The city of Wilmington, North Carolina fell into Union hands in February 1865. Union Major General John M Schofield moved in from the coast and joined his force with Major General William T Sherman at Goldsboro, North Carolina where they would move against Confederate General Joseph E Johnston’s army.
As the Union troops advanced they encountered Confederate General Braxton Bragg who was entrenched along the Southwest Creek near Kinston, North Carolina on March 7th 1865. Bragg’s position threatened a cross road and the New Bern Goldsboro Railroad. Bragg moved to the offensive and sent Confederate General Robert Hoke into the Union left flank. On March 8th 1865 he crossed the creek about noon and slammed into the Union flank and rear and captured about 1,500. After an active advance by the Confederates the two sides settled into skirmishing for the next couple of days.
Hoke again tried to turn the Union left flank on March 10th 1865. The Union position had been strongly fortified and they repulsed Hoke’s men within about an hour. Confederate General Daniel Harvey Hill then made a moved on the Union center, but again they were repulsed by Union artillery. At this point remaining members of the Union XXII corps arrived from Tennessee, and finding himself facing five Union divisions, Bragg had his men withdrawn.