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Farmville in Pitt County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Chasing Gen. Potter

Pursuers and Pursued

 

—Potter's Raid —

 
Chasing Gen. Potter Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 14, 2014
1. Chasing Gen. Potter Marker
Inscription. (preface)
On July 18, 1863, Union Gen. Edward E. Potter led infantry and cavalry from New Bern to destroy the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad bridge at Rocky Mount. The infantry feinted toward Kinston and returned to New Bern. Potter raided Greenville, then sent part of his cavalry to Rocky Mount and occupied Tarboro. The raiders damaged or destroyed bridges, trains, munitions, and mills before returning to New Bern on July 23, but the Confederates restored rail service by Aug. 1.

(main text)
On July 20, 1863, Union Gen. Edward E. Potter led his cavalrymen through Pitt County from Tarboro on the return march to New Bern. After fording Otter Creek and his encounter with Col. Newton, Potter, led by local blacks, took back roads through woods and farms rather than the main roads in an effort to avoid encounters with Confederate troops. Eventually, Potter made his way to the Plank Rd. (Hwy 264 Alt) about 5 miles west. From here, he turned east toward Greenville and then south at Marlboro (Hwy 258) toward Snow Hill. Potter’s men most likely passed by the James May House on their way through the area. The next morning, from Otter Creek, Confederate Col. William C. Claiborne dispatched Capt. Lycurgus J. Barrett and Co. G, 7th Confederate Cavalry, in pursuit of Potter. Capt. Barrett, a member of the May family,
Close up of map on the Chasing Gen. Potter Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 14, 2014
2. Close up of map on the Chasing Gen. Potter Marker
Photo-Gen. Edward E. Potter-courtesy U.S. Army Military History Institute. Potter's Raid from New Bern to Rocky Mount and Tarboro
knew the area well. Claiborne took quick cuts from Otter Creek to Ballards Crossroads, six miles east, to try to intercept Potter. On arriving at Ballards, Claiborne learned that Potter was near Snow Hill. He then made his way to Scuffleton with the intent of destroying the bridge there and forcing Potter into a trap waiting for him at Edwards Bridge in Lenoir County. Potter’s force was resting at Grimsley’s Church in Greene County.

(sidebar)
James May, whose family was influential in the early development of this part of Pitt County, constructed this house about 1854. May’s descendant Tabitha Marie De Visconti left the house and its contents including a photographic history of Farmville, to the town.

(captions)
(lower left) Potter's Raid from New Bern to Rocky Mount and Tarboro (Inset) Gen. Edward F. Potter Courtesy U.S. Army Military History Institute
(lower center) Capt. Lycurgus Barrett, 7th Confederate Cavalry Courtesy May Museum
(upper right) James May House - Courtesy May Museum
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 35.729′ N, 77° 35.235′ 
Chasing Gen. Potter-May Museum in the background image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 14, 2014
3. Chasing Gen. Potter-May Museum in the background
W. Marker is in Farmville, North Carolina, in Pitt County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street (Business U.S. 258) and West Pine Street, on the right when traveling south on South Main Street. Click for map. The marker is on the grounds of the May Museum and Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3802 S Main Street, Farmville NC 27828, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sallie S. Cotten (approx. 7.8 miles away); Voice Of America (approx. 7.9 miles away); Otter Creek Bridge Skirmish (approx. 8.3 miles away); Grimsley Baptist Church (approx. 8.4 miles away); Hull Road (approx. 8.4 miles away); James Glasgow (approx. 10.7 miles away); Plank Road (approx. 11 miles away); Scuffleton Bridge (approx. 11.2 miles away).
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 248 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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