Carolina Campaign of 1862
Battle of Roanoke Island - February 9th 1862
A little history
The Battle of Roanoke Island took place on february 8th and 9th 1862 between Federal costal division commanded by of Brigadier General Ambrose Burnside and Southern troops from the Department of Norfolk commanded by Colonel Shaw.
On February 8th, the federal vessels began a bombardment of the forts on the island : Fort Barlow, Fort Blanchard and Fort Huger. At the same time 10,000 men of the division led by Burnside landed on the beaches of the island.
At dawn on February 9, the Brigades Foster and Reno made contact with the small Confederate force of barely 1,500 men commanded by Colonel Shaw.
At the end of 4 hours of combat, the federal regiments had overwhelmed the Confederates who were flowing back in disorder.
Driven to the edge of the island, Colonel Shaw surrendered the next day, handing over all of the island and its forts to the Yanks.
Battle of New Bern - March 14th 1862
A little history
The Battle of New Bern (also known as the Battle of New Berne) was fought on 14 March 1862, near the city of New Bern, North Carolina, as part of the Burnside Expedition of the American Civil War.
The US Army's Coast Division, counting around 10,000 soldiers, led by Brigadier General Ambrose Burnside and accompanied by armed vessels from the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, were opposed by an undermanned and badly trained Confederate force of around 4,000 North Carolina soldiers and militia led by Brigadier General Lawrence O'B. Branch.
Although the defenders fought behind breastworks that had been set up before the battle, their line had a weak spot in its center that was exploited by the attacking Federal soldiers.
When the center of the line was penetrated, many of the militia broke, forcing a general retreat of the entire Confederate force.
General Branch was unable to regain control of his troops until they had retreated to Kinston, more than 30 miles (about 50 km) away. New Bern came under Federal control, and remained so for the rest of the war.
Battle of South Mills - May 19th 1862
A little history
The Battle of South Mills, also known as the Battle of Camden, took place on April 19, 1862 in Camden County, North Carolina.
Learning that the Confederates were building ironclads at Norfolk, Burnside planned an expedition to destroy the Dismal Swamp Canal locks to prevent transfer of the ships to Albemarle Sound. He entrusted the operation to Brig. Gen. Jesse L. Reno's command, which embarked on transports from Roanoke Island on April 18. By midnight, the convoy reached Elizabeth City and began disembarking troops. On the morning of April 19, Reno marched north on the road to South Mills. At the crossroads a few miles below South Mills, elements of Col. Ambrose R. Wright's command delayed the Federals until dark. Reno abandoned the expedition and withdrew during the night to the transports at Elizabeth City. The transports carried Reno's troops to New Bern where they arrived on April 22.
Battle of Bennett's Creek - March 5th 1862 - Hypothetical Scenario
A little fantasy
Under the imminent threat of a federal landing on the island of Roanoke, and rightly thinking his forces insufficient to defend it, Major General Huger decided to abandon the island on February 5th while sabotaging the forts and artillery pieces located there.
Brigadier General Wise, at the head of the equivalent of a survivor brigade from Roanoke Island, was then entrusted with the defense of Elisabeth City.
Building on his success on Roanoke Island, Brigadier General Burnside landed on February 9 on the banks of the Perquimans river. From the 11th, his brigades marched on Elisabeth City which Wise abandoned without fighting to retreat to South Mills, then a few days more to the suburb of Norfolk.
Based at his Elisabeth City HQ, Burnside is planning his next operation, which he is directing against the city of New Bern.
But under the influence of McClellan and in order to attract to him as many Confederate troops as possible from the peninsula and secure access to the James River, in view of the next landing of the Army of the Potomac, Burnside decides to plan an attack directly on Norfolk.
At the same time, Jefferson Davis, exasperated by Huger's inaction in the face of this Yankee invasion in North Carolina, finally manages to order the latter to lead an offensive against Burnside.
Colston’s brigade, recently transferred to the Peninsula and called back to Huger for this purpose.
Both sides are planning an offensive in the corridor between the Dismal Swamp and the Chowan River for the beginning of March. The month begins, however, with downpours that fall for 4 days, soaking the soil and people.
On the evening of March 4th, the weather seemed milder, and each camp planned its offensive for the next morning.
This scenario is an engagement meeting with variable reinforcement between two armies of equivalent forces (about 15,000 men each) and without any cavalry. The bad weather of the past days has considerably soaked the grounds, complicating the movements of the troops.
Battle of Bennett's Creek_20210500 (Hypothetical)
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