Civil War Battles in North Carolina

All Civil War battles in North Carolina. They are in the order in which they occurred during the war.

Civil War Battles in North Carolina

Civil War Battles in North Carolina


Hatteras Inlet Batteries

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: Forts Clark and Hatteras

Location: Dare County

Campaign: Blockade of the Carolina Coast (August-December 1861)

Date(s): August 28-29, 1861

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler [US]; Col. William F. Martin [CS]

Forces Engaged: 9th and 20th New York regiments (est. 2,000) [US]; Hatteras Island Garrison (900) [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 773 total (US 3; CS 770)

Description: On August 26, an amphibious expedition led by Maj. Gen. Benjamin 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.

Result(s): Union victory


Roanoke Island

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: Fort Huger

Location: Dare County

Campaign: Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition (January-July 1862)

Date(s): February 7-8, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside [US]; Brig. Gen. Henry Wise [CS]

Forces Engaged: 10,500 total (US 7,500; CS 3,000)

Estimated Casualties: 2,907 total (US 37K/214W/13M; CS 23K/58W/62M/2,500 captured)

Description: On February 7, Brig. Gen. Ambrose E. 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 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.

Result(s): Union victory


New Berne

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: None

Location: Craven County

Campaign: Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition (January-July 1862)

Date(s): March 14, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside [US]; Brig. Gen. Lawrence O’B. Branch [CS]

Forces Engaged: Expeditionary Force and Foster’s, Reno’s, and Parke’s Brigades [US]; 5 regiments, militia [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 1,080 total

Description: On March 11, Brig. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s command embarked from Roanoke Island to rendezvous with Union gunboats at Hatteras Inlet for an expedition against New Berne. On March 13, the fleet sailed up the Neuse River and disembarked infantry on the river’s south bank to approach the New Berne defenses. The Confederate defense was commanded by Brig. Gen. Lawrence Branch. On March 14, John G. Foster’s, Jesse Reno’s, and John G. Parke’s brigades attacked along the railroad and after four hours of fighting drove the Confederates out of their fortifications. The Federals captured nine forts and 41 heavy guns and occupied a base which they would hold to the end of the war, in spite of several Confederate attempts to recover the town.

Result(s): Union victory


Fort Macon

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: None

Location: Carteret County

Campaign: Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition (January-July 1862)

Date(s): March 23-April 26, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. John G. Parke [US]; Lt. Col. Moses J. White [CS]

Forces Engaged: Parke’s Division of Department of North Carolina, 3rd Division [US]; Fort Macon Garrison [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 490 total (US 10; CS 480)

Description: 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 Berne. 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. This action demonstrated the inadequacy of masonry forts against large-bore, rifled artillery.

Result(s): Union victory


South Mills

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: Camden

Location: Camden County

Campaign: Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition (January-July 1862)

Date(s): April 19, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Jesse Lee Reno [US]; Col. Ambrose Wright [CS]

Forces Engaged: 21st Massachusetts and 51st Pennsylvania [US]; 3rd Georgia [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 150 total

Description: 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 Lee 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 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 Berne where they arrived on April 22.

Result(s): Inconclusive (Federals withdrew.)


Tranter’s Creek

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: None

Location: Pitt County

Campaign: Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition (January-July 1862)

Date(s): June 5, 1862

Principal Commanders: Lt. Col. F.A. Osborne [US]; Col. George Singletary [CS]

Forces Engaged: Regiments

Estimated Casualties: 40 total

Description: 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.

Result(s): Union victory


Kinston

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: None

Location: Lenoir County

Campaign: Goldsborough Expedition (December 1862)

Date(s): December 14, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. John G. Foster [US]; Brig. Gen. Nathan Evans [CS]

Forces Engaged: Department of North Carolina, 1st Division [US]; Evans’s Brigade [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 685 total

Description: A Union expedition led by Brig. Gen. John G. Foster left New Berne in December to disrupt the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad at Goldsborough. The advance was stubbornly contested by 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.

