Winton included on Civil War Trail

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 5, 2005

WINTON – The Civil War Heritage Trail now has an official stop in Winton.

A historical sign to mark the burning of Winton during the Civil War was placed in front of Hertford County’s oldest cemetery on King Street in Winton, just a few hundred yards from the Chowan River.

The town of Winton partnered with the North Carolina Department of Tourism and the Northeast Partnership to bring the Civil War Heritage Trail through Winton. The trail features more than 80 sites in North Carolina and hundreds more across the Southeast.

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“The Winton Town Council supported this idea and worked hard to bring the Civil War Trail to Winton,” Winton town administrator Joseph Futrell said. “It has been a two year process.”

Town council member Charles Jones joined Futrell to witness the installation of the new sign.

Futrell thanked Winton Mayor Calvin Hall and town council members Wesley Liverman, Carolyn Bazemore, McCoy Pierce, Ernest Green and Jones. Futrell also thanked Kay Mitchell of North Carolina Tourism and Murfreesboro Historical Association for her assistance in the process.

The Civil War came to northeastern North Carolina as the Union army, under the command of Brigadier General Ambrose E. Burnside, staged large-scale amphibious attacks along the Outer Banks in 1861. These early attacks constituted some of the North’s first victories and led to a series of naval blockades aimed at gaining control of the canals, rivers, and sounds along North Carolina’s coast.

On February 20, 1862 Union troops invaded the town of Winton. Three Union gunboats moved up the Chowan River and bombarded the town following a failed ambush by Confederate soldiers. The Union troops came ashore and set fire to the Courthouse and all of the county’s colonial records. They burned every structure in town except a church and one or two houses belonging to Northern sympathizers.

Today the only standing building to have survived the attack is a detached kitchen which was part of one of the spared houses.