success was completely and with scarcely an effort won and afterward lost by folly and cowardice.
Captain Turner was found about 200 yards from the mouth of the lane, lying wounded and stunned in the road. Some suppose that he was wounded in the head and thrown by his horse. As I examined the wound I am satisfied all his injuries were caused by the fall from his horse.
The casualties are Colonel Robinson and Captain Turner wounded; 2 privates killed, 5 wounded, and 5 taken prisoners - probably all wounded.
It is impossible to express too harsh terms toward the men for their dastardly behavior, and we can hardly justly [sic] apply his severe disapprobation to officers who could permit their commander to fall into the hands of the enemy without an effort to rescue him, and who exhibited scarcely the first quality which ought to entitle them to command.
It is but right to remark that the enemy's numbers have been variously estimated at from 50 to 200. I cannot determine the real strength, but suppose a mean between the two numbers would be just.
To keep such troops in the presence of the enemy would be useless [and] criminal, and I respectfully suggest that the officers and men who have on two occasions themselves with shame and our arms with dishonor be debarred the privilege of combatting for our liberties. The officers should be reduced, never to hold commissions; the men should be dismounted and disarmed and placed at hard labor during the war, and the second in command should be made an especial example for the benefit of our country and its cause. It may, perhaps, appear severe that the few who seemed willing to do their duty should suffer with the multitude of those who failed in all that becomes the officer or soldier, but they are so inextricable mingled that human ingenuity would fail to make the just discrimination.
I respectfully recommend that all but one squadron of the regiment be transferred to the rear and there be placed in a school of instruction under competent officers. Ignorance, idleness, and incapacity so strongly characterize a large number of the officers that a thorough purging is required.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. RANSOM, JR.,
Major ARCHER ANDERSON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of North Carolina.
P. S.- I inclose a rough map, which will explain the report.
Goldsborough, N. C., April 21, 1862.
This report is respectfully referred to the Secretary of War, with a recommendation that General Ransom's suggestion be complied with.
TH. H. HOLMES,
APRIL 23, 1862.
Respectfully referred to General Lee.
Adjutant and Inspector General.