Result(s): Union victory


White Hall

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: Whitehall, White Hall Ferry

Location: Wayne County

Campaign: Goldsborough Expedition (December 1862)

Date(s): December 16, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. John G. Foster [US]; Brig. Gen. Beverly Robertson [CS]

Forces Engaged: Amory’s and Stevenson’s Brigades [US]; Robertson’s Brigade [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 150 total

Description: On December 16, Foster’s Union troops reached White Hall where Beverly Robertson’s 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 railroad.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Goldsborough Bridge

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: None

Location: Wayne County

Campaign: Goldsborough Expedition (December 1862)

Date(s): December 17, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. John G. Foster [US]; Brig. Gen. Thomas Clingman [CS]

Forces Engaged: Department of North Carolina, 1st Division [US]; Clingman’s Brigade [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 220 total

Description: On December 17, Foster’s expedition reached the railroad near Everettsville and 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. His mission accomplished, Foster returned to New Berne where he arrived on the 20th.

Result(s): Union victory


Fort Anderson

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: Deep Gully

Location: Craven County

Campaign: Longstreet’s Tidewater Operations (February-May 1863)

Date(s): March 13-15, 1863

Principal Commanders: Lt. Col. Hiram Anderson [US]; Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill [CS]

Forces Engaged: 1st Division, XVIII Corps [US]; Hill’s Division [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 7 total

Description: Lt. Gen. James Longstreet took charge of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina on February 25 and initiated his Tidewater Operations. He directed D.H. Hill, commander of the North Carolina District, to advance on the Union stronghold of New Berne with about 12,000 men. Maj. Gen. William H.T. 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 14-15. 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.

Result(s): Union victory


Washington

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: None

Location: Beaufort County

Campaign: Longstreet’s Tidewater Operations (February-May 1863)

Date(s): March 30-April 20, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. John G. Foster [US]; Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill [CS]

Forces Engaged: 6 regiments and artillery units [US]; Hill’s Division [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 100 total

Description: While Longstreet operated against Suffolk, D.H. Hill’s column moved against the Federal garrison of 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.

Result(s): Inconclusive (Confederates withdrew.)


Plymouth

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: None

Location: Washington County

Campaign: Operations against Plymouth (April-May 1864)

Date(s): April 17-20, 1864

Principal Commanders: Col. Henry W. Wessells [US]; Maj. Gen. R.F. Hoke [CS]

Forces Engaged: Plymouth Garrison (4 infantry and artillery units) [US]; Hoke’s Division [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 2,834 total

Description: In a combined operation with the CSS ram Albemarle, Confederate forces under Maj. Gen. R.F. Hoke, attacked the Federal garrison at Plymouth on April 17. On April 19, the ram appeared in the river, sinking the Smithfield, damaging the Miami, and driving off the other Union ships supporting the Plymouth garrison. Confederate forces captured Fort Comfort, driving defenders into Fort Williams. On the 20th, the garrison surrendered.

Result(s): Confederate victory


Albemarle Sound

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: None

Location: Chowan County and Washington County

Campaign: Operations against Plymouth (April-May 1864)

Date(s): May 5, 1864

Principal Commanders: Capt. Melancton Smith [US]; Cdr. J.W. Cooke [CS]

Forces Engaged: 9 gunboats [US]; Confederate ram [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 88 total

Description: On May 5, CSS Albemarle fought seven blockading Union ships to a draw at the mouth of the Roanoke River. Federals recaptured the converted steamer Bombshell. USS Sassacus was badly damaged.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Fort Fisher

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: None

Location: New Hanover County

Campaign: Expedition against Fort Fisher (December 1864)

Date(s): December 7-27, 1864

Principal Commanders: Rear Adm. David D. Porter and Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler [US]; Maj. Gen. Robert Hoke [CS]

Forces Engaged: Expeditionary Corps, Army of the James [US]; Hoke’s Division and Fort Fisher Garrison [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 320 total

Description: Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler was relieved of command of the Army of the James and assigned to lead an amphibious expedition against Fort Fisher, which protected Wilmington, the South’s last open seaport on the Atlantic coast. Learning that large numbers of Union troops had embarked from Hampton Roads on December 13, Lee dispatched Hoke’s Division to meet the expected attack on Fort Fisher. On December 24, the Union fleet under Rear Adm. David D. Porter arrived to begin shelling the fort. An infantry division disembarked from transports to test the fort’s defenses. The Federal assault on the fort had already begun when Hoke approached, discouraging further Union attempts. Butler called off the expedition on December 27 and returned to Fort Monroe.

