On February 2, 1864, a 900 man Union garrison near the small eastern North Carolina town of Newport found itself under attack by over 2,500 Confederates. Despite being outnumbered and facing almost three to one odds, the Union forces fought three separate engagements over an almost ten mile front in western Carteret County. After a day of combat lasting over ten hours, Union troops were compelled to retreat in the face of an overwhelming Confederate onslaught. Ultimately three members of the 9th Vermont infantry were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions which saved their comrades from certain capture.The Battle of Newport Barracks was the culmination of a brilliant operation commanded by Brigadier General James G. Martin and marked a rare Confederate victory in a theater of the Civil War where fortunes rarely favored Southern forces. Often viewed as a mere footnote to the larger Confederate attempt to recapture New Bern, this is the story of the men and the town caught in the middle of the largest and bloodiest battle to take place in Carteret County during the Civil War.
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