Lost Treasures In North Carolina


North Carolina offers treasure for any hunter. The Tar Heel State is home to gems, sites of Revolutionary, Indian, and Civil War battles, lost gold mines, silver caches, ghost towns, shipwrecks, and beaches where you can shoot coins.


Since the price of silver keeps rising, it might pay some interested people to check out the following location.

In Macon County, in southwestern North Carolina, there is a rich deposit of silver somewhere in the Nantahala Mountains that was known to the Cherokee Indians but kept secret from the white men.

The story goes that the first white settlers in the area found an old Indian, whom the Cherokee called Sontechee, living at the mouth of a stream now known as Factory Creek. A large rock shelf at the time partially covered the entrance to what was once a large cavern in the hillside.

The settlers wondered why the Indian had no squaw, lived apart from the other Indians, and seldom left the cave’s entrance. Sontechee was respected by the Cherokee, who always ensured he had everything he needed. In the tie, the settlers learned why he lived alone and at this exact spot.

His people had selected Sontechee to guard the cave because somewhere behind the shelf in the mountain was a vast deposit of silver ore. This mine is believed to have been the source of supply for much of the metal used by the Cherokees to make various trinkets, which they prized highly.

Because the early settlers didn’t want to make trouble with the Cherokees, they didn’t try to explore the area around the cave. With the passing of the years, other settlers moved in and took over the Indian lands. Sontechee, the old guardian, died, and the mysterious cavern was forgotten.

A few years later, a big landslide sealed up the entrance to the cave. This time, the finding of the remains of an old smelter, a firebox, piles of cinders, and large quantities of burned ore that had been buried near the cave’s entrance, convinced the settlers that the Cherokees had a large mining operation going on for years before the white men came to the area.

On Factory Creek, a short distance from the entrance, is an ancient water wheel built by the Cherokee Indians out of large, hand-hewn logs. It was used to furnish power for the crude crushing of silver ore to be smelted.

Silver has been found in the area in small quantities; maybe the rich deposit could be found if the cave were reopened. So far, this has not been attempted by anyone.


Here is the story of a lost silver mine that has been authenticated as closely as possible without actually finding the mine. This story of the lost silver mine and a copper kettle full of silver “wads” predates the Revolutionary War.

In the 1760s, Thomas Clapum, a prospector from Pennsylvania, came to what was then part of Rowan County, North Carolina, with a young slave. They crossed the river at Buffalo Crossing on the Indian Trading Path and prospected around Pilot Mountain, so named because of its swaybacked ship, about ten miles away.

In a cove on the west side of the mountain, he found a spring, and while cleaning it of debris, he found several nuggets or slivers of silver. He decided to build a cabin and prospect the area. Clapum traced the vein of silver to the mother lode, which was only a few feet underground.

In this part of North Carolina, there were bands of Cherokee Indians who moved around and were jealous of all white people. To avoid interference from them, he built a crude furnace about three-quarters of a mile east of the mine.

When the ore was taken from the mine, Clapum and his servant carried it to the furnace and smelted it into bullion. Finally, when they had melted enough silver to load two horses, they decided to leave for Pennsylvania and return later.

After concealing all traces of the mine and destroying the furnace, Clapum marked a rock, giving coded directions to the mine. He then had his servant mark a large, well-known tree beneath which they had buried a large copper kettle full of “wads,” which were silver ore drops the size of acorns.

This tree stood on the east bank of what is now Richland Creek, in a straight line, one-half mile from the furnace.

As Clapum and his servant left the area, they stopped at the cabin of Peter Elliot, which stood several miles from the furnace and mine. It was to Elliott that Clapum disclosed his secret. Clapum died before he could return to the mine.

Years later, just before 1851, one of Clapum’s heirs returned to the area with Clapum’s old Negro servant to look for the mine. They were never able to locate it. This trip and the legend of the silver mine were recorded in the “Evergreen Magazine,” published in Asheboro, North Carolina, in 1851.


