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Digital images taken by Judkin Browning

Asheboro, N.C.

Sept 3, 1863

His Excellency

Govr Z.B. Vance

Raleigh N.C.

          I regret that it becomes my duty to make a very unfavorable report of operations, thus far, in this county. I find it impossible under existing circumstances, to get the men subject to duty in the Home Guard, to come out to arrest deserters & conscripts. If I can get a company of regular soldiers, to assist me for two weeks, I can get most of the men out for duty, otherwise I fear I shall not be able to get one third the force out. I would respectfully urge upon your excellency to send one company at least, more if you can, to assist me for two weeks. The deserters are committing all sorts of depredations all over the County. The case referred to me from Capt. Kirkman at St. Lawrence, is no doubt all true, but it is of usual occurrences from one end of the county to the other. The deserters have taken every gun they could get in the County. There are so many man here who sympathize with the deserters, that it is almost impossible to get any information, or to conceal any plans for their arrest. Quite as many deserters, who are in this county at present, belong to Chatham, Moore, Montgomery & Davidson, as do to Randolph.  They find more men in this county who sympathize with them—hence they collect here from all the above mentioned counties.

          If your Excellency would call out the “Home Guard” from the above Counties, and direct them to come to Randolph & act in conjunction with the force I can obtain, I am satisfied that we could catch a great many of the deserters. The men of this County who are disposed to do their duty—think that the other Counties should help to arrest, at least the deserters from their own counties. The area of counties over which we have to operate, is so great that a considerable force is necessary to guard all the passes. I trust you will consider this proposition (if calling out the Guard from the adjoining Counties) favorably, and that it will be done as soon as practicable. I shall do my best, but in the mean time shall look for a reply from your Excellency.

Very Respectfully, Yr Obt Servt &c

S.G.Worth,[1] Lt. Col. 5th Bat HG

[1] Shubal G. Worth (1836-1864) was a merchant and slave owner from Randolph County, who had served as Clerk of the Superior Court before the war. He was elected Captain of Company I, 22nd North Carolina Regiment on June 5, 1861, and resigned that commission on June 24, 1862. He served with the Home Guard until he accepted an appointment as Adjutant of the 19th North Carolina Regiment (2nd North Carolina Cavalry) on November 27, 1863. He was killed at the battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, on May 11, 1864. Louis H. Manarin & Weymouth T. Jordan, comps., North Carolina Troops: A Roster, 7:81, 2:104; Jonathan G. Worth to Alfred G. Foster, July 31, 1861, Hamilton, ed., Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, 1:156-57; 1860 U.S. Census.

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