Gen. Lee communicates to the department to-day his views of the Montgomery letter to Gen. Forrest, a copy of which was sent him by Governor Vance. He terms it “diabolical.” It seems to have been an official letter, superscribed by “C. Marshall, Major and A. A. G.” Gen. Lee suggests that it be not published, but that copies be sent to all our generals.
Hon. R. M. T. Hunter urges the Secretary, in a lengthy letter, to send a cavalry brigade into Essex and the adjacent counties, to protect the inhabitants from the incursions of the “Yankees.” He says a government agent has established a commissary department within six miles of his house, and it will be sure to be destroyed if no force be sent there adequate to its defense. He says, moreover, if our troops are to operate only in the great armies facing the enemy, a few hostile regiments of horse may easily devastate the country without molestation.
Gov. Vance writes a most indignant reply to a letter which, it seems, had been addressed to him by the Assistant Secretary of War, Judge Campbell, in which there was an intimation that the judicial department of the State government “lent itself” to the work of protecting deserters, etc. This the Governor repels as untrue, and says the judges shall have his protection. That North Carolina has been wronged by calumnious imputations, and many in the army and elsewhere made to believe she .was not putting forth all her energies in the work of independence. He declares that North Carolina furnished more than half the killed and wounded in the two great battles on the Rappahannock, in December and May last.
By the Northern papers we see the President of the United States, his wife, and his cabinet are amusing themselves at the White House with Spiritualism.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 339-40