Robert Ransom—Confederate Cavalryman and General

An image of Ransom from the State Archives

An image of Ransom from the State Archives

On February 12, 1828, Confederate General Robert Ransom Jr. was born in Warren County. Ransom was appointed to West Point, graduating in 1850. The young officer was assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Ransom returned to West Point as a cavalry instructor in 1854, but again was posted to the Kansas frontier in 1856. He was promoted to captain in January 1861, but shortly resigned to join the Confederacy. Ransom was commissioned captain and ordered to raise a regiment. With his regiment designated the First North Carolina Cavalry, he was promoted to colonel and placed in command.

Ransom was elevated to brigadier general in the spring of 1862 and to major general little more than a year later. In May 1863 he was ordered to assume command of Richmond. Ransom, who battled a number of serious illnesses over the years, fell ill in the summer of 1864 and remained on sick leave for the duration of the war. In 1878 he was hired as assistant to the U. S. civil engineer in New Bern, a job that gave him the opportunity to improve harbors and waterways throughout the Carolinas. He died in 1881 and was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery, New Bern.

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