Here are two locations of blockade runner treasure that would be interesting to check out.

In 1864, the Confederate ship Fanny and Jenny sank off the coast of North Carolina as it tried to get away from Federal warships and reach Wilmington. Reportedly, the ship carried a jeweled gold sword sent to General Robert E. Lee by English admirers.

An undetermined amount of gold sent to the Confederate government was also believed to be on board. Right after the ship sank, the captain and his purser tried to get this gold back, but they both drowned. Neither the gold nor the sword has ever been found.

Attracted by the high prices offered, ship owners and crews hired by the Confederacy brought in much-needed supplies from Bermuda and the West Indies to maintain the Confederate Army. Many shop owners outside the United States helped the Confederate Army get through the blockade into a few southern ports.

The English-registered iron steamer PREVENSEY was built by Charles Langley in Liverpool, England, at the end of 1863 as a blockade runner for Stringer, Pembroke, and Company in London, England. The ship weighed 500 tons, had an iron hull, and side paddle wheels, and was rigged like a schooner.

Loaded on Confederate accounts with a cargo consisting of arms, blankets, shoes, cloth, clothing, lead, bacon, and other items, the Prevensey had run off her course to avoid capture by the Federal boat, Quaker City.

To lighten her cargo, 30 tons of lead and 20 tons of bacon had been thrown overboard.
In the early morning of June 9, 1863, the supply boat NEW BERN, out of Fort Macon supply base, returning from supplying Union ships off the mouth of the Cape Fear River, spotted the PREVENSEY, some 45 miles southeast of Fort Mason. Giving chase, the NEW BERN put a shot across the enemy’s bow, carrying away the forward davit.

Changing course, the PREVENSEY headed for the Bogue Banks, striking the beach about six miles west of Fort Macon. After the crew had pulled for shore, she was blown up. One sailor was left on board to let off the charge and was later found unharmed. One of the 35 crew members died on the beach before Union soldiers caught the rest of the crew.

Knowing they were close to Fort Macon and would be captured, the crew buried the ship’s cash box, their own money, and any personal items they had. Since they were not in either army and were classified as mercenaries, it isn’t likely any of them ever came back after they were released from a Union prison.

Following the close of the Civil War, stories were circulated that the money chest of the Pevensey had been brought ashore and buried opposite the wreck, marked by a clump of three large oak trees. The shifting sands would have made it almost useless to search in the 1860s, but with a good metal detector, the chances of finding this cache today are good.


For those treasure hunters who prefer rock-hounding to metal detecting, the area between Bryson City and Franklin, North Carolina, could be the best spot in the United States to search along the gravel bars of different streams for precious gems.

Before Hernando DeSoto, a Spanish conquistador, came to the area, the Cherokee Indians had been collecting rubies for hundreds of years. DeSoto didn’t understand how valuable the rubies were, so he robbed the villages to get freshwater pearls, which were worthless in Spain.

Although the early settlers of North Carolina found gems, they were considered worthless. The first white man to take a real interest in the rubies and other gems and learn their true value was a settler on Cowee Creek.

He found a large red stone in 1880, had it appraised, and when word leaked out that it was a very valuable gemstone, the race was on. Several companies have been formed over the years to mine the gems. The first company started in 1899 and was located on Caler Fork. Today, there are many places where one can pay a fee and pay for different stones.

A good place to start and gather information is at the Museum of North Carolina Minerals in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. Emeralds and a few diamonds have been found in Alexander and Mitchell Counties. Ruby and sapphire stones have been found in Buncombe, Haywood, Jackson, Clay, Macon, and Iredell counties.

But some of the best areas are on privately owned farms in the counties where the streams have not been worked out. The largest emerald found so far in North Carolina was found in 1971 by Wanye Anthony. It weighed in at 59 carats and is worth $100,000 today.

Prospectors who have been around for a while say that North Carolina is the best state in the Union for rock hunters because it has many different kinds of rocks. Over 300 different minerals may be found within the state. So there is almost any type of treasure one wants to search for.

