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Asheboro NC Jany 4/64 

Gov Vance 

Dear Sir

          We have now been in this section some three weeks & so far have accomplished but little. I have my men scattered over the adjoining counties at the most suitable points. The deserters have numerous friends which makes it more difficult to catch them. it will require time to do so and probably an increase of my force to occupy the whole section at once to prevent their evading the troops by going from one place to another as they /(the soldiers)/ change their <the soldiers> stations. this would not be necessary could we live upon the country which is impossible as it does’ent afford the supplies. We then have to draw them from Greensboro & wagon them some fifty miles & makes it necessary for small detachments to return to their comp’y HQtr every three days. I learned a few days ago that the deserters sent from Wilkes were rapidly returning thinking our forces withdrawn, also that an entire company of cavalry had deserted from Tennesse with horses arms & accoutrements. these men have given confidence to others who are now becoming very bold. Cap’t White’s Comp’y of my reg’t about (50) men was left there. I think this too small a force & shall start another comp’y for that county tomorrow. I shall then certainly need the two (2) comp’y’s of mine now at Weldon. They were included in the order detaching the reg’t for this duty, but Gen’l Ransom [1] retained them & has since declined sending them. You will oblige me by applying for them. I certainly need them to fully accomplish the duty assigned me. I shall make an application myself but do not expect it to be granted. My men are behaving themselves remarkably well. I have not heard of a single misdemeanor & hope I will not. This is decidedly disagreable service, but I hope we will be allowed to remain here during this winter as it is too late to prepare winter quarters elsewhere.

Very Resply

Your Obt Servt & friend

P F Faison [2]

Col 56th NC Troops

The deserters /of Wilkes/ (Cavalry) Killed one of [my] men last week & wounded one or two of the home guard. 

PFF

[Endorsed:] I have written as he desired.  ZBV

[1] Matt Whitaker Ransom (1826-1904) was a lawyer from Warren County, who was appointed Brigadier General on June 13, 1863 and placed in command of a brigade. Warner, Generals in Gray, 25.

[2] Paul Fletcher Faison (1840-1896) was a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point when he resigned and was appointed Major of the 14th North Carolina Infantry on May 28, 1861. He was appointed Colonel of the 56th North Carolina Infantry on July 31, 1862. Jordan, comp., North Carolina Troops, 5:394; 13:592; 1860 U.S. Census.

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