New Book! -- Whispers of the Long Departed: Untold History of Southern Craven County
The Havelock Station blockhouse fort has been added to the database of the American Fort Network. The Civil War blockhouse, built by Union forces in 1862, had previously been unknown to historians who are creating a list of all fortifications ever built in North America.
The local blockhouse was built beside the railroad trestle on the banks of Slocum Creek as part of a group of fortifications to protect the rail line from rebel troops. Full details, including the local fort’s destruction during a Confederate raid in 1864, appear in In This Small Place by Edward Ellis. The story was documented by the author from official U.S. regimental histories and rebel dispatches sent during the War Between the States.
A drawing of the blockhouse made by a Union soldier, Pvt. Herbert Eugene Valentine of Massachusetts, in 1863 and preserved within the Southern Historical Collection archives, also appears in the book. The fort complex included officers quarters and a tent camp for up to 100 soldiers. The structures were burned by raiding Confederate cavalry in 1864.
After publication of the book in August, 2005, the author became aware of the absence of the Havelock fort from the database and contacted historians there. Upon review of information provided by the author, the “Havelock Station Blockhouse” was added to the list.
The American Fort Network is billed as a “Catalogue and Gazetteer of Forts and Fortresses, Frontier Posts, Camps, Stockades, Blockhouses, Garrisons, Arsenals, and Seacoast Batteries in the United States and Canada.”
The list of central N.C. coastal forts including the Havelock Station Blockhouse is here along with many other area fortifications. The Home Page for the American Fort Network is here.
CIVIL WAR FORT at Havelock was drawn by a visiting Union soldier in 1863. From Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill.