Battle of Plymouth, Marker BB-6
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member drmellow
N 35° 51.908 W 076° 43.533
18S E 344208 N 3970364
Quick Description: The Battle of Plymouth took place April 17-20, 1864.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 5/6/2006 1:19:43 PM
Waymark Code: WMC1Q
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GeoGordie
Views: 53

Long Description:

Text on marker:

Battle of Plymouth

At 4 P.M on April 17, 1864, an advanced Union patrol on the Washington Road was captured by Confederate cavalry. A company of the 12th N. Y. Cavalry attacked the Confederates, but was repulsed. Soon a large force of Confederate infantry appeared on the Washington Road, and at the same time Fort Gray, two miles above Plymouth on the river bank, was attacked by advanced Confederate infantry. During the evening skirmishing continued from the Washington Road to the Acre Road. Union General Henry W. Wessells' garrison of about 3,000, which had held Plymouth since December, 1862, was under attack by General Robert F. Hoke's Division of over 5,000 men.

At 5:30 A.M. on April 18, a heavy Confederate artillery fire was directed against Fort Gray. Both Fort Gray and Battery Worth in Plymouth returned the fire. Soon a Union gunboat, the Bombshell, was disabled by the Confederate barrage.

BB-6: Battle of Plymouth

At 6:30 P.M on the 18th the Confederates advanced their line and began an infantry assault upon the Union position; but this attack was abandoned at 8 P.M. The 85th Redoubt was then attacked and captured at 11 P.M.

At 3 A.M. on April 19, the Confederates again attacked Fort Gray. Soon the Confederate iron-clad ram Albemarle, aiding the army, passed undetected down the river. The Albemarle engaged the Southfield and the Miami at 3:30 A.M., sinking the former and driving the latter away. The Albemarle then began to shell the Union defenses.

On April 19 the Confederates opened fire on the Union line from the 85th Redoubt. Fort Williams and Battery Worth returned the fire. Heavy skirmishing continued all day. At 6:30 P.M. the Confederates crossed Coneby Creek in an unexpected advance. Their infantry were now in an important position east of Plymouth.

At 5 A.M. on April 20, the Confederates under General Matt W. Ransom assaulted the Union line east of Plymouth, while General Hoke, with two brigades, demonstrated against the Union right. After capturing the Union defenses east of Plymouth, the Confederates halted their advance and re-formed. Union infantry counter-attacked, but were repulsed by a renewed Confederate advance. In spite of determined resistance by the garrison of Fort Williams, the town was surrendered by General Wessells at 10 A.M.

The capture of Plymouth by the Condederates was significant because it returned two rich eastern North Carolina counties to the Confederacy; it supplied "immense ordance stores" to the Southern war effort; and the Roanoke River was reopened to Confederate commerce and military operations.

This historical marker is located on US 64 in Plymouth at the Visitor Center (the notation in Guide to North Carolina Highway Historical Markers: Ninth Edition indicating it is located on Washington Street is incorrect). It was erected in 1962.

Six other historical markers specifically related to details of the Battle of Plymouth are located throughout Plymouth. Their designations are all prefixed with "BBB", but the marker number does not appear on the physical marker. The other markers markers in this series are as follows:

  1. BBB-4: Hoke's Final Line
  2. BBB-5: Ransoms Assault
  3. BBB-6: 85th Redoubt
  4. BBB-7: Union Earthworks
  5. BBB-8: Naval Action
  6. BBB-9: Fort Williams

Every year, the Battle of Plymouth is reenacted.

Marker Name: BB-6: Battle of Plymouth

Marker Type: Roadside

Related Web Link: [Web Link]

Required Waymark Photo: yes

Local North Carolina markers without State Number Designation: Not listed

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