This Week in the Civil War - #1043
After Federal forces seized Wilmington, North Carolina in mid-February, the Union War Department by March 3, 1865 determined that New Berne was an even better supply base for Sherman’s army, and a large force under Jacob Cox soon was established at New Berne. Once fully established, Union forces then moved toward Goldsborough, repairing the rail lines while Confederate troops organized at nearby Kinston. To the south and west Sherman’s forces entered North Carolina, skirmishing at Rockingham and Southwest Creek with the inadequate forces of cavalry and state militia troops attempting to impede Sherman’s progress. Until sufficient Confederate forces arrived from the West, both the U.S. government and the Confederates knew that Braxton Bragg could do little but to harass Sherman’s progress through the very heartland of the Confederacy.