Result(s): Confederate victory


Fort Fisher

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: None

Location: New Hanover County

Campaign: Operations against Fort Fisher and Wilmington (January-February 1865)

Date(s): January 13-15, 1865

Principal Commanders: Rear Adm. David D. Porter and Maj. Gen. Alfred Terry [US]; Gen. Braxton Bragg, Maj. Gen. Robert Hoke, and Col. Charles Lamb [CS]

Forces Engaged: Expeditionary Corps, Army of the James [US]; Hoke’s Division and Fort Fisher Garrison [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 2,000 total

Description: After the failure of his December expedition against Fort Fisher, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler was relieved of command. Maj. Gen. Alfred Terry was placed in command of a Provisional Corps, including Paine’s Division of U.S. Colored Troops, and supported by a naval force of nearly 60 vessels, to renew operations against the fort. After a preliminary bombardment directed by Rear Adm. David D. Porter on January 13, Union forces landed and prepared an attack on Maj. Gen. Robert Hoke’s infantry line. On the 15th, a select force moved on the fort from the rear. A valiant attack late in the afternoon, following the bloody repulse of a naval landing party carried the parapet. The Confederate garrison surrendered, opening the way for a Federal thrust against Wilmington, the South’s last open seaport on the Atlantic coast.

Result(s): Union victory


Wilmington

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: Fort Anderson, Town Creek, Forks Road, Sugar Loaf Hill

Location: New Hanover County

Campaign: Operations against Fort Fisher and Wilmington (January-February 1865)

Date(s): February 12-22, 1865

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. John Schofield [US]; Gen. Braxton Bragg [CS]

Forces Engaged:Cox’s, Ames’s, and Paine’s Divisions (12,000) [US]; Hoke’s Division, Hagood’s Brigade (6,600) [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 1,150 total

Description: With the fall of Fort Fisher to Maj. Gen. Alfred Terry’s and Rear Adm. David Porter’s combined operation on January 15, Wilmington’s days were numbered. About 6,600 Confederate troops under Maj. Gen. Robert Hoke held Fort Anderson and a line of works that prevented the Federals from advancing up the Cape Fear River. Early February, the XXIII Corps arrived at Fort Fisher, and Maj. Gen. John Schofield took command of the Union forces. Schofield now began a series of maneuvers to force the Confederates to abandon their defenses. On February 16, Jacob Cox’s division ferried across the river to confront Fort Anderson, while Porter’s gunboats bombarded the fort.

On February 17-18, Ames’s division conducted a wide flanking march to get in the fort’s rear. Seeing the trap ready to close, the Confederates evacuated Fort Anderson during the night of the 18th-19th, withdrawing to Town Creek to form a new defensive line. The next day, this line collapsed to increasing Federal pressures. During the night of February 21-22, Gen. Braxton Bragg ordered the evacuation of Wilmington, burning cotton, tobacco, and government stores.

Result(s): Union victory


Wyse Fork

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: Wilcox’s Bridge, Wise’s Fork, Second Kinston, Second Southwest Creek, Kelly’s Mill Pond

Location: Lenoir County

Campaign: Campaign of the Carolinas (February-April 1865)

Date(s): March 7-10, 1865

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. John Schofield [US]; Gen. Braxton Bragg [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions: 20,500 total (US 12,000; CS 8,500)

Estimated Casualties: 2,601 total (US 1,101; CS 1,500)

Description: Schofield planned to advance inland from Wilmington in February, at the same time assigning Maj. Gen. Jacob Cox to direct Union forces from New Berne toward Goldsboro. On March 7, Cox’s advance was stopped by Hoke’s and Hagood’s divisions under Gen. Braxton Bragg’s command at Southwest Creek below Kinston. On the 8th, the Confederates attempted to seize the initiative by attacking the Union flanks. After initial success, the Confederate attacks stalled because of faulty communications. On March 9, the Union forces were reinforced and beat back Bragg’s renewed attacks on the 10th after heavy fighting. Bragg withdrew across the Neuse River and was unable to prevent the fall of Kinston on March 14.

