These pages are dedicated to the memory of all the men from North Carolina that fought in the Civil War.
KINSTON (The Battle of the Neuse River Bridge) North Carolina Standard Raleigh December 17, 1862 On Saturday last, the enemy advanced up the south side of the Neuse River towards Kinston while their gun boats attacked the river works a few miles below that place. Considerable skirmishing took place on Saturday between the infantry and cavalry and on Sunday the fight became general, our troops fought all that day Sunday and fell back towards the town in the evening, destroying the bridge which was about one mile from the town. Our troops fought with great steadiness and courage but they could not cope with the numbers of the enemy whose forces are said to have been at least 20,000. Our troops engaged were Evans’ Brigade consisting of two South Carolina regiments, Radcliffe’s Regiment, the three cavalry battalions of conscripts from Raleigh under Col. Mallett and the 47th under col. S.H. Rogers. We had probably no more than 3,000 men in the fight. We learn that the battalion of conscripts went into the fight in fine spirits on Sunday morning and acquitted themselves well although they are said to have suffered severely. North Carolina Standard Raleigh December 24, 1862 Kinston is on the north side or left bank of the Neuse River about 28 miles from Goldsborough. The latter place is on the same side of the river with Kinston. White Hall is 15 miles southeast of Goldsborough and is on the south side or right bank of the Neuse River. Springbank is six miles from Goldsborough and on the south side. Lord Cornwallis crossed at this place in the Revolutionary War in 1781 on his way from Wilmington to Halifax. Falling Creek is 20 miles from Goldsborough and on the same side. Raleigh, the seat of government of the state, is 52 miles from Goldsborough and on the same side as White Hall. It appears that the enemy came up the Trent River road on the south side of the Neuse. On Friday a skirmish took place at Mr. Benton’s plantation some ten miles below Kinston. On Friday night, our troops fell back to Parrott’s Lane seven miles from Kinston where on Saturday another skirmish took place. Our troops then fell back on Saturday evening to the old distillery just below the county bridge about one and a quarter mile from Kinston where they encamped. On Sunday morning the battle commenced at this point at 8:00 and continued until 2:00 p.m. when General Evans ordered them to fall back on Kinston and destroy the bridge. The enemy being so superior in numbers, supposed to be 15,000, and pressing rapidly on our forces, there was no time to destroy the bridge although it was fired. Col. Mallett’s battalion, it seems, were unable to cross in time and the enemy had seized the north end of the bridge and they fought on until ordered by General Evans to make their escape up the right or south bank of the river to White hall. It is reported that a portion of the battalion were made prisoners. Our killed, and severely wounded on the south bank, of course, fell back into the hands of the enemy. After a stand for a short time by our troops, between the bridge and Kinston, General Evans fell back to the heights north of Kinston upon which is Mr. Washington’s beautiful residence. About 4:00 the enemy sent a flag of truce demanding the unconditional surrender of the Confederate troops and the post of Kinston which General Evans declined to do. Darkness set in, hostilities were not renewed and our troops retired towards Falling Creek. While these events were transpiring, some half dozen of the enemy’s gun boats were attacking the fortifications on the north side of the river some two to three miles below Kinston. They were repulsed by our artillery commanded by Col. Stephen D. Pool and the river falling at the time, they dropped down about Ft. Barnwell. In the fight on Sunday, about 15,000 of the enemy were engaged with about 3,000 of our troops who maintained their ground for about six hours with great firmness and courage. Our loss is supposed to have been about 350 in killed, wounded and prisoners. The enemy’s loss is no doubt twice that number. We learn that the enemy evacuated Kinston on Tuesday and burned the county bridge in their rear. Our troops from Falling Creek at once re-occupied the place and re-captured a portion of Mallett’s Battalion who had been made prisoners. A skirmish took place on Tuesday at White hall. The river was between the enemy and our troops. Our troops cleared the river bank of the enemy and drove them back. Our