Warsaw in Duplin County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The War Comes to Warsaw
Lewis's Railroad Raid
— Confederate Lifeline —
During the war, the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad was part of a rail network that transported vital supplies north to Confederate forces in Virginia. Cutting that line became an important Union objective.
On July 5, 1863, Lt. Col. George W. Lewis’s 3rd New York Cavalry struck Warsaw at 6 a.m., after burning the Confederated States Armory at Kenansville the day before and emptying a safe (now on display at the Duplin County Veterans Museum) of a large amount of Confederate money. Lewis’s primary mission was to demolish Wilmington and Weldon Railroad track. His troopers destroyed two miles of track and telegraph wire, removing the wire and cutting down the poles.
Here in Warsaw, two rail cars, a freight house full of Confederate stores, about 4,000 barrels of resin and turpentine, and some gunpowder were destroyed. Lewis’s men took about 150 head of livestock and several bags of mail with them when they left, as well as 30 prisoners. About 400 black men, women, and children followed the Union forces as they rode away, back east through Kenansville toward Trenton in the afternoon. En route, the Federals burned a barn containing
Lewis’s departure may have been prompted in part by the proximity of four companies of Confederate infantry and four artillery pieces stationed ten miles south of here at Magnolia. A locomotive pulled fourteen empty boxcars to Magnolia from Warsaw to fetch the troops before Lewis arrived; however, they did not come, and his attack and withdrawal were unimpeded.
(lower left) Federal cavalrymen destroying railroad track - Courtesy Library of Congress
(upper right) Ca. 1845 Pierce-Bowden House, W. Hill St., a Confederate hospital during the war - Courtesy Leon Sikes
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & Streetcars • 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 July 1915.
Location. 35° 0.102′ N, 78° 5.466′ W. Marker is in Warsaw, North Carolina, in Duplin County. Marker is at the intersection of East Hill Street and North Center Street, on the left when traveling east on East Hill Street. The marker is on the grounds of the Duplin County Veterans Museum. Touch for mapTouch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Henry L. Stevens, Jr. (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Veteran’s Memorial (approx. 2˝ miles away); James Kenan (approx. 3.2 miles away); Duplin Old Courthouse Site (approx. 3.2 miles away); Thomas O. Moore (approx. 5.3 miles away); Confederate Armory (approx. 7˝ miles away); Confederate States Armory (approx. 7˝ miles away); a different marker also named Confederate States Armory (approx. 7˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Warsaw.
Also see . . . Duplin County Veterans’ Memorial Museum. Museum website homepage (Submitted on September 20, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 8, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 20, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 575 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 20, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.