From the Fayetteville Observer.
We have been sorry to see that the Charlotte Democrat, in its zealous advocacy of its friend Col. Johnson for Governor, supposing that Col. Vance would be brought forward as his opponent, anticipated that event by asserting that “Col. Vance was not in the fight at Newbern.” It is a bad sign in the present condition of affairs, that any paper or person, of any party sets out to abuse or depreciate any true man, as Col. Vance has certainly proven himself to be. Our convictions of duty lead us in the present crisis to uphold every such man, whether we vote for him for Governor or not. We think it doubtful whether Col. Vance will allow his name to be run, for we have heard that he greatly prefers his present less distinguished and more dangerous position in the field. But whether a candidate or not, his patriotism entitles him to justice. That justice the Democrat is itself now obliged to render, though in a grudging sort of way, as follows.
“In saying that Col. Vance was not in the fight, we meant (as we were informed by two gentlemen who were on the field) that he was not under fire—that the position he occupied was out of danger. One of the gentlemen who made the statement to us has since offered to substantiate our statement over his signature, but we do not deem it necessary to produce anything of the kind. We stated that we meant no reflection on Col. Vance, nor did we doubt his gallantry and bravery; but we object to the Standard’s concocting stories about Col. Vance and the battle at Newbern for party purposes. That’s all.
“P.S.—Since the above was in type, we conversed with an officer who thinks our informant was mistaken about Col. Vance not being under fire—he thinks the Col. was within range of the enemy’s balls. It may be that our previous information was incorrect, (unintentionally no doubt,) though coming from a soldier who took and active part in the battle.”
In reply to the original statement of the Democrat, the Standard said,–
“The truth is, he fought the enemy for one hour and a half after Gen. Branch had left the field. Gen Branch burnt the bridge while he was fighting, and left him to his fate surrounded by thousands of the enemy. We know this to be so, and will prove it in due time.”
Source: The Greensborough Patriot, June 19, 1862 as found in Confederate Newspaper Project