loss is reported about 20 killed and 40 wounded. The 11th, Col. Leventhorpe’s, had seven men killed and 23 wounded at White Hall. Lt. Means of Mecklenburg is the only officer reported killed. On Wednesday the enemy approached Goldsborough on the south bank of the Neuse River in force and about 1:00 pm a severe engagement took place near the railroad bridge some two miles south of town. It is stated that the enemy burned the bridge but our troops passed over the county bridge and drove the enemy about a mile. The Progress of today has a dispatch dated the 17th from which we take the following: “Battle raged furiously all day on David Everett’s farm and in the vicinity, the right wing of the Yankee army extending nearly to the Neuse River, about four miles hence. Between 2:00 and 3:00 six Yankees under cover of pines reached the railroad bridge, set it on fire, and entirely consumed it. Five of the rascals were killed on the spot. Late in the day our forces repulsed an attempt of the enemy to cross the county bridge and drove them back from their position on the other side of the river.” General G.W. Smith was in command of our forces. General Pettigrew is said to have been present with his brigade. Generals Clingman, French and Martin are also said to have been present. Our forces on Wednesday evening were about 14,000. Among the wounded who reached this place on Wednesday was Major John A. Graves of the 47th, who was injured in the leg by the falling of his horse on Monday. Killed and Wounded (only a part) Josiah Powell, Company A, 41st N.C., wounded in head and side W.P. Duliose(?), Adjutant, Holcombe’s Legion, groin A.M. Wright, Company H, 1st N.C., shoulder T.A. Bradham, Company I, 23rd S.C., knee J.B. Stuart, Company F, 22nd S.C., leg J.A. Everett, Company E, 35th N.C., Bunting’s Battery, arm M. Andrews, Company I, 61st Regiment, side J.L. Corbett, Bunting’s Battery, hip J.W. Dye, Company C, Holcomb’s Legion, side D.C. Raynor, Company A, 36th (?) Regiment H. Hill, Company A, Holcomb’s Legion, shoulder J.A. Jarratt, knee (no company or regiment stated) S.E. Longshore, hip by shill (no company or regiment stated) W.T Keziah, Company B, Mallett’s Batt., arm D.C. Ross, Company B, Mallett’s Batt., head F.A. Boozer, Company H, Holcomb’s Legion, knee G.A. Powell, Company B, Mallett’s Batt. J.G. Henson, Company D, Mallett’s Batt., hand J.F. Glenn, Company D, Mallett’s Batt., eye W.P. Sulder(?), 17th S.C. S. Stapleton, Company C, Mallett’s Batt., back Sgt. J.R. Aulton(?), Company A, 22nd S.C., face C.A. Reinhardt, Holcomb’s Legion, shoulder R.S. Bryan, S. Parkenham, 22nd S.C., knee E.C. Carter, Bunting’s Battery, knee H.J. Coleman, 17th S.C., face and neck J.B. Chandler, Holcomb’s Legion, head W.H. Chambers, 18th S.C., knee H.R. Hunter(?), 17th S.C. Vol., above the knee John H. Lee, 6th (?) N.C., Company F, thigh J.A. Moore, Company B, 68th N.C., shoulder M. Truttman, Company B, 6th N.C., shoulder G.W. Stone, company B, 68th N.C., back F.P. Shaley, Holcomb’s Legion, arm W.T. Longshare, Holcomb’s Legion, hand E.P. Davis, Holcomb’s Legion, hand and wrist W. Dillard, Company I, 61st S.C., wounded by bomb G.W. Pardne, Company A, 22nd N.C., knee E.R. Samuel, Company A, 22nd S.C., ankle, slight R.R. Horsey, Company K, 22nd S.C., arm J.A. Westmoreland, Company I, Holcomb’s Legion R. Bryan, Company C, Holcomb’s Legion, knee J.H. Pope, Company E, 47th N.C., both hands F.M. Bloodworth, Bunting’s Battery, killed J. Jarrell, hand blown off (no company or regiment given) W.W. Mintz, left arm (no company or regiment given) Thomas Wescote, leg (no company or regiment given) Orderly Sergeant, W.P. Elliott, killed George Gee, Starr’s Battery of Fayetteville, killed D.McLaughlin, slightly wounded in hand (no company or regiment given) J.R. Kushton, 2nd S.C., ankle J.J. Yon, 22nd S.C., arm J.W. Hewlin, Mallett’s Batt., arm R.J. Perry, Company D, 61st Regiment, hand Sgt. Sloan, Company D, 61st (?) Regiment, arm J.B. Boner, Company D, 61st Regiment, arm S.F. Darby, 22nd S.C., hand Lt. J.M. Sally, Company I, 22nd S.C. Lt. Reid of Mallett’s Batt., was shot through the heart and Lt. Liles of Anson County of the (Regiment illegible, might be 1st) was blown to pieces by a shell in the Battle of Kinston North Carolina Standard Raleigh April 15, 1863 Colonel Mallett’s Report of the Fight at Kinston Governor: Confinement to my bed for the last two months will, I trust, be apology sufficient for the delay in reporting to you the part taken by my command in the battle near Kinston on Sunday, Dec. 14. I arrived at Kinston by railroad on Sunday