Timeline . . .





January 1 — Emancipation Proclamation — President Abraham Lincoln's war measure, declaring "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."

January 5 — Expedition for capturing Wilmington pilots (Cape Fear River)

January — Thomas's Highland Legion hunts for bushwhackers in the French Broad Valley (WEST)

January 8 — The Shelton Laurel Massacre (infamous showdown between Unionists and Confederate forces in the Laurel Valley). Unionist bushwhackers attack Marshall, taking salt, merchandise, and foodstuffs; also ransack the home of Col. Lawrence Allen (of the 64th North Carolina), and harass Allen’s wife and three sick children. Colonel Allen and James Keith (also of the 64th) respond from East Tennessee, with 500 men, to Marshall and the Laurel Valley. Keith’s men badger the populace looking for suspects then execute 13 “prisoners” under the assumption of guilt. This incident best illustrates guerrilla clashes in the Carolina highlands. (WEST)

January 14 — Loss of USS Columbia off Masonboro Inlet

January 17-21 — Reconnaissance from New Bern to Pollocksville, Trenton, Young's Crossroads, and Onslow

January 19 — Skirmish at White Oak Creek

January 20 — Skirmish near Jacksonville

January 27-28 — Reconnaissance on Neuse and Trent Roads

January 30-February 3 — Naval expedition to Hertford on Perquimans River


February — Yadkin County militiamen battle Unionist bushwhackers at a schoolhouse near Yadkinville (WEST)

February 1-10 — Expedition from New Bern to Plymouth

February 2 — Destruction of salt works at Wale’s Head, Currituck Beach

February 7 — Skirmish near Edenton

February 10 — Skirmish at Batchelder's Creek

February 12-13 — Expedition from Batchelder's Creek

February 13 — Skirmish at Sandy Ridge

February 13 — Skirmish near Washington

February 14 — Reconnaissance of Shallotte and Little River Inlets

February 25 — Engagement between USS Monticello and Fort Caswell

February 27 — Skirmish at New Bern



March 1-6 — Expedition from New Bern to Swan Quarter

March 2 — Entrance of blockade-runner Cornubia into New Inlet

March 3 — Skirmish near Fairfield

March 3 — Capture of Federal landing party at Little River Inlet

March 4 — Skirmishes near Fairfield and Swan Quarter

March 6-8 — Demonstration on Kinston

March 6-10 — Expedition from New Bern to Trenton, Pollocksville, Young's Crossroads, and Swansborough

March 7 — Skirmish at Core Creek

March 7 — Skirmish near Dover

March 7-10 — Expedition from Newport Barracks to Cedar Point

March 7-14 — Expedition from New Bern to Mattamuskeet Lake

March 8-16 — Confederate expedition against New Bern, and Federal naval operations

March 10-13 — Demonstration on New Bern

March 13-14 — Skirmishes at Deep Gully and New Bern

March 14 — Action at Fort Anderson (Deep Gully)

March 21 — Capture of British steamer Nicolai I near Little River Inlet

March 23 — Skirmish at Winfield (Buffaloes)

March 24 — Skirmish at Rocky Hock Creek

March 30-April 20 — Siege of Washington, and pursuit of Confederate forces, including Federal naval operations

March 30 — Skirmish at Washington

March 30 — Skirmish at Rodman's Point

March 30 — Skirmish near Deep Gully

March — George W. Lee leads a Confederate cavalry squad from Altanta, Ga. into Cherokee County, N.C. They abduct eight suspected Unionists and take them back to Georgia. As with the Shelton Laurel incident, Governor Vance is outraged. (WEST)


April — Marcus Erwin and Buncombe County militia flush 80 anti-Confederates from Laurel Valley

