12/13/06 — Bridge battlefield dedication to be Sunday at 2 p.m.

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Bridge battlefield dedication to be Sunday at 2 p.m.

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on December 13, 2006 1:45 PM

DUDLEY -- A dedication ceremony will be held this weekend at the site of the Civil War Battle of Goldsborough Bridge.

The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday at the site of the battle on Old Mount Olive Highway where outnumbered Confederate soldiers failed to stop 12,000-plus Union troops from setting the bridge afire after a firefight on Dec. 17, 1862.

Thousands of Confederate reinforcements arrived several days later and helped rebuild the bridge, which was a key crossing of the Wilmington-Weldon Railroad that carried supplies to the main Confederate army in Virginia from the port at Wilmington.

The battlefield was forgotten for many years, but about a decade ago, a group of volunteers began an effort to preserve the site, with the county obtaining the land along the southern bank of the river.

The Goldsboro Bridge Battlefield Association has worked to have the site recognized with a state Civil War Trails marker and have it included along with other significant Civil War sites in the eastern Civil War Heritage Trail.

In September, the group installed a period rail fence and erected a number of signs containing information about the battle, including four historical markers. The signs and markers lead visitors on a walking trail of the site, noting Union and Confederate positions.

On Sunday, a color guard of Union and Confederate re-enactors will kick off the event at 2 p.m. After the dedication ceremony the public is invited to visit the re-enactors' encampment.