For those who prefer to visit a functioning gem mine, here are several: Goldsmith Mine, north of Asheville; Gregory’s Ruby Mine; and Holbrook’s Ruby Mine, near the town of Franklin. Crabtree and Ray Mines are close to Burnsville in the Blue Ridge section of McKinney.

If you visit North Carolina, you have as much chance of finding a large ruby, emerald, or another gemstone as anyone else. For those interested, it might pay to try your hand at gem panning or mining if you are ever in western North Carolina. For a small panning fee, you might get lucky.


This supposed location of gold in North Carolina comes from a petition and travel journal that a Frenchman named Jean Couture filed in 1700 with the Commissioners of Trade and Plantations at Whitehall in London, England.

Couture’s complaint to the British Commissioners at Whitehall stated, and I quote: “He and three other men journeyed west beyond the Appalachian Mountains, where no Europeans had previously been. They passed through the hunting grounds of several Indian nations.”

“One day, looking down into the bed of a small stream, running over rocks, he saw something gleaming under the water. He fished up about four pounds weight of gold in large grains. He and his companions saw many blue stones, which they thought were lapis lazuli Indian she met gave him as many pearls of good size and color as filled both his hands.”

“Then misfortunes, one after another, followed swiftly at his heels. An Indian carrying his box containing his treasures bolted with it. His three companions were murdered, and he escaped death and scalping only by his knowledge of Indian dialects.”

“He believed the Indians trading with South Carolina had instigated other Indians to steal his gold and find out where he had picked it up. When he reached South Carolina to file a complaint, the English Governor Moore had him locked up and threatened to kill him if he did not tell where he had found the gold. It cost Couture $500.00, which he borrowed from friends, to get out of jail.”

Couture petitioned Whitehall to get his money back and get Governor Moore in trouble for treating him badly. The commissioners in London did nothing.

According to the distance he claimed he traveled, 50 leagues, which are about 350 miles from the east coast, the stream where Couture found gold would probably be in what is now Cherokee or Graham Counties, in the extreme southwest corner of North Carolina, where the gem mines are today.

Couture’s petition could be dismissed as fantasy, except that it is recorded in the early English archives. I present this story only as a good location for further research.


This treasure is commonly known as the Brummel’s Inn cache. Jacob Brummel, a wealthy slave owner, ran Brummel’s Inn on the old stage road between Greensboro and High Point. Until a few years ago, the building was still standing.

In the winter of 1854, a man named William D. Weatherford stopped overnight at Brummel’s Inn. Before retiring that night, he said he had buried a pouch of gold in the nearby woods between two trees. A few hours later, Weatherford died of natural causes and was interred in the graveyard in the back of the inn.

The Brummels’ were never able to identify the stranger or find the gold. It was not unusual for guests of the early taverns to bury their wealth overnight instead of trusting its care to the tavernkeeper, but to announce the fact seems a bit odd. As far as it’s known, the cache has never been found.


Kittrell, North Carolina, is located in Vance County, about 10 miles south of Henderson. Near here is where the pirate Captain Pop buried his treasure. It hasn’t been found yet unless it was secretly dug up.
The treasure is reputed to be a large sum of gold coins and may someday be brought to light by the signal of a metal detector.

Captain Pop was a successful pirate who grew weary of the seafaring life and retired with a small fortune to keep him going. He also wanted to establish a business to keep himself occupied. Pop chose the isolated community of Kittrell and purchased an old tavern and inn with some of his pirate loot.

The inn had been built by a European nobleman who had come to America as a political refugee. Under the ex-pirate’s direction, the business did well, and Captain Pop made more money by adding gaming tables.

The wily old pirate hoarded large amounts of coins and is said to have buried the treasure near his business place, which he calls the Popcastle Inn. With his death, the gold coins and other valuables remained hidden in the area, and there was no record of the money being found.