April 1 — Engagement at Rodman's Point

April 2 — Engagement at Hill's Point

April 3 — Skirmish at White Forks

April 3 — Skirmish at Washington

April 4-5 — Engagement at Rodman's Point

April 4-6 — Operations on the Pamlico

April 6 — Skirmish at Nixonton

April 7-10 — Expedition from New Bern for relief of Washington

April 9 — Action at Blount's Creek

April 13-21 — Expedition to Swift Creek Village

April 15 — Skirmish at Washington

April 16 — Affair at Hill's Point

April 16 — Affair at Rodman's Point

April 16-21 — Expedition from New Bern toward Kinston

April 17-18 — Skirmishes at Core Creek

April 17-19 — Expedition from New Bern to Washington

April 19 — Skirmish at Big Swift Creek

April 20 — Skirmish at Sandy Ridge

April 23 — Entrance of blockade-runners into New Inlet

April 27-May 1 — Expedition from New Bern toward Kinston

April 28 — Action at Wise's Crossroads (Wyse Fork)


May 5 — Skirmish at Peletier's Mill

May 7 — Skirmish at Stony Creek

May 15 — Capture of steamers Emily and Arrow by Pasquotank Guerrillas

May 20-23 — Demonstration on Kinston

May 22 — Action at Gum Swamp

May 22 — Chase of blockade-runner by USS Penobscot under guns of Fort Fisher

May 23 — Skirmish at Batchelder's Creek


June 5-7 — Reconnaissance through Gates County and down Chowan River

June 8 — Scout from Suffolk, Va. to South Mills, N.C.

June 11 — Capture of blockade-runner Calypso

June 17-18 — Scout from Rocky Run to Dover and Core Creek

June 22 — Escape of blockade-runners at New Inlet

June 24 — Sinking of USS Sumpter

June 28 — Reconnaissance from Plymouth to Nichol’s Mill

June 30 — 1st North Carolina Infantry, African Descent (Union) organized at New Bern, N.C. and Portsmouth, Va.

June-September — Union forces under William Rosecrans and Ambrose Burnside occupy Knoxville and much of East Tennessee, intensifying the Union military danger to North Carolina. (WEST)


July 3-7 — Raid on Wilmington & Weldon Railroad

July 4-8 — Expedition to Trenton

July 5 — Skirmishes at Warsaw and Kenansville

July 5-7 — Expedition from Plymouth to Gardner's Bridge and Williamston

July 6 — Action at Free Bridge

July 6 — Action at Quaker Bridge

July 6 — Skirmish at Trenton

July 8 — Skirmish at Warsaw

July 12 — Blockade-runner Kate is driven ashore

July 13-16 — Expedition from Newport Barracks to Cedar Point and White Oak River

July 17-20 — Expedition from New Bern to Swift Creek Village

July 18-24 — Expedition from New Bern to Tarboro and Rocky Mount

July 20 — Skirmish at Tarboro

July 20 — Skirmish at Sparta

July 21 — Skirmish at Rocky Mount

July 21 — Skirmish at Street's Ferry

July 22 — Skirmish at Scupperton

July 24 — Capture of Merrimac 40 miles east of Masonboro Inlet

July 25-31 — Expedition from New Bern to Winton

July 25-August 3 — Expedition from Portsmouth, Va. to Jackson, N.C. (Boone’s Mill)

July 26 — Action at Pottecassi Creek, Mt. Tabor Church

July 26-29 — Expedition from Plymouth to Foster's Mills

July 27 — Skirmish at Foster's Mills

July 28 — Skirmish at Jackson


August 1 — Cutting out of blockade-runner Kate

August 5-12 — Expedition from Kempsville, Va. to Currituck and Camden counties, N.C.

August 11-19 — Expedition from Portsmouth, Va. to Edenton, N.C. and skirmishes

August 14 — Skirmish at Washington

August 15 — Skirmish at Edenton

August 18 — Skirmish near Pasquotank

August 18 — Blockade-runner Hebe, inbound for New Inlet, run aground and destroyed by Union blockaders, Cape Fear

August 22 — Destruction of schooner Alexander Cooper in New Topsail Inlet

August-December — Militant Unionist enclaves, such as Trap Hill in Wilkes County. The 21st and 56th North Carolina Regiments, under command of Gen. Robert F. Hoke, proceed to Wilkes and adjoining counties to break up lawless bands. Hoke stations men in Yadkin and Wilkes counties and makes many arrests. (WEST)


September 12 — Skirmish at South Mills

September 14-17 — Reconnaissance to the Blackwater River

September 15 — Blockade-runner Arabian forced aground by Union blockaders, and later broke apart during a storm (Cape Fear).

