In December 1862, Union General John Foster marched from New Bern with an army of 12,000 men. The intent was to interrupt the Confederate supply chain by destroying the railroad bridge which crossed the Neuse River, three miles south of Goldsborough. On December 17, Union troops attacked and pushed back a small force of 2,000 Confederates, then burned the bridge and destroyed miles of railroad tracks. That afternoon Confederate forces attacked the rear of Foster’s army as it was leaving the field. The Confederates suffered over 150 casualties and Union losses were under 100. Re-enactments of the battle are held on the site every two years.

Today walking trails surround the cultivated field which Confederate troops crossed during their bloody counterattack against the Union rear guard. These trails take visitors to nine additional historical markers where specific events of the battle are detailed. Two sets of well-preserved earthworks may be viewed, as well as the site of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad Bridge, the objective of the Union army.

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