|Battle Name:||Tranter’s Creek|
|Campaign:||Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition (January-July 1862)|
|Dates:||June 5, 1862|
|Principal Commanders:||Lt. Col. F.A. Osborne [US]; Col. George Singletary [CS]|
|Estimated Casualties:||40 total|
On June 5, Col. Robert Potter, garrison commander at Washington, North Carolina, ordered a reconnaissance in the direction of Pactolus. The 24th Massachusetts under Lt. Col. F.A. Osborne, advanced to the bridge over Tranter’s Creek, where it encountered the 44th North Carolina, under Col. George Singletary. Unable to force a crossing, Osborne brought his artillery to bear on the mill buildings in which the Confederates were barricaded. Colonel Singletary was killed in the bombardment, and his troops retreated. The Federals did not pursue and returned to their fortifications at Washington.
Brothers in Battle
The Federal gunboat Picket shelled the Confederate forces from the river to support Osborn's attack. Both he and Singletary had about 500 men. Within minutes, Osborn lost nineteen men killed and wounded in the action. The engagement quickly turned in the Federal' favor, however, when a sniper's bullet killed Singletary, his brother, Lt. Col. Thomas C. Singletary, took command, and after three hours, the Confederates withdrew, having lost four men killed. Osborn returned to Washington. Confederates forces reoccupied the town in April 1864.
Lt. William B. Avery, 1st New York Marine Artillery, later received a Medal of Honor for his bravery at Tranter's Creek, where he "handled his battery with greatest coolness amidst the hottest fire." North Carolina Governor Henry T. Clark commended Lt. Col. Singletary for his gallantry.