Last Stand at Wilmington: The Battle of Forks Road
by Chris E. Fonvielle Jr.
Union and Confederate forces fought the Battle of Forks Road or the ‘Battle of Jumpin’ Run,’ as ‘old timers’ called it, on February 20-21, 1865, for possession of Wilmington, North Carolina. Wilmington was the Confederacy’s last major seaport and most important city by 1865.
Southern soldiers, commanded by Major General Robert F. Hoke, made a last stand at Forks Road in an effort to halt the Union army’s advance on the city.
United States Colored Troops, commanded by Brigadier General Charles J. Paine, were the principal combatants for the battle. Indeed the vast majority of the blue-uniformed combatants in the Battle of Forks Road were black men, making this not just a Civil War battlefield, but also a significant African American historical site.
The victors of the Battle of Forks Road would control Wilmington, the Cape Fear River and the city’s railroads, all crucial to final military operations in North Carolina during the Civil War
Note: The Forks Road battlefield is located on and around the grounds of the Louise Cameron Art Museum at 17th Street and Independence Blvd. in Wilmington, NC.
Paperback: 45 pages
Publisher: Renovah Publishing Co. (2007); 1st edition (2007); 2014 Status: Out of Print
About the Author
Chris E. Fonvielle, Ir. was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina. He graduated from New Hanover High School and UNC Wilmington. He then served as the last curator of the Blockade Runners of the Confederacy Museum. Fonvielle subsequently received his MA. in American history from East Carolina University and his PhD. in Civil War studies from the University of South Carolina.
He is the author of several books and articles on the Civil War, including The Wilmington Campaign: Last Rays of Departing Hope. Since 1996, Dr. Fonvielle has been a member of the faculty in the Department of History at UNC Wilmington. He lives in Wilmington with his wife Nancy and their two daughters.