goldsboro is the county seat of wayne county north carolina. goldsboro was originally named goldsbourgh after railroad executive major matthew t. goldsbourgh. the town of goldsbourgh was incorporated in 1847. prior and during the civil war goldsbourgh was an important railroad junction. in 1869 the town was renamed goldsboro. the most significant historical events in goldboro was the battle of goldsbourgh bridge in december 1862 and the occupation of goldsboro in 1865. today the economy of goldsboro is dominated by seymour johnson air force base. of interest to the tourist is goldsboro's civil war historic sites and the downtown historic district.
during the civil war goldsbourgh was an important railroad junction. the wilmington-weldon railway was an important confederate supply line to virginia. in december 1862 union general john c. foster decided to attack the goldsbourgh bridge. union forces destroyed the bridge and withdrew to new bern. in 1865 the forces of union general william t. sherman and john schofield occupied goldsbourgh. during the occupation over 100,000 union soldiers encamped in the goldsbourgh area.