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

Last Stand At Wilmington

The Forks Road Engagement

 

—Confederate Lifeline —

 
Last Stand At Wilmington CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 11, 2010
1. Last Stand At Wilmington CWT Marker
Inscription. Here, in the earthworks in front of you, Confederate Gen. Robert F. Hoke’s troops made a stand on February 20-21, 1865. They were attempting to halt the Union army’s advance on Wilmington, the Confederacy’s principal seaport. Blockade runners, together with the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, formed a supply lifeline essential to the survival of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. That lifeline had been disrupted on January 15, when Fort Fisher, at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, fell to Union army and navy forces. Four weeks later, the Federals headed for Wilmington to take control of the river and the railroads to supply Gen. William T. Sherman’s army, which was marching northward through the Carolinas to join Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s forces in Virginia.

Hoke fought delaying actions as he withdrew up the east side of the Cape Fear River, with Union Gen. Alfred H. Terry’s troops in pursuit. On the afternoon of February 20, they engaged Hoke’s rear guard—Gen. Thomas L. Clingman’s brigade and the Wilmington Horse Artillery—here at Forks Road, then three miles south of Wilmington. The entrenched Confederates repulsed Col. Elias Wright’s brigade of U.S. Colored Troops (including 5th U.S.C.T.), inflicting more than fifty casualties from rifle and cannon fire. Retreating a short distance south, the Federals
Fork Roads Engagement image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 11, 2010
2. Fork Roads Engagement
dug in and returned fire for about thirty-four hours. Hoke’s men retreated before dawn on February 22, and Union forces occupied Wilmington, so vital to the Confederate supply line. Six weeks later, Lee evacuated Richmond and Petersburg and the surrendered on April 9. Wilmington’s fall thereby hastened the downfall of the Confederacy.

(sidebar)
Sometimes during the Civil War, “brother against brother” was literally, as well as figuratively, true. Here at Forks Road, Confederate Corp. Hosea Lewis Horne, Wilmington Horse Artillery, fought against brother, Corp. Jacob Horne, 2nd North Carolina Infantry (U.S.). The brothers, who had stopped off separately top visit their parents at the family home nearby, survived the war and returned to New Hanover County to live.

(sidebar)
In 2002, thanks to a generous donation from the Cameron family, this site became home to the Cameron Art Museum, with the stipulation that the Civil War fortifications be preserved. In keeping with its mission to educate the public, the Cameron Art Museum is committed to maintaining and preserving this historic site for future generations.
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location.
Participants in the battle image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 11, 2010
3. Participants in the battle
34° 11.091′ N, 77° 54.892′ W. Marker is near Wilmington, North Carolina, in New Hanover County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of South 17th Street and Independence Boulevard. Click for map. This marker is located northeast of the visitor parking lot of the Cameron Art Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3201 South 17th Street, Wilmington NC 28412, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fall of Wilmington (approx. 0.6 miles away); North Carolina Shipbuilding Co. (approx. 1.2 miles away); State Salt Works (approx. 2.3 miles away); Edwin A. Anderson (approx. 2.6 miles away); Cassidey Shipyard (approx. 3.5 miles away); Alex Manly (approx. 3.6 miles away); Gregory Normal Institute (approx. 3.6 miles away); Edward B. Dudley (approx. 3.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Wilmington.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left are photos of battle participants: "Gen. Robert F. Hoke" Courtesy Library of Congress; "Col. Elias Wright" Courtesy U.S. Army Military History Institute; "Sgt. Powhatan Beaty, 5th U.S.C.T." Courtesy Library of Congress

On the upper right sidebar is a photo of "Corp. Hosea Lewis Horne" Courtesy Chris E. Fonvielle, Jr.
 
Also see . . .
Corp. Hosea Lewis Horne image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 11, 2010
4. Corp. Hosea Lewis Horne

1. Coastal North Carolina - Wilmington and area. North Carolina Civil War Trails (Submitted on March 15, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Cameron Art Museum - Civil War Historic Site. (Submitted on March 15, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
3. Fort Fisher. North Carolina Historic Sites (Submitted on March 15, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

4. “The Stonewall of Forks Road”. General Robert F. Hoke and the Battle of Forks Road, February 20-21, 1865. Cape Fear Historical Institute (Submitted on March 18, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Last Stand At Wilmington Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 11, 2010
5. Last Stand At Wilmington Marker
Last Stand At Wilmington Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 11, 2010
6. Last Stand At Wilmington Marker
Earthworks image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 11, 2010
7. Earthworks
"Thank God we stand here today as friends" image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 11, 2010
8. "Thank God we stand here today as friends"
Lt. Commander James Parker, US Navy, to Colonel William Lamb, Confederate commander of Fort Fisher, at 1903 reunion of Civil war veterans. Meditation path in memory of William Benjamin Berry III given by the Belk Foundation
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,440 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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