11/29/09 — Goldsborough Bridge battle re-enactment set for Dec. 12-13

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Goldsborough Bridge battle re-enactment set for Dec. 12-13

By Staff Reports
Published in News on November 29, 2009 1:50 AM

A re-enactment of the Civil War Battle of Goldsborough Bridge will be held Dec. 12-13 at the battlefield site along the Neuse River south of Goldsboro.

The event will mark the 147th anniversary of the battle, which pitted 10,000 Union troops bent on destroying the strategic railroad bridge against several thousand Confederate defenders.

The site, located off Old Mount Olive Highway, was purchased and preserved by Wayne County several years ago. A granite monument will be unveiled at 1 p.m. on Dec. 12, dedicated to the troops who fought there in 1862.

The event is being sponsored by the Goldsborough Bridge Battlefield Association and the Andrews Battery re-enactment group.

The battle was fought in conjunction with the better-known Battle of Fredericksburg, fought at Fredericksburg, Va.

Union commanders hoped to strike a double blow against the Confederacy in December of 1862, but while Northern troops managed to burn the bridge near Goldsborough, it was rebuilt within a few weeks. Meanwhile, in Virginia, rebel troops under the command of Gen. Robert E. Lee beat Union attackers at Fredericksburg.

Wayne County historians hope to turn the battlefield site into a major tourist attraction, joining Bennett Place in Durham, the Bentonville Battlefield Site in Johnston County and Fort Fisher in Wilmington as destinations for Civil War buffs.

Re-enactors' camps will open at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, and at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13.

The two-day event will be highlighted by cannon fire and troop movements simulating the actual attack, which turned into a bloody affair before the Union force eventually withdrew from the field and returned to its base in New Bern. The force, under the command of Gen. John Foster, already had struck at Kinston and Whitehall, now known as Seven Springs, in an offensive designed to cut Confederate supply lines from the port at Wilmington to the battlefields in Virginia.