A treasure of gold coins is hidden in the ancient Uwharrie Mountains in central North Carolina, which are covered by a huge forest. A cursed treasure, so the native legends say. It has been protected by evil spirits and the ghost of the man who buried it for over 100 years.

Scientists believe that the Uwharries are possibly the oldest mountain range on the North American continent, having risen eons ago to 20,000 feet. Ten thousand years ago, aborigines lived among them and left ceremonial grounds and mounds from which artifacts have been recovered.

Today these peaks have been eroded into wart-like knobs and razor-back ridges. The region is filled with the lore of witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and treasure.

Dr. Francis J. Kron was a country doctor in the Uwharries for over 50 years. Entering the area in about 1835, he married a woman of some wealth and purchased a large plantation. They built a fine home on the northwest side of Morrow Mountain State Park.

They survived the Civil War, and many of their former slaves stayed on the old plantation. During the 1870s, the aged doctor employed a laborer remembered as “Lanky Dan.” Once in late fall, after all the crops had been harvested and sold, Lanky Dan was summoned to the doctor’s house and shown a heavy oaken keg with iron bands surrounding it.

Its top was nailed shut, and its contents were not visible. Dr. Kron instructed him to place the keg in the field near three abandoned slave shacks.

Lanky Dan was surprised that the keg was too heavy to lift and had to be rolled to the field. He was also surprised to discover that it jingled when it moved because it was full of coins. After much struggling and heaving, the keg was deposited inside one of the cabins. “Just leave it here,” Dr. Kron told Lanky Dan.

The old Negro never saw the keg again, but a few days later, he was again called to the doctor’s house, this time to help burn the three old slave quarters to the ground.

Lanky Dan and most of the other Negroes in the Uwharries feared Dr. Kron, believing that he could call down ghosts and evil spirits. Consequently, Lanky Dan was on his deathbed before he told anyone about the keg, which he believed was filled with gold coins. He swore the doctor cast a demonic spell while the buildings burned to protect his treasure.

The Kron family had all died off by Lanky Dan’s death, and the plantation was abandoned and in ruins.

The three burned cabins were in a field between the Louder Ferry Road and a small creek, a small section of bottomland surrounded by thickly wooded ridges. Hattaway Mountain stands directly to the south.

The site would not be hard to find, and with the present owner’s permission and a good metal detector, someone might be lucky and locate a small keg of gold coins worth a fortune today.

Stede Bonnet was a professional soldier in the English King’s Army stationed in Bridgetown, Barbados. After he retired as a major in his middle years, he supposedly went into the piracy business to escape his mean wife. Later, he worked with Blackbeard for a short time, just like Captain Sandy Gordon of the New Hampshire legend did.

One day in August 1718, again on his own, Bonnet chose an inlet near the mouth of the Cape Fear River to repair his ship, the Royal James, which had been badly battered in recent piratical forays. It was here that Bonnet is said to have gone ashore with a small company of men and buried three chests of treasure.

However, as the ROYAL JAMES repairs were being made, the Governor of Carolina, having learned of Bonnet’s whereabouts, sent a force against the pirates and, after a battle, captured them. Bonnet was later tried and hanged. His cache of three chests filled with gold and silver coins, buried close to the mouth of the Cape Fear River, near the end of the peninsula, has never been reported found.


According to local legend around Morehead City, North Carolina, a Confederate ship was heading for Fort Macon with the troop’s payroll, all in silver, when Union forces attacked it. The Rebel ship was driven aground by the Union airships on the seaward side of Shackleford Bank.

It is believed that the Rebel crew buried the silver somewhere between the site of the wreck and Bogue Sound, which is shared near the tiny fishing village of Salter Path. This would be about six miles west of Fort Macon.

Several people have tried to locate the Confederate payroll silver, but whether or not any of them ever succeeded is anyone’s guess. At the very least, no discovery has ever been reported.


The privateer schooner Aranah left British-controlled Grand Bahama Island with a load of illegal gold at the end of November 1812. Packed in six iron chests, the fortune amounted to almost $800,000. She quietly moved away from her moorings, and the British war sloops at anchor in the harbor did not see her.

