Archive for the ‘Zeb Vance’ Category

Wilmington, N.C. Sept 3rd, 1864

To His Excellency

Gov. Z. B. Vance

In your proclamation to deserters now before the good people of North Carolina dated Aug 27th 1864 in the name of the State of North Carolina and also in the name of the Confederate States, you promise forgiveness to all who will repent and become good soldiers. It is with deep regret and mortification that I am compelled to call on you for the same clemency. I am now in the Military jail Wilmington to be tried for desertion in leaving my company (Co. H, 40th NC) and attempting to go to Nassau in a vessel running the Blockade. I can prove by my comrades in arms that I am not afraid or unwilling to meet the enemy. I can prove by comrades that I never wished to desert the flag of my country. I can prove this to be the cause of my leaving (I do not give as a justification, only as some small excuse as to show I had no based motive) My Capt. is a man of strong prejudices and although a good soldier took a dislike to me & treated me very severely. I tried to get out of his company by exchange (he refusing) I failed to do so. He made me work very hard in the hot sun whilst I have a disease in my head and feared it would kill me solely for this I tried to escape to some neutral place. Had I thought about it as much before as I have since I should have borne my lot more manfully no matter what the result. I regret what I have done more than tongues can tell but it is too late now to wipe of the stain entirely. All I ask is one chance more to show that I can be a good soldier & do what I can to relive my family from the infamy of my being tried as a deserter.

Your offer clemency [torn] abroad who have not only committed the same crime but have doubled it by robbery & theft. Will you not extend the same mercy to me who have never in my whole life been charged with any crime or misdemeanor before; if so, my future conduct shall be so true that you shall never regret it.

Very Respectfully

Your Servant,

Thos. S. Hansley


Source: Governor Zebulon Vance Papers, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh as found on www.ncecho.org.


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S.S. Advance off Smithville

Sept 1st 1864

A.M. McPheeters Esq


Dear Sir

I am in receipt of your former of the 29th ultimo and will forward letter to as desired.

I regret to hear that the books and stationary ordered for the State has turned out so badly. The order did not reach me in England & I cannot imagine who could have authorized Msts. Trot and Atwood of St. Georges Bermuda to fill the order. So soon as Dr. Boylain can reach Bermuda I will direct him to have the matter fully investigated.

We are all nearly worn out with waiting for the tide. It is now however believed to be sufficient for the ship to float over the bar – the pilot will try it again tonight which will make the 4th attempt. The tide is much better than it was when he tried before & no doubt exists of our getting over the bar & safely through the blockading Squadron notwithstanding it has been considerably increased within the last few days.

I am Yours Truly

Jn White

P.S. The invoice from Trot & Atwood has not yet reached me. I may get it this evening before going out.



  1. S. Advance off Smithville

N.C. Sept. 1st 1864

His Excellency

Gov. Z. B. Vance

Dear Sir.

At the request of Capt. Wyllie I forwarded yesterday to Miss E. Murray at Wilmington NC a Brl of brown sugar for you with instructions that they have it put in good order & forwarded to at Raleigh by express. The sugar has obtained by Capt. Wyllie from the steamer “Hope” which was coming in last night + grounded on the bar to lighten her the sugar was being thrown overboard four Brls of which was saved by the Capt. who had gone with two boats to render what assistance he could, she was safely gotten off with the loss of some sugar. I have had second interviews withthe Son of Miss parson Lovell in regard to the Advance he thinks the compny  will willingly sell their interest in her back to the State, but He prefers that the negotiation be made with Mr. Powers & Mr. Fitzhugh on the other side they being the principle owners. In solution to this I have no doubt you have already been fully advised by Mstrs Murray & Co. We are all greatly disappointed in not getting out which we failed to do after making three attempts. The tides have not been high enough for the ship draft of water. The pilot thinks we will certainly succeed tonight, he at least will make another trial. The numbers of blockades we understand has been considerably increased within the last few days & one or two monitors has been added to the fleet. All feel confident that we will go out safely.

I am Very mch yours

Jn White

Source: Governor’s Papers, North Carolina State Archives and found on www.ncecho.org

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The steamer Ad Vance arrived in Wilmington on Saturday, freighted with a rich cargo on State account for the benefit of the soldiers and their families.

Let it be remembered that were W.W. Holden Governor, he would do away with the running of the blockade and leave our brave soldiers to go ragged and half naked and their wives and little ones to starve and perish.


Source: Greensborough Patriot, August 11, 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org

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Gov Vance spoke here Friday morning April 22d. He arrived Thursday evening about 8 o’clock having traveled through the country in his buggy. The Mayor and committee of Arrangements met him near the limits of the town & escorted him to the Fayetteville Hotel where a large crowd had gathered who welcomed him with cheers. The Mayor made a little speech welcoming him to our town in the name of the citizens to which he responded briefly and excused himself on the plea of fatigue having spoken that day two or three hours in Harnett.

