Battle of South Mills, North Carolina Page3
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(May 2016) Enlarge South Mills Battlefield, Hwy. 343 South. Union Col. Rush Hawkins' troops charged across the fields to the left of the historical marker. The 6th New Hampshire's famous volley was fired from the field on the right
 
Around noon, Confederate artillery fire halted the Union column advancing north after a rest stop at Lamb's Corner. The Union battery was hurried to the front of the column and a three hour artillery battle ensued, followed by an hour of combat between the infantry units. The Union advance was held up by five companies of Colonel Ambrose Wright's Third Georgia Infantry and three guns of the Giles Light Artillery, a total of about four hundred men holding off over three thousand until outflanked from the east around 5:00 p.m. The Confederates withdrew to entrenchments north of Joy's Creek; the exhausted Yankees declined to pursue them. The Battle of South Mills was over. Narrative from the Battle of South Mills Guide and Driving Tour (pdf)

 

(May 2016) Enlarge Tour Stop-4: Camden County Court House, Camden, NC
 
On the return to their ships at Chantilly, Union troops destroyed the bridge over Sawyer's Creek, set prisoners free from the jail, stripped the store of an outspoken Southern sympathizer of its merchandise, reportedly stole the gems of the local Shrine Hall, and used the Camden Court House as a rest stop. The route back to Chantilly was strewn with materials looted during the return trip.  Narrative from the Battle of South Mills Guide and Driving Tour (pdf)
 
Links:
Welcome to Camden County - District 1

Historic Camden Courthouse - Camden Count
Camden County Courthouse - Wikipedia

(May 2016) Enlarge Camden County Court House

      

(May 2016) Enlarge Tour Stop-5: Chantilly on the Pasquotank River
 
Waterfront where Union forces landed on April 19, 1862
 
The Union battle plan called for Colonel Rush Hawkins and his Fourth Brigade from Roanoke Island to land at Chantilly under the cover of darkness, followed by a twelve mile forced march to South Mills. They were to capture and hold the bridge over the Pasquotank River below South Mills, preventing the seven Third Georgia companies posted on the Pasquotank County side of the river from crossing over into Camden County. General Jesse Reno was to follow with his two regiments from New Bern and the explosives to blow up the locks.  Narrative from the Battle of South Mills Guide and Driving Tour (pdf)
 
Link:
Pasquotank River - Wikipedia

 
 

(May 2016) Enlarge Waterfront at Chantilly

 

(May 2016) Enlarge Tour Stop-6: Gumberry Road
 
The stop sign is on Gumberry Road at junction with State Hwy. 343. Hawkins' Union 4th Brigade made their wrong turn in the dark here
 
The Union battle plan called for Colonel Rush Hawkins and his Fourth Brigade from Roanoke Island to land at Chantilly under the cover of darkness, followed by a twelve mile forced march to South Mills. They were to capture and hold the bridge over the Pasquotank River below South Mills, preventing the seven Third Georgia companies posted on the Pasquotank County side of the river from crossing over into Camden County. Reno was to follow with his two regiments from New Bern and the explosives to blow up the locks.
 
In the darkness, Hawkins and his Fourth Brigade took a wrong turn onto Gumberry Road, arriving at Belcross around dawn. They stopped at the house of Lieutenant Alonzo Bell on Lamb's Road to eat breakfast. Hawkins recognized Bell as one of the paroled captives from the Battle of Hatteras Inlet. After eating, the Union column continued down Lamb's Road toward South Mills, an unintended detour of about 5 miles. Hawkins blamed the blunder on treachery by his local guide. Narrative from the Battle of South Mills Guide and Driving Tour (pdf)

     

(May 2016) Enlarge Tour Stop-7: Alonzo Bell's House, Lamb's Road
 
The Alonzo Bell House stood near Harris Underground Utilities (background). Hawkins' Union 4th Brigade ate breakfast here See narrative for Tour Stop-6

 

(May 2016) Enlarge Tour Stop-8: Lamb's Corner. Jct. of State Hwy. 343 and Lamb's Road
 
View looking south down Hwy. 343. Lamb's Road is marked by the green road sign behind the mailbox at center of the picture
 
Reno's column left Chantilly at dawn and followed the most direct route past Camden Court House, stopping to rest at Lamb's Corner around 10:00 a.m. While stopped, clouds of dust and flying colors were espied approaching from the east down Lamb's Road. Reno called his men into line of battle and prepared to fire on the approaching force, thinking Hawkins was already at South Mills holding River Bridge. The supposed enemy turned out to be Hawkins and his worn-out men, several hours late. They fell in behind the fresher troops of the Second Brigade and continued northward towards Sawyer's Lane.  Narrative from the Battle of South Mills Guide and Driving Tour (pdf)

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