17 March 1863: “I have a frail good for nothing body, but I have more heart for the work than some of these big fellows…”

Item description: Letter, 17 March 1863, from D.H. Hill to James Longstreet, Goldsboro, N.C., requesting Ransom’s brigade or another be ordered to Goldsboro to help fortify Kinston, N.C., while other brigades moved on Greenville, N.C.

Item citation: From the D. H. Hill Papers #2035-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Goldsboro N.C. 9 P.M. Mar. 17


My principal scout Bell has just got in from Newbern. He says that the transports reported by Harrison were laden with the marauders from Hyde. The Yankee prisoners taken on Saturday said that the expedition had not got back. So I think Foster has not got back. Pettigrew got a panic on him and wrote to Garnett to help him & Garnett is coming back to Greenville without effecting anything. Nothing will be done unless I go over to Greenville myself & then the Yankees may advance upon Daniels. There are no fortifications around Kinston on the north side of the Neuse & he could not hold it alone, should the other two Brigades be away. It is for you to decide whether I shall go or not. Simply telegraph, go, or, don’t go. It won’t do to telegraph any more.

With the blessing of God, the two Brigades at Greenville can take Washington, if I go in person. But Kinston ought not to be left so defenseless. Either Ransom ought to be ordered to Goldsboro or one of your Brigades sent down there. If Hooker is mud-bound, we ought to be at work. I have a frail good for nothing body, but I have more heart for the work than some of these big fellows & I am so anxious to accomplish something for our cause. Would to God, my advice had been heeded months ago & the State swept clear of these infernal wretches.

We must have some one in Robertson’s place. He will not do.

At least two of our Cavalry regiments ought to be dismounted & placed as Infantry on the Chowan.

The Yankees will swarm out in the Spring like the locusts & we have no time to lose.

Let me hear from you as soon as possible.

D.H. Hill
Maj. Gen.

To Gen Longstreet.

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