The sails were fully open, and the ship left the Caribbean quickly, avoiding the start of the British blockade at sea during the War of 1812.

The ship arrived just off the Carolina coast after dusk, heading for the Chesapeake Bay and safe refuge. Just as Captain Krebbs brought his schooner around Cape Henry and headed into the bay proper, a sleepy black shadow raced across the water in his direction.

People thought the Naval Revenue Cutter Vigilant or the Gallatin could have been the shadow. The cutter drew up to the Aranah and called a challenge.

In a panic, Krebbs stopped the schooner suddenly and started racing for the open sea, which seemed to be the only way out of a shallow northeasterly heading. But the American cutter proved as fast as the schooner and rapidly closed the distance.

Standing darkly against the uncluttered ocean horizon, the schooner was an unobscured target. Mistaking the Aranha for a renegade English vessel, the cutter opened a withering and accurate cannon fire, splintering the schooner’s masts and hull alike. Within moments, the dark waves northeast of Cape Charles sank the Aranha in about 90 feet of water.

The American cutter rescued only three seamen, leaving her skipper and remaining crew as skeletal guardians of the valuable gold treasure.


1781 was a bad one all around for Lt. General Charles Cornwallis, opening with frustration, a disastrous “victory,” and closing with his surrender at Yorktown, ending the American Revolution.

When cold weather failed to arrive in the exceedingly warm fall of 1780, and the winner of 1780–1871 was Cornwallis, he moved north from Charleston, South Carolina, where he had originally planned to winter, into North Carolina. After the destruction of the British forces at Kings Mountain forced his retreat from Charlotte in late 1780, a chain of events began that led to his debacle at Yorktown.

Embodied in this chain of events is a storied treasure whose location is known within a thousand yards or so by literally thousands of people.

At Grotts’ Crossing on Abbotts Creek, near Lexington, Cornwallis determined that he must lighten his column if he was to get any of his men to the safety of British territory near the port city of Wilmington, where the British fleet could pick them up. The constant hit-and-run attacks of the colonists had taken a toll on the spirit of the British soldiers.

Accordingly, all wagons were cleared of cargo and supplies that were not essential. Most of the stuff was left on the side of the road, except for a large amount of gold and silver that was thought to be paid for by British soldiers further north.

The banks of Abbots Creek at this point, a few hundred yards north of the present highway bridge on U.S. 64, are very steep. The creek makes a sharp turn southward due to a large hill whose western face had been deeply undercut by the stream. Cornwallis ordered the gold and silver items placed in the undercut, and the face of the hill was blasted down over them to prevent their seizure by the colonists.

As the heavy kegs and chests were being manhandled into place along the steep bank, with a 30-foot vertical drop at spots, one cast broke free from its handlers and struck a soldier clinging to the bank’s face. He was knocked down into the creek and killed by falling or drowning. After all the treasure was placed under the bank, as the legend says, the body was placed with it, and the overhang was blown down with a powder charge.

As far as can be determined, the treasure is still there. British coins and rough gold and silver slugs have been found in the stream near this area. But no one has found the spot along the hill where Cornwallis buried his gold.

Many years ago, one of Henderson County’s early settlers kept a small tavern near what was known as Mud Creek Church. He also owned other property; some years later, he decided to sell it lock, stock, and barrel.

As the story goes, the old fellow was paid off in gold coins, and after considering the matter, he decided to bury the money. According to legend, he blindfolded two of his slaves one night, then led them to a thickly wooded area some distance away and told them to dig a hole and bury the money.

Time passed, and the aged fellow reached the ripe old age of 104. He then realized that he was a little short on ready cash. So with the aid of helpers, he returned to the spot where he thought he had buried the gold years before. Hours were spent digging, but nothing turned up. While searching for the buried treasure, the old fellow fell and died of injuries at the site.

