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Polk County Courthouse Raders in the County — Stoneman's Raid — Columbus in Polk County, North Carolina
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Countrydragon
N 35° 15.101 W 082° 11.906
17S E 390974 N 3901612
Quick Description: Marker is in Columbus, North Carolina, in Polk County. Marker is on West Mills Street (County Route 108).
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 12/29/2009 4:00:19 PM
Waymark Code: WM7ZMG
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 5

Long Description:
On March 24, 1865, Union Gen. George Stoneman led 6,000 cavalrymen from Tennessee into southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina to disrupt the Confederate supply line by destroying sections of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, the North Carolina Railroad, and the Piedmont Railroad. He struck at Boone on March 28, headed into Virginia on April 2, and returned to North Carolina a week later. Stoneman's Raid ended at Ashville on April 28, the day that Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to Union Gen. William T. Sherman near Durham

Union Gen. Alvan C. Gillem's brigade of Stoneman's raiders entered Polk County, stopped at Green River Plantation, then rode through Columbus on April 22, 1865, after Confederate forces blocked Gillem's path to Asheville at Swannanoa Gap. The brigade consisted of so-called "Home Yankees" -- natives of Tennessee and the mountain counties of North Carolina. Gillem and his men moved quickly through Polk County and Howard's Gap, a few miles west of here. The Confederate force there had just learned that Gen. Joseph E. Johnston was negotiating his army's surrender to Union Gen. William T. Sherman near Durham. Many soldiers at the gap concluded that the war was over and went home, reducing the ranks so that Gillem met little opposition.

The war divided neighbors and families into those who either supported secession or the Union. On April 20, 1861, early in the conflict when secessionist enthusiasm was strong, Capt. John C. Camp mustered Co. K, 16th North Carolina Infantry, here at the courthouse. Three more companies were later recruited here. At least 500 Polk County men served in the Confederate army a dozen or more joined the Federals. Soon, the Confederate conscription act and the hardships of war fostered resentment. Draft evaders and deserters found refuge in the mountains. Some formed gangs, raided farms and communities, and caused hard feelings that lingered for years.

Dr. Columbus J. Miles, the "Father of Polk County," was born nearby on June 20, 1808. He became a physician, was elected to the state senate in 1846, and then served in other state offices. He led a long battle to create Polk County (finally organized in 1855). The county seat was named for him, and the courthouse was completed in 1859. He enlisted in Co. K, 16th North Carolina Regiment, on May 20, 1861, was promoted to surgeon on July 1, and resigned in March 1863 and returned home. Local conflicts between Unionists and secessionists prompted him to move to Cabarrus County, S.C. He died on Dec. 10, 1882, and was buried in the churchyard of the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, S.C

Type of site: Other Military Site

Columbus post office
Columbus, NC

Admission Charged: No Charge

Website: [Web Link]

Driving Directions:
Marker is in this post office area: Columbus NC 28722, United States of America.

Phone Number: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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FRESH AIR53 visited Polk County Courthouse Raders in the County — Stoneman's Raid —  Columbus in Polk County, North Carolina 4/11/2010 FRESH AIR53 visited it
Countrydragon visited Polk County Courthouse Raders in the County — Stoneman's Raid —  Columbus in Polk County, North Carolina 1/5/2010 Countrydragon visited it

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