Siege of Washington

Siege of Washington (HM1C52)

Location: Washington, NC 27889 Beaufort County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 32.434', W 77° 3.254'

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March 30 - April 20, 1863

To protect Confederate supply lines and to gather much-need provisions in eastern North Carolina, Gen. Daniel H. Hill planned demonstrations against Union-occupied New Bern and Washington in March 1863. He acted under orders from Gen. James Longstreet, whom Gen. Robert E. Lee had appointed commander of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina. After Hill's expedition to New Bern ended with no result, he marched to Washington and, on March 30, besieged the town and its Federal garrison. Union forces had held Washington since March 20, 1862, just five days after it captured New Bern.

The Confederates occupied Fort Hill, located five miles down the Pamlico River, and kept Washington from being reinforced with holding a small armada of Federal warships at bay. Action across the river at Rodman's Quarter stayed lively as the town was bombarded and the Confederate cannons dueled with the gunboats Commodore Hull, Louisiana, Eagle, and Ceres. Gen. Francis B. Spinola and his 8,000 troops tried to take Fort Hill from the Confederate forces but was repulsed on April 9 at the Battle of Blount's Creek.

Union reinforcements ended the siege on April 20, as Lee recalled Hill to Virginia. Supplies had been obtained, the Federals at Washington and New Bern had been kept occupied, and soon the Battle of Gettysburg would await both sides.

(lower left) Rebel batteries and the National defenses during the siege of Washington, N.C.

(upper right) "Shelling of rebel batteries in the woods opposite Washington, N.C. April 16, 1863." Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, May 16, 1863

(lower right) "Siege of Washington, N.C. — Effect of two shells, fired at the same, on a rebel cotton battery, opposite Washington , N.C. April 12, 1863." Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, May 16, 1863
HM NumberHM1C52
Series This marker is part of the North Carolina Civil War Trails series
Placed ByNorth Carolina Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 3:05pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 313775 N 3934933
Decimal Degrees35.54056667, -77.05423333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 32.434', W 77° 3.254'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 32' 26.04" N, 77° 3' 15.24" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)252, 919
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 201-299 E Water St, Washington NC 27889, US
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