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

West Point Truce Line

Waiting, Looting, and Shooting

 

—Carolinas Campaign —

 
West Point Truce Line Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 27, 2011
1. West Point Truce Line 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 attack 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. On April 19, 1865, Union Gen. William T. Sherman released Special Field Orders No. 58, suspending hostilities and identifying West Point as the northern end of a truce line separating his forces from those of Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. As the two commanders negotiated Confederate terms of surrender approximately seven miles southwest at James Bennett’s farm, Union Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick positioned his cavalrymen here, near the West Point mill village, just uphill from the Eno River. Despite the truce line, it was common for army stragglers and hungry civilians to prowl the line in search of food, shelter, and vulnerable livestock. At one point, a Union patrol dispersed a group of
Parking lot image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 27, 2011
2. Parking lot
looting Confederate strays. Federal soldiers were also noted for harassing West Point landowners and damaging private property, usually in search of food. West Point was one of the most prominent mill villages in the region in 1865. During the war, the village had several dwellings, a gristmill, a blacksmith shop, a cotton gin, a general store, and a post office for the 300 or so inhabitants. Local miller John Cabe McCown’s Greek Revival–style farmhouse was a favorite target for Union cavalrymen testing their marksmanship with their new, seven-shot Spencer repeating rifles, for which they traded their single-shot Burnside carbines late in March 1865. Today, West Point on the Eno City Park features a reconstructed 1778 gristmill, the historic McCown-Mangum House, the Hugh Mangum Museum of Photography, hiking trails, and an amphitheater. (sidebar) The Eno and Occaneechi Native American tribes occupied the site of Durham until Scottish, Irish, and English settlers constructed several gristmills along the Eno River and other nearby watercourses. Durham is also thought to be the site of an ancient Native American village named Adshusheer, glowingly described by John Lawson in A New Voyage to Carolina, an account of his 1700–01 expedition through the Carolinas.
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series.
Another marker image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 27, 2011
3. Another marker
This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 4.108′ N, 78° 54.513′ W. Marker is in Durham, North Carolina, in Durham County. Marker can be reached from North Roxboro Road (U.S. 501). Click for map. Marker is located in the parking lot at West Point on the Eno park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5101 North Roxboro Road, Durham NC 27704, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Duke Homestead (approx. 2 miles away); North Carolina (approx. 2.4 miles away); a different marker also named Duke Homestead (approx. 2.4 miles away); a different marker also named North Carolina (approx. 4.5 miles away); Bennett Place (approx. 4.5 miles away); a different marker also named Bennett Place (approx. 4.6 miles away); The Original Chimney of the Bennett House (approx. 4.6 miles away); Unity (approx. 4.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Durham.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
McCowan-Mangum House image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 27, 2011
4. McCowan-Mangum House
McCowan-Mangum House image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 27, 2011
5. McCowan-Mangum House
West Point marker location map image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 27, 2011
6. West Point marker location map
West Point Truce Line Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 27, 2011
7. West Point Truce Line Marker
Eno River image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, June 14, 2008
8. Eno River
Reconstructed 1778 gristmill image. Click for full size.
By Dave Twamley, July 27, 2011
9. Reconstructed 1778 gristmill
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dave Twamley of Durham, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 608 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. 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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