Plymouth in Washington County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Bullet holes around the upstairs window of the Ausbon House are haunting reminders of a fight to the death here on December 10, 1862, when a Confederate sniper refused to surrender. Hoping to drive out the U.S. forces occupying Plymouth then, Lt. Col. John C. Lamb attacked with several companies of the 17th North Carolina Infantry, a squadron of cavalrymen, and Moore’s Battery. After capturing most of the Union pickets, Lamb found the remaining Federals blocking Main Street and dispersed them with a cavalry charge. Then he turned his cannons on USS Southfield, the sole gunboat supporting the garrison, disabled it, and drove it downstream. Capt. Barnabas Ewer, the Federal commander, took fright when he saw Southfield depart, abandoned his men, and went aboard to escape. When asked where his men were, he replied that “he did not know, but hoped most of them were in the swamp.” Ewer’s superiors later deemed his actions “disgraceful.”
Unlike Ewer, some of his men kept fighting, and the Confederates eventually withdrew because they lacked sufficient numbers to hold the town. A Confederate sniper,
As the Confederates withdrew, they burned half the town, which suffered further during engagements the following year. The Ausbon House, probably built about 1840 for Edmond Windley, then bought by the Ausbon family in 1885 and modified, is one of only four surviving antebellum houses in Plymouth.
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is December 1901.
Location. 35° 51.902′ N, 76° 44.96′ W. Marker is in Plymouth, North Carolina, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of East Third Street and Washington Street, on the left when traveling east on East Third Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Plymouth NC 27962, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battle of Plymouth (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Plymouth (within shouting distance of this marker); Plymouth United Methodist Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hampton Academy (about 600 Battle of Plymouth (about 600 feet away); Ram Albemarle (about 700 feet away); Washington County Courthouse (about 700 feet away); New Chapel Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Plymouth.
Also see . . . Visit the Town of Plymouth. (Submitted on March 6, 2021.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 1, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 693 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 1, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.