Durham in Durham County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
A Path Both Traveled
— Carolinas Campaign —
(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.
Union forces occupied Raleigh on April 13, as Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick pursued retreating Confederates. The next day, moving through Durham, he split his cavalry forces, sending Gen. Smith D. Atkins, leading the second brigade, west through present-day southern Durham. At New Hope Creek, Atkins engaged in the last picket skirmish of the war. Kilpatrick accompanied Gen. Thomas J. Jordan’s and Col. Michael Kerwin’s brigades as they trailed a band of Confederates north along the North
Brassfield Station stood in a rural area of hills and dales dotted by pine trees and wildlife in 1865. According to the 1860 census, it was home not only white farmers but also to 528 free African Americans, making for an unusually diverse community. Many free blacks lived, worked, and worshiped alongside whites in Durham during the antebellum years.
(Sidebar): Post-Civil War Durham became known for the popularity of its “brightleaf” smoking tobacco. The city soon became a commercial center with the South’s first denim mill and the world’s largest hosiery manufacturer. Agriculture and manufacturing, although still important, have given way to a creative-class economy based on education, health care, pharmaceutical research, and bioinformatics. Less than a century after Union cavalrymen pursued retreating Confederates past Brassfield Station, thousands of acres here were incorporated into Research Triangle Park in 1959.
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, North Carolina Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1922.
Location. 35° 55.686′ N, 78° 50.671′ W. Marker is in Durham, North Carolina, in Durham County. Marker is on S Miami Blvd. (State Highway 1959), on the right when traveling north. Marker is on the north side of Durham Fire Station #13, on S Miami Blvd. between Brassfield Road and Brunson Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Durham NC 27703, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rural Credit Union (approx. 3.1 miles away); North Carolina Central University (approx. 4.3 miles away); John Merrick (approx. 4.3 miles away); Beulah C. Bowens Fuller (approx. 4.4 miles away); Clyde R. Hoey Building (approx. 4½ miles away); James Edward Shepard (approx. 4½ miles away); Centennial Chapel (approx. 4½ miles away); Shepard House (approx. 4.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Durham.
More about this marker. The left of the marker features a photograph of Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick - Courtesy Library of Congress. The upper right of the marker features a picture of a “Civil War-era train from North Carolina Railroad Company letterhead - Courtesy North Carolina Railroad Company. There is also a photograph of Durham, ca. 1880 - Courtesy of Durham County Library, Durham, N.C. next to the sidebar.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 23, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 26, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,850 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on February 5, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 2. submitted on December 26, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 3, 4. submitted on February 5, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.