Wednesday, January 1, 2014

December 28, 1863 (Sunday): Kinston Threatened

Kinston Bridge (New Bern-Craven Co. Public Library)

Wilmington, December 28, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond:
    GENERAL: I have received information, which I consider entirely trustworthy, that large re-enforcements are daily arriving at New Berne and Beaufort. Positive numbers not yet ascertained, but there is no doubt that the enemy is concentrated for an attack. Kinston is supposed to be the point. Butler is reported as intending to extend his lines to New River and Kinston; and this would undoubtedly be his design an preliminary to attack here, for it would place our communications in his power, and advance his front much nearer to me. Kinston ought certainly to be strengthened at once, and a heavy force thrown into North Carolina, to be ready to repel Butler's advance at first, and to re-enforce me. I telegraphed this information to you and to General Pickett to-day. Please call the President's attention to it.
      Very respectfully,

      W. H. C. WHITING,

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 29, Part 2, Page 893.

Butler was not ready to move, but his presence in eastern North Carolina was sufficient to constitute a threat to yet another part of the Confederacy.  The enduring theme of late 1863 is the inexorable progression of Union forces across a wide expanse.   

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