Here is a listing of Battles fought in North Carolina with a brief description of each.
Although there was much division in the state concerning secession, North Carolina
did secede on May 20, 1861. North Carolina was not considered a wealthy state,
but during the Civil War North Carolina supplied more men and materials to the
Confederate cause than any other state. The state also suffered the largest number
of losses than any other Confederate state during the war. General Joseph Johnston
surrendered the last major Confederate Army to General William Sherman near
Durham on April 26, 1865.
North Carolina was readmitted to the Union in 1868. Serving as president during
much of the difficult period of Reconstruction was Andrew Johnson, the seventeenth
president (1865-1869), another North Carolina native. The years of reconstruction
and the decades following were characterized by courageous readjustments.
Battle of Albemarle Sound
James W. Cooke, commander of the CSS Albemarle sailed out of Plymouth in early
May 1864. Steaming south toward New Bern, Cooke ran into a Union fleet at the mouth
of Albemarle Sound, commanded by Captain Melancton Smith. Smith with an advantage
in numbers could do little damage to the single Confederate ship. Shots glanced off the
Albemarle's sides. The USS Sassacus rammed the Albemarle at top speed and caused
some significant damage. The Albemarle began taking on water but the Sassacus had
also sustained damage from the impact and a shot burst one of the boilers scalding
the crew. The rest of the Union fleet managed to recapture a converted steamer called
the Bombshell. The Sassacus by now too damaged to function drifted down river while
the Albemarle was also damaged enough not to continue the fight and made its way
back to Plymouth.
The battle itself was a standoff, but the events that followed had more decisive results.
The Albemarle had held its own against greater numbers but the damages caused the
during the battle had forced the ship into port for the next several months prevented it
from being used in General Hoke's planned assault on New Bern. Hoke went ahead
with his campaign even without the Albemarle. He achieved nothing before being
recalled to Virginia to help defend Petersburg and Richmond. The events in October
had a greater impact on the situation when William B. Cushing led a naval raid and
detonated a torpedo beneath the hull. The removal of Hoke's force and the destruction
of the Albemarle allowed both Plymouth and Washington, North Carolina, to fall back
into Union hands.
Battle of Averasborough
The Battle of Averasborough, fought March 16, 1865, in Harnett and Cumberland
counties, North Carolina, as part of the Carolinas Campaign of the American Civil
War, was a prelude to the climactic Battle of Bentonville, which began three days later.
Union Major General William T. Sherman was moving his army north towards
Goldsboro in two columns. The right column (Army of the Tennessee) was under
the command of Maj. Gen. Oliver Otis Howard and the left column (Army of Georgia)
was under Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston
sent Lieutenant General William J. Hardee's corps to attack Slocum's left wing
while it was separated from the rest of Sherman's forces. Slocum's troops crossed
the Cape Fear River near Averasborough where they encountered Hardee's corps.
On the morning of the March 16, troops of the Union XX Corps under Maj. Gen.
Alpheus S. Williams were driven back by a Confederate assault. When reinforcements
arrived the Union forces counterattacked and drove back two lines of Confederates,
but were repulsed by a third line. By this time units from Maj. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis's
XIV Corps began to arrive on the field. Outnumbered and in danger of being flanked,
Hardee's troops withdrew.
The Confederates had not held up the Union Army as long as they had hoped. Each
side suffered just under 700 casualties; however, these were losses the Federals could
afford while the Confederates could not afford them at all.
Battle of Bentonville
The Battle of Bentonville was fought March 19–21, 1865, in Bentonville, North Carolina,
near the current town of Four Oaks, as part of the Carolinas Campaign of the American
Civil War. It was the last major battle to occur between the armies of Major General
William T. Sherman and General Joseph E. Johnston. In light of overwhelming enemy
strength and the relatively heavy casualties his army suffered in the battle, Johnston
surrendered to Sherman little more than a month later at Bennett Place, near Durham
Station. Coupled with Robert E. Lee's surrender earlier in April, Johnston's surrender
represented the effective end of the war.
Battle of Fort Anderson
The Battle of Fort Anderson, also known as the Battle of Deep Gully, took place
from March 13 to March 15, 1863, in Craven County, North Carolina, as part of
Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's Tidewater operations during the
American Civil War.
Lt. Gen. Longstreet took charge of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina
on February 25 and initiated his Tidewater Operations. He directed Maj. Gen.
