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Governors Papers, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC

Carthage, NC

Feb 16th 1864

His Excellency,

Gov Vance,

Raleigh NC


          Since the withdrawal of Capt Ramseys Compy[1] from this County[2] the deserters & skulkers have renewed their acts of violence and robbery. Not a week, and scarcely a night, passes without some smoke house being robbed of its entire contents or some act of violence done to families and property of loyal people. I have had the Home Guard out for nearly a month and am sorry to say I have accomplished but very little with them. They cannot be relied on. Those who know the Country are the friends of the delinquents almost to a man. They profess a willingness, many of them, to obey orders but take care to do nothing substantial. If they shoot it is purposely to miss. About one third of them are true and reliable, but they are ignorant of the localities which the deserters frequent and the news of their approach is always in advance of them.

          Capt. Jesse S. Bryant[3] of Co I 2nd NC Cavalry has been at home for a long time on detail to buy horses for the Regt. He is an experienced huntsman, well acquainted with the various parts of this County, is a man of unusual energy and dash. With 10 or 15 men from his company he could catch more deserters than the whole of the Home Guard. Nay, I have no doubt could with the assistance of the H G soon rid the County of these cutthroats. I have no doubt but that every month with 15 men he could return to duty a like number of delinquents & deserters and then he would keep down this frightful plundering. So far as regards the expense, the Home Guard of this County has already expended enough to feed him & his men for six months. It would be infinitely cheaper, better for the County and better for the service to detail Capt Bryant and his Compy or a portion of it for permanent duty in this County.

Will you not ask for his detail for this purpose. We are sadly in need of assistance

Very Respfy

Your obt Servt

C Dowd[4]

Comdg Home Guards


I concur in the previous Rationale and recommendations

T.R. Emery[5] Lt

Enr Officer for Moore Co.

[1] Nathaniel Alexander Ramsey (1827-1906) worked on his mother’s farm in Chatham County when he enlisted on April 15, 1861 as a sergeant in Company M, 15th North Carolina regiment. He was appointed captain on March 21, 1862, and charged with raising a new company. That company was recruited as Capt. Nathan A. Ramsey’s Independent Company. It mustered into state service on September 29, 1862 as Company B, 59th North Carolina Regiment. Sometime between October 30 and November 22, 1862, the unit was redesignated Company D, 61st North Carolina Regiment. Jordan, comp., North Carolina Troops, 5:614-15, 14:677-78; 1860 U.S. Census.

[2] Moore County

[3] Jesse Lorick Bryan (1825-1885) resided in Moore County when he was appointed Captain of Company I, 19th Regiment N.C. Troops (2nd North Carolina Cavalry) on July 18, 1861. He was dropped from the rolls on June 6, 1864. Manarin, comp., North Carolina Troops, 2:164.

[4] Clement Dowd (1832-1898), a lawyer from Carthage, N.C., had served as Captain in Company H, 26th North Carolina Regiment, under Zebulon Vance, the regiment’s first colonel. Dowd resigned because of ill health in June 1862, and later became a Major in the North Carolina Home Guard. Jordan, comp., North Carolina Troops, 7:561; 1860 U.S. Census.

[5] Thomas R. Emery (b. 1836) was appointed 2nd Lieutenant of Company I, 22nd North Carolina Infantry on June 5, 1861, but resigned on August 15, 1861. He was reported as a member of a Moore County company of the 5th Battalion N.C. Home Guard on November 19, 1864. Jordan, Brown, and Coffey, comps., North Carolina Troops, 7:81, 21:396; 1870 U.S. Census.

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