Craven County Digital History Exhibit

[Visit to Washington]

By advice of many, who learned we were to visit "Little" Washington, we engaged a carryall, driver, and pair of horses, and left New Berne at 4.30 P. fit. At the end of an hour we had gone three miles, and it was after seven when we reached Street's Ferry, only ten miles from New Berne. At 2.30 A.M., Tuesday, October 7, we drove into Washington. After disturbing the peaceful sleep of several citizens, we found a boarding‑house kept by Mr. Adams, where we secured accommodations.

In the morning we engaged the services of one Joe Chauncey to drive us to Rawle's Mills. Some seven or eight miles out we came to the first swamp (595 ), though not the last, of which we ascertained the depth while accompanying General Foster in his North Carolina expeditions.

Photograph 595: Swamp on the Road from Little Washington to Rawle's Mills

A two‑months drought had had its [p. 229] effect, and we might have walked through without having the water come over our shoes. Wishing to reach Rawle's Mills before it was too late to photograph, we hurried on. We came to a sharp bend on the left, a small house on the right, open fields on both sides, and in front a ford between steep banks. We thought we had reached the location of our first action. After photographing it (596) we sought for the graves of our men, but could find no trace of any. Returning to the house and consulting an old lady who well remembered "Foster's raid," we learned that we were mistaken regarding this place being Rawle's Mills.

Photograph 596: A Ford on the Road from Little Washington to Rawle's Mills

We drove on some two miles, when we reached a saw‑mill owned by a Mr. Lilly, with whom our driver was acquainted. Mr. Lilly said the place we were seeking was about a quarter of a mile beyond the bend. He was not on the ground at the time of the fight, but knew all about it, and told us where some of our men had been buried, including one named Rollins. Their graves were originally under some trees which have been felled since the war, and the ground is now a cornfield. We drove to Rawle's Mills (585).

Photograph 585: Rawle's Mills: Ford where the 44th Mass. were "Baptised"

The deepest part of the stream is now spanned by a substantial wagon‑bridge. The course of the road has been somewhat changed, that part in which we were standing when ambushed being overgrown with bushes. The old breastworks have been levelled, but the field in which we bivouacked (584) is still cultivated. We then returned to Washington.

Photograph 584: Rawle's Mills: Field where the 44th Mass. bivouacked

On Wednesday morning we began our inspection of Washington. We met a Colonel Carrow who offered to guide us, and found the accounts of his war experience very entertaining. We first went to Fort Washington (584 [i.e. 589]),

Photograph 589: Little Washington: Fort Washington

and then to the Grice place (590). 

Photograph 590: Little Washington: the Grice Mansion from the driveway

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Images scanned and text prepared by Victor T. Jones, Jr.

This page last edited on 20 Nov 14.

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