of the Department of North Carolina, and will proceed to Goldsborough and relieve Brigadier General Joseph R. Anderson.
XXVII. The following troops will proceed at once to Goldsborough, N. C., and report for duty to the commanding general of the Department of North Carolina.
First Regiment North Carolina Volunteers, Colonel M. S. Stokes.
Second Regiment North Carolina Volunteers, Colonel C. C. Tew.
Third Regiment Arkansas Volunteers, Colonel V. H. Manning.
Thirtieth Regiment Virginia Volunteers, Colonel R. M. Cary.
Captain Cooke's battery.
XXVIII. The troops composing General Wilcox's brigade will be forwarded immediately on their arrival in this city to Goldsborough, N. C., and will report for duty to Major-General Holmes, commanding Department of North Carolina.
* * * *
XXX. Brigadier General J. G. Walker will proceed with his brigade, and the battery attached, to Goldsborough, N. C., and report for duty to Major General Theophilus H. Holmes, commanding Department of North Carolina.
By command of the Secretary of War:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA, Kinston, March 25, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: As I advised you by telegraph, I arrived here yesterday. I found some confusion in the army, arising from the recent events at New Berne. In a few days i trust order and system will be restored.
The accounts I am able to get as to the plans of the enemy are conflicting naturally, but that he will move forward in this direction or on Wilmington I presume there is no doubt.
Under these circumstances I thought it best for General French to proceed to Wilmington and assume command, though I regretted much to lose his services here. I also concluded to halt Starke's regiment and Moore's battery at that point for the present, and the forces coming from the north at Goldsborough, from which point they may be moved quickly, as the emergency may require.
I have the honor to forward a letter from General French, written while he was in command.* I concur in his views as to this position, and while I push my pickets down to feel the enemy's within 3 or 4 miles of New Berne, and will send down large scouting parties with a view of annoying his progress if he commences a march, it is my opinion that it will be better to fall back gradually some 10 or 15 miles before fully testing our strength, with a view of finding more favorable ground.
Still, there is no ground between and Goldsborough on which we can intrench without being likely to have our flanks turned by a superior force, so level and firm is the ground, intersected by various roads.
*See French to Lee, March 18, p. 448.