Battle of Kinston

Battle of Kinston (HMKE9)

Location: Kinston, NC 28504 Lenoir County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 14.719', W 77° 35.012'

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Confederates Retreat Across Jones Bridge

— Foster's Raid —

(Preface): Late in 1862, Union Gen. John G. Foster's garrison was well entrenched in New Bern and made several incursions into the countryside. On December 11, Foster led a raid from New Bern to burn the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad Bridge over the Neuse River at Goldsboro and to demonstrate in support of Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside's attack at Fredericksburg, Virginia. Foster's force consisted of 10,000 infantry, 650 cavalry, and 40 cannons.

On December 12, 1862, Foster encountered Confederate forces under Gen. Nathan G. Evans six miles southwest of here at Woodington on the Wilmington Road (present-day U.S. Route 258). After a fierce fight, Evans withdrew to earthworks just south of here and prepared for Foster's second attack, which came about 9 a.m. on December 14. Foster soon turned Evans's left flank, and the Confederates retreated across Jones Bridge over the Neuse River, just downstream from the modern bridge. In the smoke and confusion of battle, Evans mistakenly thought all of his men had crossed the bridge and set it afire in several places, isolating part of his command and burning several of the wounded. The Federals were in such close pursuit that they captured more than 400 of Evans's men.

Some of the retreating Confederates had dropped their loaded muskets on the bridge, where they exploded as the flames reached them. As Evans's men re-formed in earthworks across the river, Federal batteries opened fire on them. Union soldiers rushed onto the burning bridge despite the exploding muskets and extinguished the flames. The Confederates retreated through town, abandoning their artillery, and the battle ended. After a brief stand on the north side of Kinston, Evans withdrew his troops. Foster and his men spent the night of December 14 in Kinston and departed for Goldsboro the next morning. They re-crossed the bridge to the south side of the river, burned the bridge behind them, and marched down the road to Whitehall.

"At the bridge I intended to make another stand, but on approaching it found it on fire and crowded with men endeavoring to cross. A panic ensued. The enemy pressed upon us from two directions at double quick in large force and the bridge the only means of escape. The greater portion of my command succeeded in crossing while the others were driven back by the flames." - Confederate Col. Peter Mallett
HM NumberHMKE9
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 23rd, 2014 at 4:32pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 264927 N 3903307
Decimal Degrees35.24531667, -77.58353333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 14.719', W 77° 35.012'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 14' 43.14" N, 77° 35' 0.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)252
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1303 S Queen St, Kinston NC 28504, US
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