The story is told that, down through the years, people have spent fruitless hours digging in hopes of finding the older man’s pot of gold, buried somewhere near the forgotten locations of Mud Creek Church in Henderson County.


There are several so-called “Graveyard of Ships” in the world. Two are in United States waters, one off the Columbia River bar in Oregon and the other off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. For the sheer number of sea disasters, Hatteras probably holds the record. Some 2,200 vessels have been wrecked in the vicinity of Cape Hatteras in the past 100 years.

Here, there are so many hulks stuck in Diamond Shoals that their total weight changes the magnetic compass by as much as eight degrees. No one knows how much treasure rests at the bottom of these treacherous waters, but the bulk of one ship, the CENTRAL AMERICA, holds $2,400,000 worth of California gold. This was the first great shipwreck of treasure from the mines of California.


In the southeastern states, gold deposits are spread out over a 70-mile-long by 150-mile-wide area east of the Appalachian Mountains. North Carolina is the biggest producer in this area.

Early in the 19th century, North Carolina had its first gold rush. According to legend, a 12-year-old boy, Conrad Reid, accidentally found a 17-pound nugget along the creek near his Cabarrus County home while playing hooky from Sunday school. The nugget was used as a doorstop for three years before it was identified.

When the news finally arrived, peaceful Meadow Creek became a rough and bustling gold camp overnight. The discovery site produced $10,000,000 in gold, while farther north, in Rowan County, a mine proved so rich that more than a thousand men were employed, and the boom towns of Gold Hill and Richfield were established. The largest nugget was reported to weigh 29 pounds.

So rich was the first gold boom in the United States that a mint was established in nearby Charlotte. By the late 1840s, 30,000 men were working in the gold mine industry of the Carolina Piedmont. Some of these mines were still producing gold as late as 1937.


A great treasure has been buried since 1822 on the beach at Currituck Sound, North Carolina, just south of the Virginia border. James Smith, a not-very-well-known but cruel pirate, and his crew of thugs hid the treasure.

History doesn’t know much about Smith’s early life, but law enforcement first heard about him when he and his crew of pirates took control of a French ship. They used the vessel to prey on merchant ships in southern waters.

Later, when Smith was tired of being at sea, he decided to go back to port and enjoy his loot. But there was one big problem: they didn’t have the papers they needed to get into an American port as captains of a legal merchant ship.

After much discussion with his crew, Smith decided to solve the problem by sinking his ship in Currituck Sound. But first, the pirates brought their cargo ashore in the three boats and buried it all on the sandy beach, except for one large chest.

A Currituck County planter, Benjamin Taylor, later related that seven or eight rough-looking seamen came to his home one night and rented rooms. They then employed Taylor and some of his slaves to cross Currituck Sound to obtain a large, heavy metal-bound chest. The seamen remained at Taylor’s home for about a week.

Taylor stated that he spied on the group and saw them divide a large sum of money among themselves. As the band’s leader, Smith received the lion’s share of the coins. Taylor became suspicious and reported to the authorities what he had seen. The pirates were arrested but later released. Smith departed as mysteriously as he had appeared.

The next thing anyone heard of Smith was when he turned up in Connecticut. This was a bad idea because the police found him again and imprisoned him for 23 years on four counts of horse theft. He died in prison in 1836.

As far as is known, nearly three boatloads of Smith’s treasure still lie beneath the shifting sands of Currituck Sound beach.


In North Carolina, the shadows of the Civil War have long since vanished, but the weapons and relics are still there. In the section of old North Carolina called Piedmont, the effects of the war were slight. Still, Randolph County, in Piedmont, Virginia, is one of the best areas in the south to search for Civil War relics.

A small town in Randolph County named Red Cross was the scene of the last encampment of General Joseph E. Johnston’s Confederate army. Thousands of southern soldiers camped here in an area little more than three miles wide.

They had just arrived at Red Cross when they heard General Johnston had given up to General W.T. Sherman. The surrender was signed at the small farmhouse of James Bennett, near where Durham, North Carolina, is now.

