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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Kinston in Lenoir County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

First Battle of Kinston

Harriet's Chapel

 

óFoster's Raid ó

 
Battle of Kinston Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 20, 2009
1. Battle of Kinston Marker
Inscription. The yellow sidebar in the upper left provides a brief background: Late in 1862, Union Gen. John G. Fosterís 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. Burnsideís attack at Fredericksburg, Virginia. Fosterís force consisted of 10,000 infantry, 650 cavalry, and 40 cannons.

As Foster approached Kinston on December 13, he encountered Confederate defensive 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 strategically withdrew to earthworks here and prepared for Fosterís second attack, which came about 9 a.m. on December 14.

Evans entrenched about 2,000 North Carolinians and South Carolinians here in a semi-circle extending about a mile from the river on your right to a swamp across Wilmington Road to your left. About 800 feet of the earthworks survive nearby. You are standing near the site of Harrietís Chapel in the center of the Confederate line, where a section of Starrís Battery and Col. James D. Radcliffeís 61st North Carolina Infantry stood. Because Harrietís Chapel was a prominent
Commanding Generals during the Battle of Kinston image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 20, 2009
2. Commanding Generals during the Battle of Kinston
Gen. John G. Foster (USA) and Gen. Nathan G. Evans (CSA). Photographs provided for the marker courtesy of the Library of Congress and the Libary of Virginia, respectively.
feature on the landscape, it became “the principal point of attack” for Fosterís troops as they advanced across the ground behind you. Supported by heavy artillery fire, the Federals broke through the Confederate left flank. Evans ordered a retreat to Kinston across the Jones bridge (which stood just downstream from the modern one) and fired the span. 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 left for Goldsboro the next morning, destroying the remains of the bridge.

“At about 8 oíclock that night [December 13] we quietly stole away through swamp, mud, and water to Harrietís Chapel. It was a bitter cold night and all the boys were half frozen, hungry, and worn out, and yet no word of complaint was murmured through the lines of these splendid Tar Heel heroes. When we bivouacked we were in hearing of the enemy, and we had no campfires till past midnight.” – Col. Peter Mallett, N.C. Battalion, postwar reminiscence
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 14.539′ N, 77° 35.275′ 
Battlemaps on the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 20, 2009
3. Battlemaps on the Marker
Approximate route of Gen. John G. Fosterís raid from New Bern to Goldsboro, December 1862.
(Inset) Battle of Kinston December 13 -1 4, 1862.
W. Marker is in Kinston, North Carolina, in Lenoir County. Marker is on Richlands Road (U.S. 258) 0.2 miles south of New Bern Road (U.S. 70), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kinston NC 28504, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Kinston Battlefield Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Fighting at Harriet's Chapel (within shouting distance of this marker); The Night of December 13, 1862 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Site of Harriet's Chapel (within shouting distance of this marker); Caring for the Wounded (within shouting distance of this marker); The Confederate Defenses of Kinston (within shouting distance of this marker); Wessells' Advance—December 14, 1862 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Center of the Confederate Line (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Kinston.
 
More about this marker. This marker is Tour Stop 9 on the 1st Battle of Kinston Battlefield Trail.

The small print note at the lower right of the marker reads: Major funding for this project was provided by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, through the Transportation Enhancement Program of the Federal Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Battle of Kinston Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 20, 2009
4. Battle of Kinston Marker
Confederate Right Flank image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 7, 2010
5. Confederate Right Flank
Looking from the marker location to the west. Much of the location occupied by the Confederate right flank is today part of an old tobacco warehouse.
Confederate Center and Federal Approach image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 7, 2010
6. Confederate Center and Federal Approach
Portions of the Confederate center are still undeveloped. Plans are to turn this section into a battlefield park.
Kinston Battlefield Park image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 7, 2010
7. Kinston Battlefield Park
Local preservation groups are developing the site as a battlefield park.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,207 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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