Farmville in Pitt County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Chasing Gen. Potter
Pursuers and Pursued
—Potter's Raid —
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.
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,
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.
(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′ Touch 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 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gen. Allen Hal Turnage (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 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); Tuscarora War (approx. 10.8 miles away).
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 4, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 351 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 4, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.