Robert Hoke Monument, Kinston
This monument is a marker dedicated to the memory of General Robert Hoke and the battle he won on March 8, 1865 at Southwest Creek (also known as the Battle of Wyse Fork) against General Cox's Union Army. The plaque sits on an irregular stone slab, approximately three feet high, and is made of metal, possibly bronze. The design of the plaque is neo-classical, representing a Roman temple with bas-relief images of classical figures and framed by elegant columns. The inscription on the plaque is framed at the top by the bas-relief image of an eagle with its wings outstretched. In 1995 the monument was relocated just to the east of its original location, and a bronze plaque on a small square slab of granite commemorating the relocation was added at that time in the ground at the foot of the monument.
This monument is in the same style used to commemorate the grave of Richard Caswell, North Carolina's first and fifth governor, which is also located in Kinston. The Caswell grave marker was dedicated eight months earlier in September 1919.
Marker, plaque: NEAR THIS SPOT, MARCH 8, 1865, ABOUT 9 A.M. / HOKE’S DIVISION, C.S.A. UNDER THE IMMEDIATE / COMMAND OF MAJOR-GENERAL ROBERT E. HOKE, BROKE THE ADVANCE COLUMNS OF / COX’S FIRST DIVISION, 23RD CORPS, U.S.A. AND / CAPTURED PRINCIPALLY FROM UPHAM’S BRIGADE / 1500 PRISONERS AND THREE PIECES OF ARTILLERY / AND AT THIS SPOT GENERAL BRAXTON BRAGG / MET GENERAL HOKE AND CONGRATULATED HIM IN / PERSON UPON HIS GLORIOUS VICTORY.
Ground, plaque: THE “HOKE MONUMENT” / RELOCATED MARCH 12 1994 FROM ORIGINAL SITE / (.6 MILES WEST) BY C.S.S. RAM NEUSE CAMP / “SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS” / “REDEDICATED MAY 20 1995”
C.S.S. Ram Neuse Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans
The original monument was dedicated on May 10, 1920. It was rededicated at its relocation on May 20, 1995.
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“Unveil Marker at Armenia to Commemorate Confederate Victory,” Kinston Free Press (Kinston, NC), May 10, 1920, 1
Barefoot, Daniel W. 2006. "Battle of Wyse Fork," NCpedia.org, (accessed May 6, 2013) Link
Civil War Trust. "Battle of Wyse Fork," Battlefields, (accessed May 6, 2013) Link
Civil War Trust. "Robert F. Hoke," Biographies, (accessed May 6, 2013) Link
Edwards, Tom J, Ashleigh D Brothers, and William H Rowland. 2006. Through the Eyes of Soldiers : The Battle of Wyse Fork, Kinston, North Carolina, March 7-10, 1865, (Kinston, NC: Lenoir County Historical Association, 2006)
National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. American Battlefield Protection Program. "Update to the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission. Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields. State of North Carolina," Washington, DC, April 2010, (accessed May 6, 2020) Link
North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. "Battle of Wyse Fork, March 8-10, 1865," North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program, http://www.ncmarkers.com, (accessed May 6, 2013) Link
United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy North Carolina Division, Held at New Bern, N.C., October 13, 14, 15, 1920 (Charlotte, N.C.: Queen City Printing Company, 1920), 21, 128, (accessed May 7, 2013) Link
“Battle of Wyse Fork Last Mass Capture of Union Troops — Carolinas Campaign — Lenoir County, North Carolina,” Waymarking.com, (accessed September 4, 2017) Link
“Dedication ceremonies (May 10, 1920) for a monument commemorating the battle of Kinston fought on May 8, 1865,” in the North Carolina Civil War Image Portfolio, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, (accessed May 6, 2013) Link
Granite and metal
A. M. Waddell Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the C.S.S. Neuse Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the North Carolina Historical Commission
The original unveiling, on the battlefield site, occurred on Confederate Memorial Day in 1920 following general memorial services to the Confederate dead. The Hoke Memorial dedication included an address by Colonel J. Bryan Grimes, the secretary of State of North Carolina. The A.M. Waddell Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy hosted an elaborate dinner, followed by a night service at Maplewood Cemetery with prayers, decoration of the Confederate monument there, and a speech by state senator George V. Cowper. Four generals associated with the battle were in attendance, and a flag used in the battle was on display. The monument was unveiled by General Hoke's grandsons, Robert Hoke Webb and Robert Hoke Pollock.
General Robert F. Hoke was a Major General in the Confederate army in control of “Hoke’s Division” in North Carolina and Southern Virginia. His command led to great successes such as the victory in the Battle of Cold Harbor in Virginia which stopped Union advances and the Battle of Southwest Creek (also known as the Battle of Wyse Fork), considered the Confederacy’s last significant victory.
During this battle, troops under the command of Hoke attacked a Union brigade under the command of Col. Charles L. Upham. Most of Upham’s brigade was killed, wounded, or captured. Between Hoke and other Confederate troops commanded by General D.H. Hill about a thousand prisoners were seized, most from the 15 Connecticut Volunteer Regiment. This was the last mass capture of Union troops in the war. Hoke was then forced to surrender on May 1, 1865 at Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina. General Hoke was born in Lincolnton, North Carolina on May 27, 1837.
In the image shown above, the two young boys flanking the monument are Robert Hoke Webb and Robert Hoke Pollock, grandsons of General Hoke.
Kinston has two additional monuments commemorating Confederate soldiers and the Battle of Kinston: Confederate Dead Monument of 1880 in Maplewood Cemetery and Lenoir County Confederate Soldiers Monument of 1924.
The monument is located on the south side of British Road at the intersection with North Carolina Highway 70. It faces generally west.
The monument sits in a grassy area next to a small gravel parking area. A low white fence and wooded area are behind the monument. The plot is also shared by a marker for the Battle of Wyse Fork.
The monument was originally located on the battlefield site, subsequently the site of the Armenia Christian Church, on the west side of North Carolina Highway 70 and approximately .6 miles to the west of the monument's present location. The original location is reportedly in the vicinity of where General Braxton Bragg met General Hoke to congratulate him on his victory.