5/29/63 Camp 1st & 3d NC Infy to Gen Colston-Having learned with profound regret that you have been relieved of the command of the Troops composing the 3d Bgde, 1st Division, we, as a committee appointed to express the sense of a meeting held in camp this day, composed of the Officers belonging to the 1st & 3d NC Regts, do express to you our sorrow at learning the causes that impelled the Gen Cdg the Army of Northern Va., to issue the order relieving you of the Command which you have so gallantly sustained, to the Gen satisfaction of the Officers & Men of the 1st & 3d NC Troops.
Deeming it a duty we owe to ourselves to explain to you the causes that we think produced the change of which, Gen Lee speaks in his letter of 5/28/63 addressed to Gen Cooper explaining the reason that called forth S O #144, we would say, that Gen Lee entirely misconceived the language of the letter written by the officers of said Regts, in which they simply requested that they be Brigaded with troops from NC, commanded by a Brig Gen from the same state.
It has been ever since the commencement of the War, our great desire, to be with troops from our own state, commanded by a NC Brig Gen, but, if impossible for us to be so brigaded & we are to remain in the 3d Bgde, we, Gen, are entirely satisfied with you.
Gen Lee states in his letter & of which you are well aware that we are opposed to serving under a Va. Brig Gen. In this, he is very much mistaken. We beg leave to differ from him & must say, that we disclaim the expression of such a sentiment. In making the request that we should be placed with NC Troops, under the command of a NC Brig Gen_ we did not wish to convey the idea that we objected to serving under a Va. Brig Gen, but, because we wished to be identified with Troops from our own state, & not to occupy the isolated position that we have occupied ever since we came into the field.
We say isolated, because we have been in the service for two years & have been changed from one Bgde to another, & division, so often, that our friends have lost sight of us almost entirely.
Other troops from NC have been placed together, forming NC Bgdes, commanded by NC Brig Gen’ls. The contrary has been our misfortune, we trust sincerely that you, Gen, will not for a moment, entertain the slightest idea that we have ever desired any other change than that herein – stated.
Wishing for you, Gen, new laurels, & that your path to glory may not be darkened by a single cloud, subscribe ourselves yours, with great respect…