— Carolinas Campaign —
The yellow sidebar in the upper left of the marker provides a brief synopsis of the Carolinas Campaign. It states:
The Carolinas Campaign began on February 1, 1865, when Union Gen. William T. Sherman led his army north from Savannah, Georgia, after the "March to the Sea." Sherman's objective was to join Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia to crush Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Scattered Confederate forces consolidated in North Carolina, the Confederacy's logistical lifeline, where Sherman defeated Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's last-ditch attack at Bentonville. After Sherman was reinforced at Goldsboro late in March, Johnston saw the futility of further resistance and surrendered on April 26, essentially ending the Civil War.
Early in March 1865, Union Gen. John M. Schofield began moving from New Bern to Goldsboro, a vital rail junction. His mission was to open railroad communications between the two cities and accumulate supplies for Gen. William T. Sherman, who was marching north to Goldsboro. Schofield ordered Gen. Jacob D. Cox to lead the way. Along Southwest Creek near Kinston, Confederate Gen. Robert F. Hoke's division blocked Cox's route.
The Federals encountered the Confederates here on March 7, and Hoke struck their left flank the next morning. Confederate Gen. D. H. Hill threatened the Federal right in the afternoon, but Gen. Braxton Bragg, commanding at Kinston, recalled him. Cox received reinforcements late in the day. Action on March 9 was largely limited to skirmishing, as Hoke tested the Federal right flank. Bragg then ordered Hoke to move his division to Lower Trent Troad to attach the Federal rear near Wyse Fork.
Hoke's men made a cross-country march during the night and launched their assault on the morning of March 10. They encountered a strong skirmish line as well as artillery and fortifications and, after a sharp fight, were unable to break through, despite Hill's demonstration against the Federal center. Cox's force held this position as the Confederates retreated to Kinston, fell back to Goldsboro, and then took part in the Battle of Bentonville. After repairing bridges, Schofield occupied Kinston on March 19 and reached Goldsboro two days later.
The yellow sidebar in the lower right of the marker reads:
The house in the distance to your left and front was the home of Confederate Lt. Robert Bond Vause, who was killed at the Battle of Fort Anderson. In 1862, the house was the headquarters of Gen. Robert Ransom, Jr.