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THE FIRST BATTLE OF KINSTON 1862
by
Dr. Lonnie Blizzard

 

 

 

Welcome to the First Battle of Kinston Battlefield Park

The First Battle of Kinston was fought in the dark cold days of December 1862. For the first time the realization of the horrors of war came upon the people of Lenoir County. For some soldiers it was the first time in battle and for some it was the last. Businesses and houses were burned, homes were plundered, livestock slaughtered and crops were destroyed. The winds of war swept over the country side and  the lives of the people were forever changed.  Click here to read the Battle of Kinston Poem

Battle of Kinston Battlefield Sites

The following sites are a part of the First Battle of Kinston Battlefield Park
If you would like to help with this project please contact diamondgp@suddenlink.net

Information and Visitors Center

At present the tour begins at the Information and Visitors Center at the Highway 70 and Hwy 258 intersection Highway 70 where you may view a video that relates the times of the First Battle of Kinston that took place in December 1862

For many of the soldiers it was the first time in battle.  The young men of aristocratic New England families and the middle class families of the Mid-Atlantic States were fighting to preserve the Union. They were horrified at the battle that took place on a cold Sabbath morning against the southern boys who were defending their land against what they believed was northern aggression.  At the visitors center you will also find displays of Civil War relics that have been found on the battlefields in the area. 

It was at this location where Confederate troops were racing for the other side of the Neuse River Bridge with Union soldier in hot pursuit.  600 Confederate soldiers did not make it and were captured by Union forces.

 

Woodington

Located along Highway 258 South in the Woodington Community
This site has an easement held by the Civil War Trails Inc. It is beautifully landscaped. As you stand and look at the Civil War Trails marker you face in the direction of Southwest Creek where the Union soldiers crossed and engaged in battle with the Confederate forces stationed there. The marker gives an interpretation of what took place in this area.

 

Rivermont

Located on the edge of Kinston along west side of Highway 258 South
This is approximating 100 acres of land that was flooded by Hurricane Floyd and became part of the FEMA buyout program. Historical Preservation Group holds a ten year renewal lease on this property owned by Lenoir County.  The swamp separated the Union and Confederate forces at the beginning of the battle.
Located on the edge of Kinston along east side of Highway 258 South
 

Harriet's
 Chapel
 Site

Civil Wars Trails Bugle sign.  Pull into parking area near the Civil War Trails marker.

Enjoy the walking trail on this two acre site that was once where fighting took place around a small church called Harrietís Chapel. This site is the middle of the battlefield and the location of where the fiercest fighting took place.   Here you will find a Civil War Trails marker that will interpret the site.
  This area is the location site of Starr's Battery and the little church known as Harriet's Chapel.  The church was riddled with shelling from musket and canon fire. It was destroyed by the battle.
 

 Memorial Site
Click Here

Located one block off of Highway 70 East at the corner of  Meadowbrook and Harriet Drives.
Wil King was a dedicated and committed member of the Lenoir County Battlefields Commission. Wil King shared our vision for historic preservation and played an integral part in the efforts of the battlefield commission. To commemorate his work and honor his memory, the first sited to be developed on the Kinston battlefield has been named for him. One section of the site has been developed. It is beautifully landscaped. There is a brick wall with the name of the battle and date of battle inscribed on the front. Behind the wall is a fifty foot circular brick plaza. At one end of the plaza is a granite memorial monument for Wil King. At the other end of the plaza are three flag poles. The center pole flies the American flag. The other flag poles fly the period flags for the Union and the Confederacy. A spotlight brightens the plaza and flag poles. The flags fly 24 hours a day. There are two markers, each placed at the walkways entering the plaza. One is a Civil War Trails marker interpreting what took place on the site during the battle. The other marker is a copy of a resolution written by the Lenoir County Battlefields Commission expressing their gratitude for Wilís work. Beyond the plaza is a berm that circles around the site. There is a walking path atop of the berm. At interval along side of the berm are State markers for each state that fought in the battle. On theses markers are listed all the regiments from a given state. A state flag representing the given state is affix to the marker. The state flags fly on special occasions. Dwarf Magnolia trees line along the edge of the site near Meadowbrook Drive and Harriet Drive

This area is where the union forces first broke through the Confederate lines.

 

Capture Site


To be developed

Kinston Bridge

Located on the property of a motel near the Queen Street Bridge on 70 Business going into Kinston.
This site has an easement held by Civil War Trails, Inc. The site has a Civil War Trails marker given the interpretation of the site. This is where the burning of the bridge took place during the battle and the capture of many Confederate soldiers.
 
   

DONATIONS ARE WELCOMED -Mail to 1603 West Road Kinston, NC 28501

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT THE BATTLE OF KINSTON