morning at 7:00 am and reported immediately to General Evans, who ordered me to take a position with my battalion, consisting of ten(?) officers and 400 men in the rifle pits on the east bank of the Neuse River, to support a S.C. battery commanding the county bridge. At 8:00 we were in position and in a few minutes musketry began falling on the left of the line of battle which was formed on the west side of the river and at 9:00 the first gun was fired by the artillery. At 9:30 I received an order through one of General Evans’ aides to march at the double quick across the bridge. Having crossed, I met General Evans on the west side directing men pouring spirits of turpentine on cotton placed on the bridge. He ordered me to take my command through the field on the right of the White Hall Road and engage the enemy. We passed through the field under fire of shells from the enemy, losing one man, to the distance of a quarter mile to a fence on the edge of a swamp on the other side of which the enemy appeared to be in force. Here we were engaged for some time but the principal point of attack appeared to be the church known as Harriett’s Chapel, on my left, which was stationed a section of Starr’s Battery supported by the 61st N.C.T. under Col. Radcliffe. At length the fire upon my part of the line ceased almost entirely. To ascertain the feasibility of charging the enemy to drive them back, I sent Lt. Little to the section of artillery on my left to ascertain the real position of the enemy as it was impossible to charge through the swamp on my front. About the time of Lt. Little’s return, without any accurate information, I received a written order from General Evans by courier viz.: “Col, I (illegible word) no if the enemy are in your front; if not, join me at the bridge.” At this time there being no indication of the enemy in my front, I drew off in good order and returned to the bridge but to my surprise General Evans was absent leaving no orders or instructions for me. Observing the S.C. battery commanding the bridge had been removed and the bridge apparently deserted, I concluded that the general was waiting for me on the east side, retreated towards Kinston and proceeded crossing the bridge. In a few minutes after crossing, I met an officer of his staff with orders to go back. This order was promptly obeyed marching again at the double quick through the same field to my former position under heavy fire from the enemy artillery and was almost immediately engaged with his infantry. In about an hour I was reinforced by 90 or 100 men from the 61st Regiment, N.C. which was commanded by Lt. Col. Devane who took the position on my right. The enemy made a vigorous charge at this time on my left and was vigorously repulsed. Old veterans could not have met their foe with more coolness and determination than these newly tried men. The enemy appeared determined to force his way through my lines at the church. I ordered Lt. Col. Devane to reinforce my left and I take pleasure in testifying to his coolness and undoubted bravery. With his assistance and the company on my right flank commanded by Col. McRae which also was ordered to the left, we held the enemy in check for some time. My ammunition now began to fall and after sending repeatedly to the rear, could not be replenished. Apprehending that an attempt to turn my right, Col. McRae directed his fire upon the retreating troops on the Kinston side of the river who spiritedly returned the fire with good effect, killing a Col. Gray and others near the bridge. The enemy force was between 20,000 and 25,000 with 72 pieces of artillery. General Foster admitted to me we had repulsed three of his veteran regiments with a loss of 250 men. I regret to report the loss of two of my best officers who fell at the close of the engagement— Lt. J.J. Reid, commanding Company H fell by my side near the bridge and Lt. Joseph H. Hill, commanding Company C, while retreating on the Kinston side. Both lead their companies gallantly through the engagement. Braver or more gallant young men (whose loss we deplore) never drew a sword. After a diligent search for Adj. E.W. Mann and Lt. R.K. Williams I must reluctantly forced to include them on the list of killed. It would be almost invidious to call attention to any particular one but I cannot refrain from mentioning the conspicuous and gallant bravery of Lt. J.R. McLean, commanding Company I. Hoping I may be allowed to engage the enemy under more fortunate circumstances. I am, Governor, Your Obedient Servant, Peter Mallett Col., Commanding Battalion