Carolina City, Union Encampment, Confederate Target

On March 22, 1862, Union Gen. John G. Parke occupied and set up his headquarters at Carolina City, a small village of about 100 inhabitants just west of Morehead City.

With the previous successes at Roanoke Island and New Bern, Union commanders set their sights on Fort Macon at Beaufort Inlet. Morehead City, just across the sound, was a strategic target, since it was the terminus of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad. Beaufort was also captured and occupied. Union forces used the Carolina City location as a launching point to ferry weapons and supplies across the sound to Bogue Banks.

Parke and the Union troops selected Hoop Pole Creek, about five miles west of Fort Macon and directly across the sound from Carolina City, as their landing site on the banks. On April 11, the first skirmish took place between the Union landing force and the detachments from the fort. Union troops set up artillery positions on the banks leading up to the fort and began bombarding the fort on April 25.

In the end, Fort Macon’s commander, Col. Moses J. White, posted the white flag. Today, the campus of Carteret Community College and the Crystal Coast Civic Center mark the approximate location of Carolina City.

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