Battle of Boon's Mill

Located in Northampton County, Boon's (or Boone's) Mill was the site of a Civil War Federal repulse by Confederate forces under Brig. Gen. Matt W. Ransom on 28 July 1863. Boon's Mill was situated on the main road from Jackson, the county seat, to Garysburg and Weldon, where the vitally important Wilmington & Weldon Railroad ran north to Petersburg, Va. It was by this road that the Federal force hoped to capture and burn the Weldon Bridge, thus disrupting the flow of supplies from Wilmington to Petersburg, Richmond, and the Army of Northern Virginia.

On 26 July Federal ships off Winton unloaded regiments from Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island commanded by Maj. Gen. John G. Foster to support Col. Samuel P. Spear and a brigade of cavalry expected hourly from Virginia. This combined Union force totaled approximately 5,000 men.

Spear's arrival on 27 July, as well as Foster's the day before, was quickly discovered by Confederate intelligence. Orders were then passed to recently promoted Brig. Gen. Matt W. Ransom to move his brigade southward from its camp near Petersburg, where it had been helping to defend Richmond from Federal forces that occupied Williamsburg.

This engagement is also known as the "Naked Battle" because most all the Confederate troops were swimming in the mill pond when the 11th Pa. attacked. Most of them had to fight in the nude not having time to get dressed.