D.H. Hill, commander of the North Carolina District, to advance on the Union
stronghold of New Bern with about 12,000 men. Maj. Gen. William H. C. Whiting,
who commanded the Wilmington garrison, refused to cooperate. After an initial
success at Deep Gully on March 13, Hill marched against the well-entrenched
Federals at Fort Anderson on March 14 and March 15. Hill was forced to retire upon
the arrival of Union gunboats. The city's garrison was heavily reinforced, and Hill
withdrew to threaten Washington, North Carolina.
Battle of Fort Fisher I
The First Battle of Fort Fisher, fought from December 7 to December 27, 1864,
was a failed attempt by Union forces to capture the fort guarding Wilmington,
North Carolina, the South's last major port on the Atlantic Ocean.
After the failed Bermuda Hundred Campaign, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler and his
Army of the James were assigned to an amphibious expedition against Fort Fisher.
Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant had originally designated one of Butler's subordinates,
Maj. Gen. Godfrey Weitzel, to lead the expedition, but Butler, the seniormost
major general of volunteers in the Army, demanded to lead the troops himself a
nd Grant acquiesced.
Fort Fisher, on Confederate Point, nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the Confederacy",
was a formidable target commanding the Cape Fear River. It encompassed 14,500 ft.
and was surrounded by a 10-foot parapet and a network of bombproofs, most of which
were 30 feet high. Many obstructions were laid around it, including land mines
(called torpedoes in this era), abatis, and deep ditches. There were more than
50 heavy cannon, including 15 Columbiads and a 150-pounder Armstrong gun,
behind a 60-foot mound of earth near the sea, named the Mound Battery.
The fort's garrison of 1,400 men was commanded by Col. William Lamb.
Additional reinforcements were available from General Braxton Bragg at Sugar
Loaf, 4 miles away.
The Union naval expedition under Rear Adm. David D. Porter comprised the largest
fleet of the war, nearly 60 warships plus troop transports to carry 6,500 soldiers.
Learning that the Union troops had embarked from Hampton Roads on December 13,
Confederate General Robert E. Lee dispatched a division under Maj. Gen. Robert F.
Hoke to reinforce Lamb.
Butler did not coordinate the timing with Porter adequately, so that when his troops
departed Fort Monroe and arrived in North Carolina, the Navy had not arrived. When
they did arrive from their base in Beaufort, South Carolina, the Army troops were so
seasick and low on supplies that the expedition had to be reorganized at Beaufort.
On December 24, the Union fleet began shelling the fort. Butler conceived a plan to
load an old ship with 215 tons of gunpowder and explode it in the shallows near the
fort, expecting that the blast would damage the fort and stun its garrison. The explosion
was ineffectual, merely raining sand on everything.
After a 12-hour naval bombardment, 2,200 men disembarked from transports at 2 p.m.
on December 25 to storm the fort. The advanced guard, a brigade under Col. N.
Martin Curtis, captured a 300-man unit of young boys outside of the parapets, but
had to fall back under heavy cannon and small-arms fire from the garrison. The
arrival of Hoke's reinforcements discouraged further Union attempts. Despite orders
that he was to besiege the fort if he could not seize it, Butler called off the expedition
on December 27 and returned to Fort Monroe.
The fiasco at Fort Fisher gave Grant an excuse to relieve Butler, replacing him in
command of the Army of the James by Maj. Gen. Edward Ord. President Abraham
Lincoln, recently reelected, no longer needed to keep the prominent Democrat in the
Army and he was relieved on January 8, 1865.
Battle of Fort Fisher II
The Second Battle of Fort Fisher was a joint assault by Union army and naval
forces against Fort Fisher, outside Wilmington, North Carolina, near the end of
the American Civil War.
Sometimes referred to as the "Gibraltar of the South" and the last major coastal
stronghold of the Confederacy, Fort Fisher had tremendous strategic value
during the war.
Wilmington was the last major port open to the confederacy. Ships leaving
Wilmington via the Cape Fear River and setting sail for the Bahamas, Bermuda
or Nova Scotia to trade cotton and tobacco for needed supplies from the British
were protected by the fort. Based on the Malakoff Tower in Sevastopol, Russia,
Fort Fisher was constructed mostly of earth and sand. This made absorbing the
pounding of heavy fire from Union ships more effective than older fortifications
constructed of mortar and bricks. Twenty-two guns faced the ocean while
twenty-five faced the land. The sea face guns were mounted on twelve foot high
batteries with larger, forty-five and sixty foot batteries at the southern end of the fort.
