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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Halifax in Halifax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Halifax Court House

“Answering the Call”

 

—Wilson-Kautz Raid —

 
Halifax Court House CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 18, 2010
1. Halifax Court House CWT Marker
Inscription. In June 1864, to deny Gen. Robert E. Lee the use of the South Side R.R. and the Richmond and Danville R.R., Gen. Ulysses S. Grant sent Gen. James H. Wilson and Gen. August V. Kautz south of Petersburg on a cavalry raid to destroy track and rolling stock as well as the Staunton River Bridge. On the morning of June 23, Confederate Capt. Benjamin L. Farinholt dispatched a courier from the bridge to Halifax (then called Banister Town) requesting reinforcements. Capt. William B. Hurt mustered his company of home guards, composed of old men from the community, and Headmaster John Henry Powell gathered young students from his Halifax Academy. On June 25, these old men and young boys helped defend the bridge from destruction by the Wilson-Kautz raiders.

Capt. Hurt recalled: "Capt. Farinholt ordered three or four of his companies to cross over the bridge and reinforce Col. Coleman and in obeying these orders, in my humble judgement, these little boys and old men rendered as valiant and faithful service as ever was rendered on any battlefield.... These little untrained boys and gray-headed farmers... arose from their position of partial safety and protection and with firm and steady step, marched into the very jaws of death itself."

As Capt. Hurt came from the mouth of the bridge on the North side, at the head of his
Halifax County Courthouse was built in 1839 and remains in use. Photo ca. 1906 image. Click for full size.
2. Halifax County Courthouse was built in 1839 and remains in use. Photo ca. 1906
Company, he was wounded by a bullet that struck his belt buckle and glanced into his side.

(sidebar)
After General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865 the Federal VI Corps passed through Halifax on its way to occupy Danville. The ca. 1830 Halifax Academy, located on Academy Street, later became a public school and is now privately owned. The county seat of Banister Town as it was called during the war, became Houston in 1890, and after WWI changed its name to Halifax.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 45.985′ N, 78° 55.708′ W. Marker is in Halifax, Virginia, in Halifax County. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street (U.S. 501) and Houston Street (Virginia Route T-1110), on the right when traveling north on North Main Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Halifax VA 24558, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Halifax County War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Halifax County Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); History of Halifax
Confederate Defenders at Staunton River Bridge image. Click for full size.
3. Confederate Defenders at Staunton River Bridge
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mary M. Bethune High School (approx. 0.3 miles away); Green's Folly (approx. 1.8 miles away); Minister Who Married Lincoln (approx. 1.8 miles away); Washington-Coleman Elementary School (approx. 4 miles away); Mizpah Church (approx. 5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Halifax.
 
More about this marker. In the center is a photo of the courthouse with the caption, "Halifax County Courthouse was built in 1839 and remains in use. Photo ca. 1906."

On the right are portraits of "Capt. William B. Hurt" and "Capt. Benjamin Farinholt"
 
Also see . . .
1. Wilson-Kautz Raid Driving Tour. Civil War Traveler - Southside Virginia (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Staunton River Battlefield State Park. (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
N Main St & Houston St image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 18, 2010
4. N Main St & Houston St
Halifax County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 18, 2010
5. Halifax County Courthouse
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 854 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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