Friday was a holiday in our town reminding us a little of the good old times before the war. All business was suspended and crowds of ladies & gentlemen from our own & the neighboring counties thronged the streets. At 11 ½ the Governor appeared upon the stand & was introduced to about 3000 people by the Hon TC Fuller. The ladies stood in the windows and balconies of the neighboring houses or were provided with seats in the street. The masculine, Mr. Hale says, stood without weariness during the three following hours of intellectual entertainment. The lion of the day was a much younger man than I had expected to see: he appeared to be about six feet high; his hair was black & long brushed behind his ears, his eyes were dark grey sparkling with humor. He could not be called handsome & yet there was something very attractive about his face. The speech I shall not pretend to report. Without the Gov’s inevitable manner it would be spared of much of its beauty and point. He presented his competitor Mr. Holden in a most ridiculous light. I hardly think any of those who heard the speech will vote for Mr. Holden. His speech was here & there & everywhere interspersed with anecdote always exactly applicable. There were many very witty & some very eloquent things in the speech but of course like every political speech it was made to suit the crowd & consequently there were some very coarse things & he was rather inclined to be irreverent. The close of the speech was glorious. The day dawn will soon be followed by the full sun of blessed peace if the people at home would only be true to the army as the army was true to the country. He was grateful for the unammity with which the people had elected him to office & if he met with their approval next election he would endeavor to do his duty but if not he would return to the army from which he was called. In the afternoon the Gov went up to the Arsenal to review the troops. Cousin Albert, Sally & I went up. I don’t there has been such a crowd in the grounds since the day it was surrended to our forces by the Yankees. There were only five companies of Infantry and of Cavalry at the Arsenal. It must have been a pitiful sight to the Gov who had just returned from a visit to Lee’s great Army. Though to us it was quite an imposing sight, altogether I enjoyed the day finely. That evening a great deal of ladies and gentlemen called upon the Gov to pay their respected. Saturday he went up on the cars to address the people at Egypt. He returned to F that night pretty well worn out & was confined to his room all day Sunday. He started to Raleigh Monday.


Source: Malinda Ray Diary, Anna Sutton Sherman Papers, North Carolina State Archives.  See also David A. Ray Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill

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Pilot Mountain
April 2nd 1864
Hon. Z. B. Vance
Governor NC

My dear Sir

You must excuse the liberty I take in this letter. As I am not and never will be an aspirant for any office at the election of the people, I can have nothing at stake in that way of my own, nor have I, or any of my particular friends been disturbed as I shall mention others have been. Then why do I write? I tell you, it is for your interest my friend politically, and pecuniary of others who have and no partiality for one; and I hope you will receive this letter in the same spirit in which it is written. I do hope you will not think it great presumption in me! I ask that, it shall be only between us!

Well in the first place, I want you elected Governor again, and that by as a large a majority as possible; and then I am anxious that the same men who elected you in 62 should elect you again – I want you to receive now every vote that you received then and as many more as you can get.  That is what I want. Do you not desire the same?

If so, please have the kindness to read a few facts as I will state them; and if you will condescend, a thought of my own, which I believe to be well founded, and which, I trust will, strike you as worthy of consideration.

The Home guard & militia officers have been and yet all subject to your orders, then you are to some degree responsible for the lawless acts (or if not now lawless) for the shameful acts of Robery cruelty, oppression and harshness, either committed by those organizations themselves alone, or acting with squads of detailed Confederate Soldiers (and you will know they infest almost every good neighborhood in this state) upon the Citizens at their homes.

It would be idle to attempt to mention the ongoing instances of bad treatment practiced not only upon old men, but upon women & boys. Such treatment is often given without the slightest provocation, except the crime of having favored your election in 62.

Women are cursed; and terror stricken, for no wrong committed, in their own houses; their houses plundered of any article that, for chance, strikes the fancy of the greedy maw of anyone of these countless horde of worthless devils; and old men, toiling to support their grand children, while their sons, the fathers of the cold and hungry children, are offering up their lives in battle for this country, are seized and hurried from their houses, to some jail or drunken officers, at the point of a dozen bayonets, fixed by as many of these drunken demons, shouting tory upon the head of the harmless old man, and glory and triumph for arms and military power.

The people feel such things most keenly – they say we had thoughts, Gov Vance would and ought to do all in his power to protect us from such treatment – others not friendly to you, say you will do nothing in the matter, that you will subject the people to anything rather than to incur a word of disapprobation from Richmond Power. Now don’t you know that these things ought to be corrected? Don’t you know that Holden and his friends and your enemies will use all these things against you in August. Now to relieve the people from those wrongs and to cut Holden off at the knees, so far as such things might aid him.