Underground passageways and bombproof rooms existed below the giant earthen
mounds of which the fort consisted.
The fortifications were able to keep Union ships from attacking the port of
Wilmington and the Cape Fear River. On December 24, 1864, Union forces under
Benjamin F. Butler launched a two-day attack, but were beaten back.
The loss of Fort Fisher sealed the fate of the Confederacy's last remaining sea port.
A month later, a Union army under General John M. Schofield would move up the
Cape Fear River and capture Wilmington.
On January 16th Union celebrations were dampened when the fort's magazine exploded
killing 104 Union soldiers that were sleeping on the roof of the magazine chamber.
William Lamb survived the battle but spent the next 7 years on crutches. General
Whiting was taken prisoner and died while in Federal captivity. Colonel Galusha
Pennypacker's wounds were thought to have been fatal and General Terry assured the
young man he would receive a brevet promotion to brigadier general. Pennypacker did
receive a brevet promotion as Terry had promised but on February 18, 1865 he received
a full promotion to brigadier general of volunteers at age 20. He remains the youngest
person to hold the rank of general in the U.S. Army. Newton Martin Curtis also received
a full promotion to brigadier general and both he and Pennypacker received the
Medal of Honor for their part in the battle. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton made
an unexpected visit to Fort Fisher where General Terry presented him with garrison's flag.
Battle of Fort Macon
The Battle of Fort Macon took place from March 23 – April 26, 1862, in Carteret
County, North Carolina, as part of Union Army General Ambrose E. Burnside's
North Carolina expedition during the American Civil War.
In late March, Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s army advanced on Fort Macon, a
third system casemated masonry fort that commanded the channel to Beaufort, 35
miles southeast of New Bern. The Union force invested the fort with siege works and,
on April 26, opened an accurate fire on the fort, which soon breached the masonry
walls. Within a few hours the fort's scarp began to collapse, and the Confederates
hoisted a white flag of surrender. This action demonstrated the inadequacy of masonry
forts against large-bore, rifled artillery.
The battle site is now Fort Macon State Park.
Battle of Goldsboro Bridge
The Battle of Goldsboro Bridge took place on December 17, 1862 in Wayne County,
North Carolina as part of the Union expedition to Goldsboro, North Carolina during the
American Civil War.
In December 1862, both the Union army and Confederate forces desired to secure the
strategically significant Wilmington and Weldon Railroad Bridge. On December 17,
an expedition under Union Brig. Gen. John G. Foster reached the railroad near
Everettsville, aiming to destroy this bridge in order to put an end to the vital supply
chain from the port of Wilmington. His men began destroying the tracks north toward
the Goldsborough Bridge. Clingman's Confederate brigade delayed the advance, but
was unable to prevent the destruction of the bridge. Foster's troops overpowered the
small amount of defending Confederate soldiers and successfully burned down the
bridge. His mission accomplished, Foster departed to return to their base at New Bern.
On their way back, Foster's men were again attacked by Confederate forces, but they
repulsed the assault, taking far less casualties than the enemy. Foster arrived at his
camp on December 20.
Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries
The Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries, also known as the Battle of Forts Clark and
Hatteras, took place from August 28-August 29, 1861 in Dare County, North Carolina,
as part of the Carolina Coast Blockade of the American Civil War.
On August 26, an amphibious Union expedition led by Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler
and Flag-Officer Silas Stringham, embarked from Fort Monroe to capture Hatteras Inlet,
an important haven for blockade-runners. On the 28th, while the navy bombarded Forts
Clark and Hatteras, Union troops came ashore and attacked the rear of the Confederate
batteries. On August 29, Col. William F. Martin surrendered the Confederate garrison of
670. The Federals lost only one man. Butler returned to Fort Monroe, leaving the
captured forts garrisoned. This movement was part of Union efforts to seize coastal
enclaves from which to enforce the blockade.
During the battle, the Cape Hatteras Light was damaged by Confederate artillery, and
retreating Confederate troops seized the fresnel lens. After the war, a new lighthouse
was built 600 feet inland.
Battle of Kinston
The Battle of Kinston was fought on December 14, 1862, in Lenoir County, North Carolina,
near the town of Kinston, as part of the Goldsboro Expedition of the American Civil War.
