Tarboro in Edgecombe County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Occupation of Tarboro
“All were burned ...”
—Potter's Raid —
On July 20, 1863, after bivouacking in the village of Sparta south of here, Gen. Edward E. Potter occupied Tarboro with a battalion of New York cavalrymen. A wealthy Tar River town and trading center surrounded by productive plantations, Tarboro played a pivotal role in providing foodstuffs, medicine, and military supplies to Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Potter later reported that he "found an iron-clad on the stocks and two steamboats on the river. The iron-clad [similar to the ram Albemarle] was of the Merrimac model, and her frame was very heavy and solid. All were burned, together with some railroad cars, 100 bales of cotton, [and] quartermaster's subsistence, and ordinance stores." Soldiers plundered private homes, the Masonic Lodge, the Bank of Tarboro, and other businesses for valuables. The Federals marched
The historic town common was laid out when Tarboro was incorporated in 1760. During the Civil War, two Confederate hospitals stood here in the old Male and Female Academies, as well as a Confederate prison stockade for Union soldiers captured at the Battle of Plymouth in April 1864. The Wyatt Fountain here was erected after the war in honor of Pvt. Henry Lawson Wyatt, a Tarboro resident. Killed at the Battle of Big Bethel on June 10, 1861, he became the first North Carolinian known to have died in battle during the war.
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 54.002′ N, 77° 32.147′ W. Marker is in Tarboro, North Carolina, in Edgecombe County. Marker is on East Wilson Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Located in the town commons. Marker is in this post office area: Tarboro NC 27886, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking Edgecombe County Confederate Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Town Common (within shouting distance of this marker); Washington's Southern Tour (within shouting distance of this marker); U.S.S. Maine Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); John C. Dancy (approx. 0.2 miles away); Henry T. Clark (approx. 0.2 miles away); John Spencer Bassett (approx. 0.2 miles away); W.D. Pender (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Tarboro.
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photo of the Civil War-era Edgecombe Courthouse, demolished 1963. In the lower center is a map of Potter's Raid from New Bern to Rocky Mount and Tarboro. Above the map is a portrait of Gen. Potter. In the sidebar is a portrait of Henry Lawson Wyatt.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Memorial at the site where Private Wyatt was killed.
Also see . . .
1. Historic Tarboro. Website featuring the city's historic sites. (Submitted on May 23, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Henry Lawson Wyatt. Grave entry for Wyatt, who is cited as the first North Carolinian to die in battle during the Civil War. (Submitted on May 23, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
3. Would the First Real KIA Please Stand Up?. Blog entry from historian Michael Hardy noting other claims regarding the honor of being the first killed in the Civil War. (Submitted on May 23, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
4. Potter's Raid. Civil War Trails driving tour retracing the raid. (Submitted on May 25, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 919 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.