New Berne, NC

[The Battle of New Bern]

Date(s): March 14, 1862

Location: Please click on link below for map.

New Bern, North Carolina, United States

Campaign(s): Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition [January-July 1862]

Battles in Campaign:



  • Union: Brig. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside

  • Confederate: Brig. Gen. Lawrence O’Byran Branch

Principal Forces:

  • Union: Expeditionary Force and Foster’s, Reno’s, and Parke’s Brigades [12,000]

  • Confederate: Five regiments and militia [4,500]


  • On March 11, 1862, Brig. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s departed Roanoke Island, NC, with an estimated 12,000 troops for an expedition against New Berne.

  • At Hatteras Inlet the troop ships met with 13 heavily armed gunboats commanded by Commodore Stephen C. Rowan of the Union Navy.

  • On March 13, the fleet sailed up the Neuse River and disembarked infantry on the river’s south bank to approach the New Berne defenses.

  • The Confederate defense was commanded by Brig. Gen. Lawrence Branch.

  • On March 14, John G. Foster’s, Jesse Reno’s, and John G. Parke’s brigades attacked along the railroad and after four hours of fighting drove the Confederates out of their fortifications.

  • The Federals captured nine forts and 41 heavy guns and occupied a base which they would hold to the end of the war, in spite of several Confederate attempts to recover the town.

Photo Gallery:1

Description of the Battle of New Berne

Description of Burnside Expedition of 1862

Union Troop Landing on Cape Hatteras

Map of Burnside's 1862 Campaign

Confederate Defensive Positions

New Bern Academy - From School to Hospital

New Bern Academy

Confederate War Memorial - New Berne Cemetery

Cap. Collin Hughes Grave Monument

Boyhood Home of Rains Brothers


Classification2: B


  • Union: 476

  • Confederate: 584-609  

Results: Union Victory

Battlefield Websites:

Lodging and Restaurants: North Carolina  Tourism

Recommended Resources:

1 Please click on the image to enlarge it. You may copy the images if you include the following note and link with each image: "Courtesy of"

2 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

3 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 09/07/2012