Under the terms of the surrender, the Confederate soldiers were ordered to leave all their equipment and arms at the campground and return to their homes.

The campground can be reached 12 miles southeast of Greensboro on Highway 49-A. The campground lies due west of the highway at Red Cross. A resident of the Red Cross owns the main part of the campground. In the past, treasure hunters have been permitted to hunt for relics, and the owner’s only request is that any holes dug be refilled.

Minnie balls, rifles, cannonballs, belt buckles, breastplates, swords, and old coins are some of the relics found.


Many people have asked me for information about Civil War battlefields and camps in North Carolina. This alphabetical listing of counties will make it easier for them to travel and locate these different sites. This listing does not include all of the Civil Way locations in North Carolina, but it will help many interested people.

Beauford County: About five miles from Chocowinity is the site of Confederate batteries on the Pamlico River that was used in 1863. Rodman’s Point, near Washington, was the scene of a battle between Confederate and Union forces on April 4, 1863.

Union forces controlled the town of Washington during most of the Civil War. In November of 1863, a Confederate force attacked the town. Four battles occurred here: May 31, 1862, September 6, 1862, March 30 through April 4, 1963, and the last one on November 1, 1863.

There were many Confederate forts near the mouth of the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County. Forts Caswell and Campbell were situated across from Smith’s Island to guard what was known as Old Inlet into the Cape Fear River from the ocean. Smith’s Island itself was Fort Holmes. Forts Johnston at Smithville and Anderson at Old Brunswick were located on the mainland, on the west bank of Cape Fear.

On January 6, 1865, Fort Caswell was blown up by the Confederate forces to keep it from falling into Union hands. Smith Island, Forts Campbell, and Johnston fortifications were also destroyed within the next few days. This opened the way for Union forces to advance and capture Wilmington.

Burke County: Near South Mills is the Sawyer’s Lane Battlefield, the scene of an engagement between Union and Confederate troops on April 19, 1862.

On the same day, Union and Confederate forces met at Camden in a skirmish, with several killed or wounded on both sides.

Carteret Count: In March 1862, federal troops attacked and captured Morehead City and Beaufort. Fort Macon, nearby, was attacked by Union forces on April 25, 1862, and captured on the 26th.

The Confederates built wooden barracks at Newport during the winter of 1861-1862 and only used them for that one winter.

Chowan County: On June 11, 1862, Union forces attacked the town of Edenton but were unable to take the city. Nearby, on the banks of the Chowan River, are the ruins of a Union fort that the Confederates captured and partially burned in 1863.

Craven County: The Confederate and Union armies had forts in Craven County. Fort Totten, near New Bern, was a Confederate post that fell to the Union forces in March 1862. Fort Amory was a Union fort located near James City today.

Near Bachelors Creek, four battles were fought. The dates are November 11, 1862, May 23, 1863, February 1 through 3, 1864, and May 26, 1864.

Cumberland County: Fayetteville saw Union soldiers attacked the Confederate Army on March 13, 1865.
Dare County: The Confederates had several forts in this area, both on the mainland and Roanoke Island. Fort Forest was located near Manns Harbor and was destroyed on February 8, 1863.

Fort Forest was located near Manns Harbor and was destroyed on February 8, 1863. For Oregon, Oregon Inlet was erected in 1861. Forts Hatteras and Clark were constructed in 1861 at Hatteras Inlet. These were two of the more essential forts on the Outer Banks. Fort Clark was abandoned on August 28, 1861, and Fort Hatteras surrendered on August 29, 1861.

Three forts on the west side of Roanoke Island were erected in 1861 and 1862, Forts Huger, Blanchard, and Bartow. Fort Russell was built in the center of the island. On January 7, 1862, Union forces attacked the forts, and the island fell on February 7, 1862.

Duplin County: During Stoneman’s Riad, on April 3 and 11, 1865, skirmishes took place at Salen and Shallow Ford, near where the Yadkin River Bridge is today.

