General John M. Schofield planned to advance inland from Wilmington in February and assigned Maj. Gen. Jacob Cox to direct Union divisions from New Berne toward Goldsboro. On March 7, Cox’s advance was halted by Hoke’s and Hagood’s divisions under Gen. Braxton Bragg’s command at Southwest Creek below Kinston. On the 8th, Bragg's troops attacked the Union flanks with initial success, but the Confederate attacks stalled due to poor communication. On March 9, the Union forces were reinforced and fought back against Bragg’s renewed attacks on the 10th. Bragg withdrew is forces across the Neuse River and was unable to stop the capture of Kinston on March 14 by Union troops.