarded as pirates if they returned to the United States and so now they had the dilemma of what to do. What they did now was set sail for Cape Horn; from there they turned north toward Britain.

On November 5, 1865, the CSS Shenandoah steamed up the Mersey River off Liverpool. The last words entered in the Log Book of the CSS Shenandoah November 6, 1865, were, “arrived in the Mersey off Liverpool and on Monday the 6th surrendered the Shenandoah with British Nation by letter to Lord John Russell premier of Great Britain-“

CSS Shenandoah Log Book number one

CSS Shenandoah Log Book number two

Letter from Captain Waddell to Lord John Russell

Image of James Iredell Waddell

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“The case is before you now for such aid as you render.”

By September 1864, events continued to spiral downward for the Confederate States of America. Since the summer of 1864, federal armies had roamed at will in and out of its borders. Major General William Tecumseh Sherman and his combined Union armies had recently captured Atlanta, Georgia, and were now attempting to corner the Confederate Army of Tennessee in north central Georgia. Major General Philip Sheridan advancing “up” the Shenandoah Valley chasing the remnants from Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s forces after its defeat at Fisher’s Hill, Virginia. Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia remained locked in place by Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant’s combined Federal armies around Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia. In addition to this growing chain of military defeats, the Confederacy was now running short of personnel and provisions to continue the fight to achieve lasting independence. Without these desperately needed provisions, the Confederate armed forces would not be able to secure their nation’s continuation through the victories on the battlefield.

As had happened with the French in the 1790s, the Confederacy had hoped that groundswell of men of all ages would reverse the fortunes of war. Unfortunately, a levee en masse or mass mobilization did not occur as Confederate leaders had planned; as a result, the Confederacy was forced to turn to conscription for the white male population and impressment for its free and enslaved African-American male population. Confederate military officers saw the African-American male population as a ready source of forced labor for freeing white males to fight on the battlefield. In both 1863 and 1864, the Confederate Congress had passed legislation to impress the male slave population as labors to assist the Confederacy war effort. Impressment did not come without a cost. White slave owners resisted efforts to take their property away from them and not be properly compensated for their use and potential loss. Once away from their owners, African-Americans saw the opportunity to flee toward Union lines or resist the Confederacy through poor work and or by claiming illness. As with conscription of white males, the Confederate government’s efforts to impress slaves created another political storm as slave owners resisted the Confederate military. The Confederate Congress attempted to deal with that controversy by ordering state and local officials to impress free persons of color first before contacting slave owners.

Governor Zebulon Baird Vance discovered during this gubernatorial campaign of 1864 that his effort to impress slaves to work on fortifications on the North Carolina coast was becoming a political liability. His political supporters were slave owners, and they began to weigh their continued support for him against his efforts for impressment. As with conscription, Vance had to walk a fine line to continue his support for the Confederacy, while also maintaining his political support within the state. In addition, Confederate Major General William Henry Chase Whiting, the commander of the Military District of Wilmington, N.C., verbally sparred with Governor Vance in order to force him to commit more troops and slave laborers to strengthen Confederate fortifications at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. General Whiting saw his efforts to defend this territory as the most important military efforts occurring in North Carolina in the summer of 1864. His calls for assistance became so strident, than Governor Vance had to turn to the Confederate War Department to mediate between himself and General Whiting.

The letter dated September 24, 1864, is an example of the General Whiting’s calls of assistance to Governor Vance. General Whiting noted that of the 800 impressed laborers that had already been sent, “…many of these have deserted & many are down in sickness.” He was convinced that there were “10,000 men” available to come into the Confederate army to assist in the defense of Wilmington and the mouth of the Cape Fear River. For good measure, Whiting used a letter from General Lee that stated that “…the force of negroes must be increased…” and that the reserve forces of the state must provide assistance to his forces in and around Wilmington, N.C.

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