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Civil War Trails
Foster's Raid Tour

In December 1862, Union Gen. George Foster led 10,000 infantry and cavalry from the Federal garrison at New Bern on a raid to the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad near Goldsboro. The action was designed to disrupt the supply line to the north and support Gen. Ambrose Burnside's attack at Fredericksburg (ultimately ill-fated). A Civil War Trails tour follows the action, including several stops at the site of the Battle of Kinston and the action at Goldsboro.


First Battle of Kinston

Foster's Position on Southwest Creek (Union attack)
Sign at the intersection of Route 258 and Stroud Corner Road, five miles south of Kinston 
Foster's approach to Kinston ran into entrenched Confederates north of the creek here Dec. 13, 1862. After a tough fight along the creek, the outnumbered Confederates withdrew to a new position nearer town.

Federals Turn the Confederate Flank
Sign near the intersection of Routes 258 and 70 at 1400 Meadowbrook Drive
Confederates under Gen. Nathan Evans withdrew to this area after being forced back after fighting six miles southwest of here at the creek. Foster attacked this position Dec. 14, 1862; managed to flank the Southerners; and forced their withdrawal across the Neuse River.

Confederates Retreat Across Jones Bridge
Sign in the Econo Travel parking lot at intersection of Routes 70/58 and 248 Business in Kinston
Confederates retreated across the Jones Bridge near here after the fight Dec. 14 fight south of here. Most of Evans' men -- but not all -- had crossed before the bridge was set on fire. Union troops, however, were able to cross and force the remaining Confederates out of town. Foster's men spent the night in Kinston before heading to Goldsboro.


Engagement at Whitehall


Sign on West River Street, south of the Neuse River Bridge in Seven Springs.

After capturing Kinston, Foster headed toward Goldsboro. He ran into opposition from Gen. Beverly Robertson, his men positioned across the river. After a sharp fight and artillery bombardment, Foster continued on the south side of the Neuse.
 


Mount Olive


Trails sign in front of fire station, corner of West College and North Center streets in Mount Olive
After capturing Kinston Dec. 14, Foster dispatched Maj. Jeptha Garrard to the Mount Olive Station to destroy the building and tear up track. The Federal soldiers, arriving in Mount Olive, ranged up the track, ambushing a mail train and tearing up the railroad.

 


                                                               Battle of Goldsboro Bridge


Sign on Old Mount Olive Road, one block east of Route 117 two miles south of Goldsboro
Union troops reached this spot near the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad Bridge on Dec. 17, 1862. A small Confederate force defended the structure, a critical link to Southern forces in Virginia who were then engaged at Fredericksburg. Foster's troops succeed in burning the bridge and tearing up track. A Confederate counterattack here bothered Foster on his way back to New Bern. The bridge was repaired and back in use in a few weeks.