The Action in the Swamp

The Action in the Swamp (HM1C3F)

Location: Kinston, NC 28504 Lenoir County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 14.467', W 77° 35.267'

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Harriet's Chapel Battlefield Park

— Battle of Kinston Military Park —

A large swamp separated the advancing Union army and the Confederate defenders one-half mile north. Described by one Union soldier as, "difficult to cross, and densely covered with a growth of small trees and pine," the swamp slowed the Union advance and provided cover for the Confederates.

Gen. Henry Wessell's infantry waded into the swamp, determined to reach the Confederate line. It was an action the Confederate engineers who designed the defenses did not anticipate.

A solder in the 45th Massachusetts wrote: "We quickly found ourselves in the midst of a regular North Carolina swamp, which in ordinary times would be considered impenetrable. Mud and water waist deep, how much deep none stopped to see, roots to trip the careless foot, briars innumerable to make havoc with our clothes?" In spite of the harsh conditions, Wessells extended and strengthened his line while taking heavy fire from the Confederates.

The swamp that tried the Union troops protected the Confederates. Thick trees and underbrush masked the Confederate positions, making it difficult for the Federals to fire accurately. Capt. William H. Edwards, 17th South Carolina, observed: "The Yankee advance was greatly obstructed by the swamp, and their fire upon our lines was very heavy and continuous, but fortunately for us they could not see our position and they were firing above us all the time."

(left) "Mud and water waist deep, how much deeper none stopped to see?"
(center) Col. Charles R. Codman, right, commanded the 45th Massachusetts at Kinston.
HM NumberHM1C3F
Placed ByBattle of Kinston Military Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 at 9:09pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 264528 N 3902852
Decimal Degrees35.24111667, -77.58778333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 14.467', W 77° 35.267'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 14' 28.02" N, 77° 35' 16.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)252
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1422 Richlands Rd, Kinston NC 28504, US
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