A Union expedition led by Brig. Gen. John G. Foster left New Bern in December to disrupt
the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad at Goldsborough. The advance was stubbornly
contested by Brig. Gen. Nathan Evans's brigade near Kinston Bridge on December 14, but
the Confederates were outnumbered and withdrew north of the Neuse River in the direction
of Goldsborough. Foster continued his movement the next day, taking the River Road,
south of the Neuse River.
Battle of Monroe's Cross Roads
The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads (also known as the Battle of Fayetteville Road,
and colloquially in the North as Kilpatrick's Shirttail Skedaddle) was a battle during the
Carolinas Campaign of the American Civil War in Cumberland County, North Carolina,
on the grounds of the present day Fort Bragg Military Reservation. Involving about 4,000
men, it pitted mounted Confederate cavalry against dismounted Union cavalry. It was one
of the last all-cavalry battles of the Civil War. The fighting lasted for several hours early on
the morning of March 10, 1865, and resulted in a minor Union victory, although the
Confederate attack delayed the Federal cavalry’s movement toward Fayetteville, denying
Brevet Maj. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick the honor of entering the town first.
The main Confederate dawn assault, under famed generals Wade Hampton and Joseph
Wheeler who were operating together for the first time, was against a poorly guarded and
sleeping Union camp. One of the goals (not fulfilled) was the capture of General Kilpatrick
himself, using a small elite squadron of hand-picked troopers. Kilpatrick, ensconced with
his mistress in a small log cabin near the farmhouse of Charles Monroe, managed to flee
the chaotic scene in his nightshirt, hiding for a period in a nearby swamp before regaining
his composure and reorganizing his troops. While initially routed, the Federal cavalry soon
recovered and counterattacked, eventually pressuring the Confederates to relinquish the
camp. Anticipating the approach of Union infantry, the Confederate commanders ordered
their troops to disengage from the action in the mid-morning. Hampton’s cavalry finally
withdrew in good order toward Fayetteville.
The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads gained the additional time needed for the Confederate
infantry to conduct an organized crossing of the Cape Fear River at Fayetteville unmolested
by the advancing Federals. With their troops and equipment east of the Cape Fear, the
Confederates burned the bridges as Union forces entered the city.
Battle of New Berne
The Battle of New Bern (also known as the Battle of New Berne) was fought on March
14, 1862, near the city of New Bern, North Carolina, as part of Burnside's North Carolina
Expedition of the American Civil War.
On March 11, Brigadier General Ambrose Burnside's command launched from Roanoke
Island to rendezvous with Union gunboats at Hatteras Inlet for an attack on New Bern.
The defending Confederate commander was Brigadier General Lawrence Branch. On
March 13, the fleet under the command of Louis M. Goldsborough made its way up
the Neuse River and disembarked on the river's south bank only a few miles from the
city's defenses. On March 14, three brigades under John G. Foster, Jesse L. Reno,
and John G. Parke attacked along the railroad and drove the Confederates out of their
fortifications after less than a half day of fighting. The Federals captured nine forts and
41 heavy guns. Despite several Confederate attempts to recover the town, it remained
an occupied Union base until the end of the war.
Battle of Plymouth
The Battle of Plymouth was an engagement during the American Civil War that was
fought from April 17 through April 20, 1864, in Washington County, North Carolina.
In a combined operation with the ironclad ram CSS Albemarle, Confederate forces
under Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hoke, attacked the Federal garrison at Plymouth, North
Carolina, on April 17. On April 19, the ram appeared in the river, sinking the USS
Southfield, damaging the USS Miami, and driving off the other Union Navy ships
supporting the Plymouth garrison. Confederate forces captured Fort Comfort, driving
defenders into Fort Williams. On April 20, the garrison surrendered.
Battle of Roanoke Island
The Battle of Roanoke Island, also known as the Battle of Fort Huger, took place
February 7–8, 1862, in Dare County, North Carolina, as part of Union Army Brigadier
General Ambrose E. Burnside's North Carolina expedition during the American Civil War.
On February 7, Burnside landed 7,500 men on the southwestern side of Roanoke
Island in an amphibious operation launched from Fort Monroe. The next morning,
supported by gunboats, the Federals assaulted the Confederate forts on the narrow
waist of the island, driving back and out-maneuvering Brig. Gen. Henry A. Wise's
outnumbered command. After losing less than 100 men, the Confederate commander
on the field, Col. H.M. Shaw, surrendered about 2,500 soldiers and 32 guns. Burnside
had secured an important outpost on the Atlantic Coast, tightening the blockade.