It strikes me that the best thing you could do, would be to issue a strict order to the Home guard to protect the people from the insult and injury that those retches all want to practice upon them, and especially where they are caught robbing people under a pretense that they are impressing for the Gov’t. They should be arrested and imprisoned and sent to fight instead of stealing. You know at first thought what sort of an order would suit. How does it strike you?

Again – I have heard many clever men who have been whigs all their lives, and who will not vote for Holden, say they cannot vote for you, and when asked why? Say they will not vote with such men as Clingman; Any being & that set of men – they will not vote for any man supported by such sheets as the gassy “Confederate.” Can you not induce that great and gifted Col., who gets up the gas for that sheet, to slack off a little? Or turn his steam in some other direction, till after the election? Surely he is doing you an injury he can make a gain of anything.

That very necessary letter written the other day by one great & patriotic Brigadier General “telling the people, that he would not be a candidate for Governor, but that he intended to vote for you,” was calculated to do you harm. No good man will vote that that way, simply because he does. He need not have been so uneasy about the people forgetting him; they do and will remember all such men and they will be most certain never to elect them to any office, even if they do pin themselves to your coat tail. They are odious to the people and will be till this generation has passed away. I allude to the great man, you used to term the little “Yankey Clock Comder.”

Could you not manage to speak at Salem? You ought to talk to the people of Surry, Yadkin, Stokes, Forsyth and Davie and also Davidson


N. A. Boyders April 2, 1864


Source: Nathaniel Boyden to Zebulon Vance, Governor’s Papers, State Archives of North Carolina as found on www.ncecho.org.

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Camp near Orange CH

March 29, 1864

My Dear Mother

I wrote you a short letter only a few days ago, but as some little excitement outside of our regular routine of duty has occurred within the past few days, I thought I would drop you a little history of it. Governor Vance arrived among us last Friday evening, and was the guest of General Daniel. He delivered a speech before that Brigade last Saturday evening. ALL the Generals of note in this army were present and on the state with him, embracing Generals Lee, Ewell, AP Hill, Stewart, Wilcox, Rodes and a good many others whose names I did not know; there was some twelve or fifteen in number. I did not hear but a part of the speech, as the crow was so large that I could not get in a hundred yards of him.

Yesterday there was a grand review of all North Carolina troops that is in this Corps, by Gov. Vance, including the cavalry. After the review the troops were all arranged around a state erected for the purpose in the camp of the Thirtieth Regiment, and he addressed them with a speech of three or four hours length. He said it did not sound right to him to address us as “Fellow Soldiers,” because he was not one of us – he used to be until he shirked out of the service for a little office down in North Carolina, so now he would address us as “Fellow Tar Heels,” as we always stick.

I was in a good place to hear every word that he said, and I don’t think I ever listened to a more able speech of the kind in my life. If was very able and deep, interspersed with anecdotes, illustration of his subject, which kept the men from feeling fatigued. The review took up some two hours, marching all the fields, and then we had to stand up all the while the speech was being delivered. Nearly the whole camp was there, in fact, there were thousands that could not hear him from their distance. There was some dozen or two ladies present. After Gov. Vance got through, the crowd called for General Early. He arose and spoke a short time, then General Rodes; after he was through Gov. Vance arose again and said he must talk a little more, too. He related two or three anecdotes relative to the Yankee characters and then retired amidst deafening “Rebel Yells.” This morning it’s cold and has just commenced raining. I think it will end in a snow. The last of the big snow has gone. Clarke’s mountain is covered yet. I forgot to tell you that I received your letter night before last. My love to all.

Believe me, as ever, yours, etc.



Source: Laura Elizabeth Lee, Forget-Me-Nots of the Civil War: A Romance Containing Reminiscences and Original Letters of Two Confederate Soldiers (St. Louis, Missouri: A.R. Fleming Printing Co, 1909).  See also Joel Craig and Sharlene Baker, eds., As You May Never See Us Again: The Civil War Letters of George and Walter Battle, 4th North Carolina Infantry (Wake Forest, NC: The Scuppernong Press, 2010).

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1st No Car Cavalry
Bakers Brigade
28th Sept 1863
Gen S. Cooper, Adj General:

Having being appointed captain of a cavalry for Home Defense I respectively tender my resignation as 1st Lieutenant, Company G 1st Regt NC Cavalry

Amended see Govr Vance’s letter

I am very Respectfully

Yf ob Sevt.

J.L. Henry

Executive Department
Raleigh, NC Sept 24 1863
Capt. J. L. Henry
Dear Sir

I have appointed you to the command of a cavalry company in the mountains, where is nearly complete for the state defence. His occupation of East Tennessee has opened all western NC to destructive raiders of the enemy and I am raising troops and the army as fast as possible for their defence.

Please reply promptly, if you can get your resignation accepted, as I have no competent man in that country to command cavalry except Maj. Woodfin, who commands the Home Guards.

Respectfully yours

Z.B. Vance

Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 2. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Original in JL Henry Papers, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.

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