Result(s): Union victory


Monroe’s Cross

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: Fayetteville Road, Blue’s Farm

Location: Hoke County

Campaign: Campaign of the Carolinas (February-April 1865)

Date(s): March 10, 1865

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick [US]; Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler and Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton [CS]

Forces Engaged: Kilpatrick’s Cavalry Division (1,850) [US]; Wheeler’s and Hampton’s Cavalry Division (3,000) [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 269 total (US 183; CS 86)

Description: As Sherman’s army advanced into North Carolina, Kilpatrick’s Cavalry Division screened its left flank. On the evening of March 9, two of Kilpatrick’s brigades encamped near the Charles Monroe House in Cumberland (now Hoke) County. Early on the 10th, Confederate cavalry under the command of Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton surprised the Federals in their camps, driving them back in confusion and capturing wagons and artillery. The Federals regrouped and counterattacked, regaining their artillery and camps after a desperate fight. With Union reinforcements on the way, the Confederates withdrew.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Averasborough

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: Taylor’s Hole Creek, Smithville, Smiths Ferry, Black River

Location: Harnett County and Cumberland County

Campaign: Campaign of the Carolinas (February-April 1865)

Date(s): March 16, 1865

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Henry Slocum [US]; Lt. Gen. William Hardee [CS]

Forces Engaged: XX Corps and XIV Corps (25,992) [US]; Hardee’s Corps (5,400) [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 1,419 total

Description: On the afternoon of March 15, Judson Kilpatrick’s cavalry came up against Lt. Gen. William Hardee’s corps’ consisting of Taliaferro’s and McLaw’s infantry divisions and Wheeler’s dismounted cavalry deployed across the Raleigh Road near Smithville. After feeling out the Confederate defenses, Kilpatrick withdrew and called for infantry support. During the night, four divisions of the XX Corps arrived to confront the Confederates. At dawn, March 16, the Federals advanced on a division front, driving back skirmishers, but they were stopped by the main Confederate line and a counterattack. Mid-morning, the Federals renewed their advance with strong reinforcements and drove the Confederates from two lines of works, but were repulsed at a third line. Late afternoon, the Union XIV Corps began to arrive on the field but was unable to deploy before dark due to the swampy ground. Hardee retreated during the night after holding up the Union advance for nearly two days.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Bentonville

Civil War battles in North Carolina

Other Names: Bentonsville

Location: Johnston County

Campaign: Campaign of the Carolinas (February-April 1865)

Date(s): March 19-21, 1865

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and Maj. Gen. Henry Slocum [US]; Gen. Joseph E. Johnston [CS]

Forces Engaged: Sherman’s Right Wing (XX and XIV Corps) [US]; Johnston’s Army [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 4,738 total (US 1,646; CS 3,092)

Description: While Slocum’s advance was stalled at Averasborough by Hardee’s troops, the right wing of Sherman’s army under command of Maj. Gen. O.O. Howard marched toward Goldsborough. On March 19, Slocum encountered the entrenched Confederates of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston who had concentrated to meet his advance at Bentonville. Late afternoon, Johnston attacked, crushing the line of the XIV Corps. Only strong counterattacks and desperate fighting south of the Goldsborough Road blunted the Confederate offensive. Elements of the XX Corps were thrown into the action as they arrived on the field. Five Confederate attacks failed to dislodge the Federal defenders and darkness ended the first day’s fighting. During the night, Johnston contracted his line into a V to protect his flanks with Mill Creek to his rear. On March 20, Slocum was heavily reinforced, but fighting was sporadic. Sherman was inclined to let Johnston retreat. On the 21st, however, Johnston remained in position while he removed his wounded. Skirmishing heated up along the entire front.

In the afternoon, Maj. Gen. Joseph Mower led his Union division along a narrow trace that carried it across Mill Creek into Johnston’s rear. Confederate counterattacks stopped Mower’s advance, saving the army’s only line of communication and retreat. Mower withdrew, ending fighting for the day. During the night, Johnston retreated across the bridge at Bentonville. Union forces pursued at first light, driving back Wheeler’s rearguard and saving the bridge. Federal pursuit was halted at Hannah’s Creek after a severe skirmish. Sherman, after regrouping at Goldsborough, pursued Johnston toward Raleigh. On April 18, Johnston signed an armistice with Sherman at the Bennett House, and on April 26, formally surrendered his army.

Result(s): Union victory

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