Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cannons Blew The Tops Off Trees

On the morning of March 14th 1862 the Union took the city of New Berne North Carolina.

Union General Ambrose E Burnside left Roanoke North Carolina on March 11th 1862 with 12,000 soldiers. They were met at Hatteras by 13 Union gunboats under the command of Union Commodore Stephen C Rowan. On March 12th 1862 the boats were in the Neuse River, and on the morning of the 13th they opened fire on the shore of North Carolina. Three brigades of infantry under Generals John G Foster, John G Parke and Jesse L Reno went ashore and began a march towards New Berne.

In New Berne North Carolina were 4,500 Confederates under the command of General Lawrence O’Bryan Branch. These men had very little military experience, most still didn’t have uniforms. These Confederates were in line in the early morning hours of March 14th 1862, as the Union naval cannon blew the tops off tree over their heads. Union troops attacked along the railroad, hitting against the Confederate fortifications. The battle went on for close to 4 hours before the Confederates were forced to retreat. Future Governor Zebulon Vance with the 26th North Carolina Infantry, isolated from there line held off Union troops, delaying the taking of the city. The Union occupied and held New Berne for the rest of the war. Union losses were about 476 killed, wounded, or missing, and the Confederates saw 584 losses.

An interesting web site with more about this battle
Battle of New Berne

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