Edenton Bell Battery

(Chowan, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties)

Featured Character – 1861-1862

Confederate Veterans Reunion, June 1908 or 1909, Edenton, NC

Courtesy of The North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library  

The Edenton Bell Battery was organized in March 1862 by Captain William Badham, Jr., Lieutenant John M. Jones, and Lieutenant Nelson McClees as Company B, 3rd Battalion, NC Light Artillery. Men who joined were mostly from Chowan, Tyrrell, and Washington counties. Several institutions of Edenton donated their bronze bells to be melted and cast into cannon because the company lacked the artillery and the means to obtain it.  On April 28, 1862, four were cast in Richmond, Virginia, called Edenton, poured from the 1767 Chowan Courthouse bell; Saint Paul, poured from the bell of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; Columbia; and Fannie Roulhac. The company, nicknamed "Badham’s Battery," served at Winchester, Culpeper Courthouse, Seven Days Battle, and the Battle of Fredericksburg with the Army of Northern Virginia before being transferred to North Carolina, where they fought Union advances towards the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. At the time, this railroad was considered the "Lifeline of the Confederacy." For a time, the unit was garrisoned at Fort Fear River, but had to be evacuated to Fort Anderson after the fall of Fort Fisher in January 1865. Then, they fought with the Army of Tennessee at Bentonville and Cox’s Bridge near Wilmington. On February 20 of that year, Saint Paul was captured at the Battle of Town Creek in Brunswick County, North Carolina. It is now on loan from the Old Fort Niagara Association of New York. Edenton was surrendered on May 26th at Greensboro, North Carolina and is on loan from Shiloh National Military Park of the National Park Service. The muzzles the cannon are inscribed with "EB" for "Edenton Battery." The Columbia and Fannie Roulhac were never found.