Richard E. Yates, "Zebulon B. Vance as War Governor of North Carolina, 1862-1865" (1937)
Yates, Richard E. . "Zebulon B. Vance as War Governor of North Carolina, 1862-1865,". The Journal of Southern History , Vol. 3, No. 1 (Feb., 1937), pp. 43-75
While Vance was willing to aid the Confederate government by enrolling conscripts and returning deserters, he was insistent, nevertheless, that the Richmond authorities should exert their war power with due regard for the rights of North Carolina and with especial consideration for her civil law. Tirelessly and with a fair measure of success, the young governor protested against the illegal activities of Confederate military forces. Hearing that "a parcel of armed soldiers from Georgia" had seized and carried off three citizens of Cherokee County, Vance issued orders to officers of that county 'to call out the militia and shoot the first man who attempts to perpetrate a similar outrage." At about the same time (in the spring of 1863) a Confederate officer, Colonel J.A. Keith, captured and killed thirteen men and boys who had been accused of robbing the stores and houses of a small mountain town. Angered by what he considered to be the murder of civilians, Vance demanded that Keith be punished. While an investigation was pending, however, the officer resigned and escaped punishment, despite the governor's later attempts to try him for murder.
Throughout most of the war, Vance was embarrasssed by the administration's policy of arresting North Carolina citizens who were suspected of disloyalty, transporting them to Salisbury or Richmond, imprisoning them without making specific charges, and finally releasing the accused persons without bringing them to trial. The governor considered this conduct to be in defiance of North Carolina's civil law and a violation of the rights of her citizens; and in numberous bluntly-worded letters he demanded that the citizens of the state be given a prompt and fair trial when they were arrested by agents of the central government.
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