September 15-19 — Expedition from Great Bridge, Va. to Indiantown, N.C.

September 20 — Skirmish at Indiantown

September 23 — Blockade-runner Phantom is chased ashore

September — Gen. Robert B. Vance takes command of the Western Military District of North Carolina, with oversight of Confederate local defense units and state troops. (WEST)

September — 200-300 Federal troops attack and hold Waynesville. As a result, Confederate armory at Asheville is moved to South Carolina. (WEST)


October — 2nd North Carolina Mounted Infantry (Union) organized at Knoxville, Tenn.

October 10-17 — Expedition from New Bern to Elizabeth City and Edenton

October 11 — Blockade-runner Duoro, outbound from New Inlet, destroyed by Union blockaders, Cape Fear

October 13 — Scout from Great Bridge, Va. to Indiantown, N.C.

October 16-17 — Affair at Pungo Landing

October 17 — Skirmish at Camden Court House

October 20 — Skirmish at Warm Springs. Union incursion (Kirk) from East Tennessee (WEST)

October 21 — Blockade-runner Venus, inbound for New Inlet, run aground by Union blockaders, Cape Fear

October 23 — Skirmish at Warm Springs (WEST)

October 26 — Skirmish at Warm Springs (WEST)

October 27 — Skirmish in Cherokee County. Confederate Gen. John C. Vaughn fights Capt. Goldman Bryson and the 1st Tennessee National Guard ("mounted robbers"). Bryson is then hunted down and killed. (WEST)

October 28 — 2nd North Carolina Infantry, African Descent (Union) organized at Portsmouth, Va.

October 30 — Skirmish at Ford's Mill near New Bern


November — 2nd North Carolina Volunteer Infantry (Union) organized at New Bern

November 4 — Skirmish near Rocky Run

November 8 — Capture of steamer Margaret and Jessie off Cape Lookout

November 4-9 — Expedition up Chowan River

November 9 — Capture of Ella and Annie

November 9 — Capture of Steamer Robert E. Lee off Cape Lookout

November 9 — Operations near Weldon

November 10 — Capture of blockade-runner Ella

November 13-14 — Reconnaissance of entrances to Cape Fear River (New Inlet and Old Inlet, or Western Bar)

November 21 — Capture of steamer Banshee off Cape Lookout

November 25 — Skirmish at Greenville

November 26 — Skirmish at Plymouth

November 26 — Skirmish at Warm Springs


December 1 — Skirmish at Cedar Point

December 5 — Expedition from New Bern toward Kinston

December 6 — Capture of British steamer Ceres

December 5-24 — Expedition from Norfolk, Va. to South Mill and Camden Courthouse, etc., N.C. (colored troops)

December 9-16 — Capture, release, and destruction of British schooner G. O. Bigelow

December 10 — Skirmish at Hertford

December 11 — Blockade-runner Beauregard, inbound for Wilmington, destroyed by Union blockaders near New Inlet, Cape Fear (off present-day Carolina Beach)

December 14 — Skirmish near Pasquotank

December 16 — Skirmish at Free Bridge

December 17 — Expedition from Washington to Chicoa Creek

December 18 — Skirmish at Indiantown, Sandy Swamp

December 20 — Capture of blockade-runner Antonica

December 21-24 — Scout from Rocky Run to Trenton

December 25 — Destruction of salt works on Bear Inlet

December 27-29 — Expedition from Newport Barracks to Young's Crossroads, Swansborough, and Jacksonville

December 30 — Engagement at Greenville

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The War Years

The War Years