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Alamance in Alamance County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Johnston Moves West

Holt's Mill

 

—Carolinas Campaign —

 
Johnston Moves West Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 26, 2011
1. Johnston Moves West Marker
Inscription. (Preface):
The Carolinas Campaign began of 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 attack at Bentonville. After Sherman was reinforced at Goldsboro late in March, Johnston saw the futility of further resistance and surrendered at Bennett Place near Durham on April 26, ending the Civil War in the East.

Confederate Gen. William J. Hardee led Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's southern column of the Army of Tennessee here to Holt's Mill on the rainy morning of April 15, 1865, on the march west away from Union Gen. William T. Sherman's army. Gen. Robert F. Hoke discovered a more suitable crossing here than at the Belmont ford earlier that morning, although flooding had raised the usually placid creek up to the level of a cartridge box - three feet deep. The men and boys had already made perilous crossings to get here; they also feared a Federal cavalry attack. Col. John W. Hinsdale, 3rd North Carolina Junior Reserves (72nd North Carolina State Troops), wrote, "In the
Johnston Moves West Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2012
2. Johnston Moves West Marker
midst of the peril of the crossing of the river, Lieutenant-Colonel [W. Foster] French, realizing the danger to which the smaller boys were exposed, jumped from his horse, and stationing himself in mid-stream just below the line of march, rescued several brave lads from inevitable death. Standing there, watching his chance to save life, he was every inch the faithful officer and brave solider, and no wonder the boys loved him."

The column bivouacked along both sides of this road between here and the old Alamance Regulator Battlefield of 1771, two miles southwest, and learned that Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of the Northern Virginia had surrendered six days before at Appomattox Court House. The main body of the Federal army was more than sixty miles away from Hardee's column on this day, so there was little threat of an engagement; however, some of his men had died simply crossing flooded rivers and creeks.

(sidebar):
The textile industry came to Alamance county early in the 19th century with the Quakers of Cane Creek. Edwin M. Holt's mill here produced Alamance Plaid and marked a technological innovation: weaving dyed fibers together rather than dyeing the finished cloth. His mill kept North Carolina soldiers well clad. Contrary to the myth of the Confederate soldier in rags, North Carolina governor Zebulon Vance reported 92,000 sets of uniforms in
Johnston Moves West Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2012
3. Johnston Moves West Marker
warehouses when the government evacuated Raleigh.
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 2.366′ N, 79° 29.226′ W. Marker is in Alamance, North Carolina, in Alamance County. Marker is on Alamance Road (State Highway 62), on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alamance NC 27201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Alamance Cotton Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Tryon’s Camp (within shouting distance of this marker); Trading Path (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. Paul's Lutheran Church (approx. 1.3 miles away); Oak Grove Plantation (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Oak Grove Plantation (approx. 1.4 miles away); Pyle's Defeat (approx. 2.2 miles away); Battle of Clapp's Mill (approx. 2.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Alamance.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Alamance Cotton Mill (Holt's Mill) image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 26, 2011
4. Alamance Cotton Mill (Holt's Mill)
Civil War Trails marker is visible on right side of picture, across NC Highway 62.
Johnston Moves West Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 26, 2011
5. Johnston Moves West Marker
Holt's Mill location map image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 26, 2011
6. Holt's Mill location map
Johnston Moves West Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 26, 2011
7. Johnston Moves West Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dave Twamley of Durham, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 711 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Dave Twamley of Durham, North Carolina.   2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Dave Twamley of Durham, North Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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