Item description: Charles Pettigrew writes to his brother, William Pettigrew, a delegate at the Secession Convention in Raleigh, N.C., commenting on party politics and military mobilization in the state.
Scuppernong, May 31st 1861
My dear brother,
I was much pleased to hear your letters to Anne and Carey read, and was really gratified to see the promptitude with which the convention acted. We are now where we ought to have been months since.
I was really troubled to see in one of your letters that party lines were observable, and that the party in power was disposed to give the appointments to their former friends. Since that time I have seen Mr. Collins and Capt. Brabble[?] and they said such was too evidently the case.
If that system is pursued there will be nothing but ruin before us. Although Brabble spent some days in Raleigh, he is unable to tell any thing about the arrangement and preparation of his company for service. I implied from his remarks that indolence and incompetence marked[?] those whose duty required them to organize the army. Capt. B. has between 80 and 90 men, they are at the Davenport place, but they have no arms and have as much the appearance of a neglected set as I ever saw. There were 300 old muskets in Plymouth intended for Washington and Tyrell counties. They have been there for some years.
He, Capt. B., applied to the Adj.[utant] General Hoke to have enough of them to drill his men with, but he declined allowing it, and indeed seemed to [?] and care but little about it. The muskets there are not used, Brabble however borrowed from Littlejohn 20, which Littlejohn loaned upon his own responsibility.
Doubtless you know, in your position a hundred complaints against the powers that be. The last “state journal,” which I saw contained 2 columns Holden’s [?]. Who on earth cares how Holden thought six months since provided he is true to his country now. Among all the papers I see from North to South, I have not for some time seen a hasty article. I see the Dispatch and Enquirer; to read them you would not know there was another paper published in the state. Now the object of making all their writing is to know if the Convention will not take some steps to break up these incompetent and party movements and appointments.
I suppose that Gov. Ellis is too feeble to act and in that event will not a competent and capable commission be appointed by the convention to virtually supersede the governor.
You are on the spot and must know more about it than any person at a distance can suggest. The convention being all powerful, there certainly can be found a majority of patriotic[?] and capable men who will be able to get us out of their slough and helpless [?] into which we will certainly fall if we proceed as we have commenced.
I wish you would tell Eli Spruill that I was at Columbia yesterday and party Whig Democrats or any opposition to any one in the country or state was not spoken of. The only wish is then to give appointments to competent men. I understand from “lowered[?]” that they say the military commission have indeed suppressed Gov. Letcher that he takes their advice in every thing.
You see that the Lincoln Secretary of War has looked to a committee in N.Y. city to manage matters of providing men and money to the neglect of Gov. Morgan and the state authorities in Albany. They are beginning to have a fine fight there.
We are all quite well and hopeful. The crops are looking well but backward from the cold weather; a frost a few days has cut the corn down, but I think the most of it will come again; Henry thinks some of yours near the Bee Tree[?] canal will be irregular by the frost. Your people, as far as I can hear, are doing well, and your crop is perfectly clean.
I shall always be glad to have a line from you. Carey and Mary send their love to you and we all wish you a pleasant time in Raleigh and a speedy return home.
Your affectionate brother,