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Sept. 4, 1863

Gov. Vance

Dear Sir,

          Since my return I find things much worse. Almost every soldier from this neighborhood has deserted. Allow me in view of these facts to suggest to you to authorize William Gilliam[1] to raise a squad of 20 or 25 picked men, for the express purpose of arresting deserters & as a guard to our defenceless homes. He is brave, energetic, & true. I am satisfied he will do well. You might give him authority to raise others in case he was likely to be overpowered.

Yours respectfully,

J.B. Bailey


[Endorsed:] Inform him that I shall order the Home Guard to do their duty. ZBV

[1] William Gilliam (1821-1865) was a farmer in Buncombe County when he was appointed Lieutenant of a small cavalry company on September 1, 1863, which later became Company I, 69th North Carolina Regiment (7th North Carolina Cavalry). Manarin, comp., North Carolina Troops: 2:582; 1860 U.S. Census

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