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Greensborough Patriot

Greensborough Patriot

February 5, 1863

Page 3


Conscripts!   To arms!   To arms!

The under signed having been detailed for 30 days on special duty, with the following instructions, will be found either at Dinbury or Joseph I Sanford, in the county of Stokes, where they earnestly solicit an immediate interview with every man in the county, liable to the Conscript Act:


Goldsboro, N. C. Jan. 24th, 1863


Upon arriving at your station, you will at once make publication by newspaper if practicable, by placard and every other available means, announcing the partial suspension of the operation of the Conscript Law, so as to permit conscripts to volunteer in the companies of their own selection, without passing through Camps of Instruction, and receive the bounty and other benefits provided by law for volunteers; and urging upon the people the great importance of speedily filling up the ranks of this army, in order that the threatened invasion of the State may be repelled.  It is confidently believed that, by the earnest and well directed efforts of recruiting officers, with the liberal enticements they are authorized to tender to conscripts, a large number will be added to the rolls and ample means thus secured for the common defense.  Upon application, you will muster conscripts into any company they may select, now in service in this command.

Your attention is particularly called to the duty also imposed upon you, of apprehending stragglers and deserters.  A very large number of officers and men are now absent without or beyond leave, skulking from the danger and hardships to which their comrades and neighbors are exposed and at a critical moment, imperiling the success of our cause.  You will procure upon your company commander a list of their names, and cause an order to be served upon each of them to report to you at once promising to all who obey promptly, full pardon except as to forfeiture of pay.  Those who do not report you will cause to be arrested and confined in county prison, until they can be forwarded to their companies under guard.  Whenever necessary for this purpose, you will call for and from the civil authorities.  In making such arrests, you will respect no leave of absence or furloughs, except those signed by Gens. Lee, Beauregard, Smith, French or signed by Commandants of Ports, where General Hospitals are allocated; and you will not regard certificate of local physicians for exemption of furlough, except when, in your opinion, they are given in good faith.

From the number of those who report voluntarily, you will retain the services of as many as may be necessary to the thorough and efficient performance of your duties, sending the remainder to their companies.

There is reason to apprehend that in many sections the people, either through a mistaken sympathy or in ignorance, are encouraging and abetting desertion and straggling from the army.  A candid and earnest appeal will be sufficient if it is believed to awaken them to their duty in this matter, to themselves and to the country.  The cause is lost when the people at home cease to lend their hearty cooperation in maintaining the efficiency and supporting the discipline of the army.  You are therefore directed, in performing your duties, to employ every energy and proper influence to ____ their good will, engage sympathy with your efforts, and procure their active assistance and cooperation in securing volunteers and inducing the laggard to return to duty.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,


Major and A. A. G.

to Capt. S. V Taylor, and Lieut. H. H. Gambell, 53rd Regt., N. C. Troops


From the above instructions it will be seen that we are fully authorized and do hereby suspend the provision of the Conscript Act in the county of Stokes for 30 days.  The Col. commanding the Militia of the county is requested forthwith to order up the said Militia, at their usual place for General Review, for the purpose of giving more perfect publicity to this notice; and for the further purpose of giving us a personal interview with the people.  All deserters and such as are absent from their post of duty will find it greatly to their interest to report themselves immediately to the undersigned at Danbury.


Capt. Co. H, 53rd Reg. N. C. T.


1st Lieut. Co. G 53rd Reg.  N. C. T.

[Transcribed by Sharon Strout]


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