February 27, 1863, Raleigh, N.C.,
Governor Z.B. Vance to Brigadier General Davis
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Brigadier-General DAVIS, Knoxville, Tenn.:
GENERAL: In my last letter to you I referred to a report that a number of prisoners taken on Laurel had been shot in cold blood, and expressed the hope it might not prove true. I fear, however, that it is even worse than was first reported. I beg leave to ask your attention to the copy inclosed of a part of a letter(*) from A. S. Merrimon, esq., attorney for the State in that district, and to respectfully request you to make inquiry into the truth of the statements within, with a view to proceedings against the guilty parties. While expressing again my thanks for the prompt aid rendered by your command in quieting the troubles in that region, I cannot reconcile it to my sense of duty to pass by in silence such cruel and barbarous conduct as is alleged to have characterized a portion of them, and more especially as the officers mentioned are citizens of this State.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Z. B. VANCE.
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