Battle of South Mills
The Battle of South Mills, also known as the Battle of Camden, took place on April 19,
1862 in Camden County, North Carolina as part of Union Army General Ambrose E.
Burnside's North Carolina expedition during the American Civil War.
Learning that the Confederates were building ironclads at Norfolk, Burnside planned an
expedition to destroy the Dismal Swamp Canal locks to prevent transfer of the ships to
Albemarle Sound. He entrusted the operation to Brig. Gen. Jesse L. Reno's command,
which embarked on transports from Roanoke Island on April 18. By midnight, the convoy
reached Elizabeth City and began disembarking troops. On the morning of April 19, Reno
marched north on the road to South Mills. At the crossroads a few miles below South
Mills, elements of Col. Ambrose R. Wright’s command delayed the Federals until dark.
Reno abandoned the expedition and withdrew during the night to the transports at
Elizabeth City. The transports carried Reno’s troops to New Bern where they arrived
on April 22.
Battle of Tranter's Creek
The Battle of Tranter's Creek took place on June 5, 1862 in Pitt County, North Carolina
as part of Union Army General Ambrose E. Burnside's North Carolina expedition during
the American Civil War.
On June 5, Col. Robert Potter, garrison commander at Washington, North Carolina,
ordered a reconnaissance in the direction of Pactolus. The 24th Massachusetts under
Lt. Col. F.A. Osborne, advanced to the bridge over Tranter’s Creek, where it encountered
the 44th North Carolina, under Col. George Singletary. Unable to force a crossing,
Osborne brought his artillery to bear on the mill buildings in which the Confederates
were barricaded. Colonel Singletary was killed in the bombardment, and his troops
retreated. The Federals did not pursue and returned to their fortifications at Washington.
Battle of Washington
The Battle of Washington took place from March 30 to April 20, 1863, in Beaufort
County, North Carolina, as part of Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's Tidewater
operations during the American Civil War.
While Longstreet operated against Suffolk, Maj. Gen. D. H. Hill's column moved
against the Federal garrison at Washington, North Carolina. By March 30, the town
was ringed with fortifications, but the Confederates were unable to shut off supplies
and reinforcements arriving by ship. After a week of confusion and mismanagement,
Hill was maneuvered out of his siegeworks and withdrew on April 15.
Battle of White Hall
The Battle of White Hall, also called the Battle of White Hall Ferry, took place on
December 16, 1862, in Wayne County, North Carolina, as part of the Union expedition
to Goldsboro, North Carolina, during the American Civil War.
On December 16, Brig. Gen. John G. Foster's Union troops reached White Hall where
Brig. Gen. Beverly Robertson's Confederate brigade was holding the north bank of the
Neuse River. The Federals demonstrated against the Confederates for much of the day,
attempting to fix them in position, while the main Union column continued toward the
Battle of Wilmington
The Battle of Wilmington was fought February 11–February 22, 1865, during the
American Civil War. It was a direct result of the Union victory at the Second Battle
of Fort Fisher.
After the fall of Fort Fisher, Wilmington, North Carolina, was effectively lost. The
city was 28 miles up the Cape Fear River from Fort Fisher and along the way was a
series of Confederate defenses. In February, 1865, the Union XXIII Corps arrived to
reinforce the Fort Fisher Expeditionary Corps. Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield took
command of the combined force and moved against the city.
Sugar Loaf Line
The Battle of Wilmington consisted of three smaller engagements along the Cape
Fear River. Confederate forces under General Robert Hoke occupied the Sugar Loaf
Line north of Fort Fisher. On February 11 Schofield attacked the Sugar Loaf Line
with Alfred Terry's corps and drove back the defenders. Next General Jacob D.
Cox's 3rd Division, XXIII Corps was ferried to the west bank of the Cape Fear River
to deal with Fort Anderson the main fortress guarding Wilmington.
Rear Admiral David D. Porter's gunboats sailed up the river and shelled Fort
Anderson silencing all 12 guns. Meanwhile Cox, supported by General Adelbert
Ames' division, advanced up the west bank towards the fort. Schofield depolyed two
brigades to occupy the garrison while Cox and Ames marched through the swamps
around the Confederate flank. The fort's commander, General Johnson Hagood
sensed the trap and evacuated the fort pulling back to a stronger defensive line
along Town Creek just south of Wilmington.