Gaston County: During Stoneman’s Raid, the town of Dallas was attacked on April 19, 1865.

Harnet County: During March 1865, several battles and skirmishes were fought between Erwin and Godwin. The Confederates were trying to keep Sherman from reaching Raleigh and Goldsboro. The Averasboro battleground, near Erwin, saw over 500 men on both sides killed or wounded during a battle on March 15.

Haywood County: On November 18, 1863, Union and Confederate soldiers met in a skirmish at Cove Creek. Winton’s county seat was burned, except for one log cabin, and had to be rebuilt after the war.

Hyde County: Chicamicomico was the scene of a battle between Confederate and Union forces with naval support

Johnson County: In the southern part of this county is the Bentonville Battlefield, where Sherman and his army defeated the Confederates under General J.E. Johnston on March 10–12, 1865. Over 4,000 men were killed in this battle, one of the largest in North Carolina during the war.

Jones County: Comfort, or Quaker Bridge, had a skirmish on July 6, 1863. Trenton had two battles, December 12, 1862, and May 14, 1863. Pollocks also had two battles, April 14, 1862, and January 16, 1863.

Lenoir County: During March 1862, fighting occurred throughout the Neuse River.

Martin County: About eleven miles from Williamston is where the Confederate fort of Fort Branch was built. On July 9, 1862, a battle took place at Hamilton between the two armies.

New Hanover County: The Battle of Fort Fisher ranged from just below Carolina Beach to Fort Fisher from December 20, 1864, until January 13, 1865. After Fort Fischer surrendered, Sugar Loaf Hill was attacked on January 19, 1865, and again on February 11, 1865.

Northampton County: Boons Mill, near Jackson, had a battle on July 29, 1864.

Orange County: Between Hillsborough and Carrboro, on a side road, are the remains of Hillsboro Military Academy, which used to train Confederate recruits.

Onslow County: Near Swansboro, Huggins’ Island Fort was located, which was burned by Union forces on August 19, 1862.

Pitt County: The town of Greenville saw action twice during 1863, first in November and again on December 30.

Richmond County: On March 7, 1865, Confederate and Union forces gathered at Rockingham.

Rowan County: On April 12, 1865, during Stoneman’s Raid, Grants Creek, near Salisbury, was the scene of a skirmish. A Confederate prison was located in Salisbury and covered 16 acres. Federal troops destroyed the prison in 1865.

Scottland County: Part of Sherman’s army, marching from Savannah to Goldsboro, camped at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church on March 8–9, 1865.

Watauga County: Boone was the scene of a skirmish during Stoneman’s Raid on April 1, 1865.

Wayne County: On December 16, 1862, Confederate and Union troops clashed at Whitehall. In March of 1865, near Mt. Olive, Confederates camped for several days before the battle of Bentonville. On December 12–18, 1862, a battle was fought at Goldsboro, with over 500 men lost on both sides.

Washington County: Early in the war, Union forces captured Plymouth. In April 1864, General Hoke and his Confederate army attacked the town and, after three days of fighting, were successful in driving the Union troops out.

Wake County: Fighting took place near Raleigh from April 7 until April 13, 1863.

This is only a partial listing. Almost any historical society or library within the state can help the Civil War buff. A word of caution, check all laws, rules, and regulations and obtain permission before searching.


Traveling south from Henderson, the tiny village of Kittrell is about eight miles down the road. Take a right turn on Lynbank Road and drive another two miles to Ruin Creek. Here are the ruins of Popcastle Inn, a colonial tavern and gambling house that was popular until about 1860.

The structure was built by a nobleman, a European refugee, and was later owned by Captain Pop, a pirate who claimed, “I hid a heap of gold not far from here.” Unfortunately, the old pirate died without telling his family the exact location of his cache; as far as is known, it has not been found.

Jason Smith

I am a Marine who now works as a Web Developer. I have five US States left to visit. I like whiskey, wine, and coffee, soaking in hot springs or in my hot tub.

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