Smithville was the first community in North Carolina to advocate secession; Greenville followed Smithville on January 11, 1861, with a 100-gun salute. The citizens of Greenville, N.C. held a meeting and adopted resolutions for a Secession Convention. F.B. Satterthwaite and Bryan Grimes represented Pitt County at the Raleigh Secession Convention on May 20, 1861. About 2,000 Pitt County men joined the Confederate militia, and about the same number of black men joined the Federal militia. Pitt County’s diverse population made it a very important battleground in the war. In 1860, Pitt County’s population consisted of 7,840 whites, 127 free blacks, and 8,473 slaves. The first incident of the Civil War involving Pitt County occurred on June 5, 1862 at Tranter’s Mill, on Tranters Creek. Union troops fired shells at the rebel cavalry near Pactolus on June 9, 1862. In July 1862, Capt. Ayres’ artillery company fired on “Yankee Hall.” Federal soldiers from Washington invaded Greenville on October 9, 1862. Union Troops from New Bern under the command of Gen. Edward E. Potter marched through Greenville in July 1863, raiding and looting local businesses. They continued on to Tarboro, and upon coming back through Pitt County, they were assaulted by rebel soldiers near Falkland. Confederate soldiers chased them all the way back to New Bern. Federal troops under Capt. Graham captured Maj. John N. Whitford’s Battalion on November 5, 1863 near Haddock’s Crossroads. On December 30, 1863, rebel troops under Major Moore attacked Federal troops six miles below Greenville. Greenville women operated two hospitals for the wounded: one in the academy that is now the site of Sheppard Memorial Library and one in the Greene-Moye-Skinner house.