Cox pursued Hagood from Fort Anderson, and on February 19 caught up to the Town
Creek Line while Terry's remaining troops advanced up the east bank of the river. The
Confederates confronting Terry on the east bank actually outnumbered the Federals
and Ames' division crossed back to the east bank. Hagood had burned the only bridge
across Town Creek and entrenched on the north side of the river. On February 20 Cox's
troops found a single flat-bottom boat in the river and used it to cross the creek. Cox's
troops then waded through the swamp and attacked the Confederate flank routing them
and taking 375 prisoners and 2 pieces of artillery. The next day Cox rebuilt the destroyed
bridge and Schofield's artillery crossed and along with Porter's gunboats both were
within range of the city itself. General Bragg saw the hopelessness of the situation
and ordered the city abandoned. On February 22 Cox's division marched into the city.
The Battle of Wilmington closed the last major port of the Confederate States on the
Atlantic coast. Wilmington had served as a major port for blockade-runners, running
tobacco, cotton, and other goods to places such as Britain, the Bahamas, and Bermuda.
Now with the port closed, the Union blockade was complete. Bragg ordered bales of cotton
and tobacco burned so that they would not fall into Union hands. Schofield's forces
were reorganized into the Army of the Ohio and from Wilmington he marched inland to
join with the rest of General William T. Sherman's forces.
Battle of Wyse Fork
The Battle of Wyse Fork was a battle fought in the Carolinas Campaign of the
American Civil War, resulting in a Union army victory.
At the end of February 1865 the port city of Wilmington had fallen to Union troops
under the command of Major General John M. Schofield. Schofield was then to move
his forces inland from the coast and join with Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's forces
at Goldsboro, North Carolina, where three Union armies would move against a
Confederate army being gathered under Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston.
Schofield, with the units from Alfred Terry's Expeditionary Corps, moved north from
Wilmington, while Maj. Gen. Jacob D. Cox took his XXIII Corps division and sailed
up the coast and landed at New Bern, North Carolina.
At New Bern, the Union forces were increased to three divisions and formed into a
Provisional Corps with Cox in command. Moving towards Goldsboro, the Union
forces repaired the railroad which was to function as a supply route for Sherman's
Army Group. Johnston's army was too far away to move against Schofield's divided
forces, but General Braxton Bragg's forces, falling back from Wilmington, were within
striking distance. Bragg moved against Cox near Kinston.
On March 7, Federal advance units encountered Bragg's entrenched forces along
Southwest Creek east of Kinston. Bragg's position not only blocked Cox's path but
threatened a vital cross road and the New Bern-Goldsboro Railroad. Cox saw the
importance of this position and moved forward the divisions of Brigadier General
Innis N. Palmer to protect the railroad and Maj. Gen. Samuel P. Carter to protect
the roads. Bragg's forces were also reinforced by veterans from the Army of
Tennessee and the North Carolina Junior Reserves, all under the command of
General D.H. Hill. Reinforced, Bragg went on the offensive and sent a division
under North Carolina native Robert Hoke into the Union left flank. Hoke's attack
hit a New England brigade in Carter's division, capturing an entire regiment. Hill
joined the advance with the Junior Reserves but they panicked and refused to go
any further. Hill left them behind and moved on with his veterans, hitting the Union
brigade and defeating it. Disaster threatened the Union flank when Bragg stopped
Hill's advance and sent him far to the north to counterattack a Union threat. When
Hill arrived he found no Federals in sight. At this time Cox, who had been away
from the front lines, returned and moved up his reserve division under Maj. Gen.
Thomas H. Ruger to plug the gap between Palmer and Carter.
Skirmishing continued for the next few days until Hoke tried again to turn the
Federal left flank on March 10. The Federal position had been strongly fortified by
artillery and repulsed Hoke's attack within an hour. Hill then moved against the
Union center but again Federal artillery proved decisive and the attackers were
repulsed. The remaining elements from the Federal XXIII Corps, which had just
arrived in New Bern from Tennessee, were moving on Kinston. Facing five Union
divisions, Bragg withdrew.
Bragg had only momentarily been able to check Cox's advance. Schofield's
forces reached two full corps and were organized into the Army of the Ohio.
Sherman's armies, which had just defeated Johnston's army at Bentonville,
joined with Schofield at Goldsboro on March 23. Facing three Union armies,
Johnston retreated to the north and on April 26 Johnston surrendered to Sherman.
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