“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chapel Hill in Orange County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Last Shots

The Creek of New Hope


—Carolinas Campaign —

Last Shots Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2010
1. Last Shots Marker
Inscription. (Preface):   The Carolinas Campaign began on February 1, 1865, when Union Gen. William T. Sherman led his army north from Savannah, Georgia, after the “March to the Sea.” Sherman’s objective was to join Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia to crush Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Scattered Confederate forces consolidated in North Carolina, the Confederacy’s logistical lifeline, where Sherman defeated Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s last-ditch attach at Bentonville. After Sherman was reinforced at Goldsboro late in March, Johnston saw the futility of further resistance and surrendered on April 26, essentially ending the Civil War.

Union forces occupied Raleigh on April 13, as Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick pursued retreating Confederates. The next day, he divided his cavalry command, sending two brigades north along the railway past Brassfield Station towards Durham’s Station while Gen. Smith D. Atkins led his brigade westward. Atkins pursued the retreating Confederates to New Hope Creek in what is today southwestern Durham. The opposing forces clashed three times near here – the third skirmish being the last of the Civil War in North Carolina.

The first engagement, the final picket fight of the war, occurred when seven Confederates ambushed and killed twelve Union pickets
Last Shots Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2010
2. Last Shots Marker
Patterson’s Country Store can be seen in the photo behnd the marker.
in present-day southwest Durham. The other Federals marched through Richard Stanford Leigh’s 1,000-acre plantation on present-day Stagecoach Road to New Hope Creek, where they found that the Confederates had destroyed the bridge. As they forded the creek, Confederate forces attacked with pistols and single-shot carbines. Although the Confederates held the high ground, their weapons were no match for the Union soldiers’ new Spencer repeating rifles, and they withdrew, leaving three dead.

About a mile upstream, the Confederates, with artillery, held the high ground and blocked the way. Union Col. William D. Hamilton ordered covering fire as his 9th Ohio Cavalry advanced. Suddenly, the gunfire stopped when news of a truce declared by Gens. William T. Sherman and Joseph E. Johnston at James Bennett’s farm, less than 10 miles north, reached both sides almost simultaneously. The last shots of the Civil War in North Carolina had been fired.

Richard Stanford Leigh owned and farmed most of this land in 1865. A Leigh cousin, Nancy, and her husband, James Bennett, hosted Gens. Sherman and Johnston as they debated the terms of the Confederate surrender at what is now Bennett Place State Historic Site.
Erected by Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included
Patterson’s Mill Country Store image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2010
3. Patterson’s Mill Country Store
Marker is located in the parking lot in front of Patterson’s Mill Country Store off Farrington Road.
in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 55.522′ N, 78° 59.294′ W. Marker is in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in Orange County. Marker can be reached from Farrington Road, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located in front of Patterson’s Country Store. Marker is in this post office area: Chapel Hill NC 27517, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Silent Sam (approx. 3.7 miles away); Carolina Coffee Shop (approx. 3.8 miles away); Journey of Reconcilation (approx. 3.9 miles away); James E. Shepard (approx. 4.4 miles away); Elizabeth Cotten (approx. 4.7 miles away); O'Kelly Chapel Christian Church (approx. 4.8 miles away); John Merrick (approx. 4.9 miles away); Harriet M. Berry (approx. 5.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chapel Hill.
More about this marker. A map showing Union troop movement towards R.S. Leigh Mill & Store is at the lower left of the marker. A picture of Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick – Courtesy of the Library of Congress is seen at the top of the marker. The sidebar contains a picture of Richard Stanford Leigh – Courtesy of Curtis Booker.
Also see . . .  Civil War Traveler. North Carolina Civil War Trails website. (Submitted on August 3, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 967 times since then and 98 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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