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

Stoneman's Raid

Stoneman's Raid Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, May 19, 2012
1. Stoneman's Raid Marker
Inscription.  Southern troops turned back Stoneman's U.S. cavalry, raiding through western North Carolina, at Swannanoa Gap, near here, April 20, 1865.
Erected 1968 by Archives and Highway Departments. (Marker Number P-55.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the North Carolina Division of Archives and History series list. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1840.
Location. 35° 37.206′ N, 82° 16.737′ W. Marker is in Ridgecrest, North Carolina, in Buncombe County. Marker is on Old U.S. 70 E, on the right when traveling west. Located east of Dew Waite Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Black Mountain NC 28711, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Swannanoa Gap (approx. 0.3 miles away); Swannanoa Tunnel (approx. 0.4 miles away); Swannanoa Gap Engagement (approx. 0.4 miles away); Mount Mitchell Railroad (approx. 1.2 miles away); George Winslow Whittington (approx. 2.3 miles away); The Town of Black Mountain
Stoneman's Raid Marker, looking west along Old US 70 E image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, May 19, 2012
2. Stoneman's Raid Marker, looking west along Old US 70 E
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(approx. 2.3 miles away); Up to Black Mountain (approx. 2.3 miles away); The Center of It All (approx. 2.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ridgecrest.
Regarding Stoneman's Raid. In late March 1865, Union cavalry under Major General George Stoneman, commander of the Union army “District of East Tennessee,” marched throughout western North Carolina during one of the longest cavalry raids in history. About 5,000 men under Stoneman’s command entered North Carolina with a mission “to destroy and not to fight battles” in order to expedite the close of the Civil War. Stoneman’s raid coincided with the raids of General William T. Sherman in the eastern sections of the state, stretching local home guard and militia units thinly across the state and forcing Confederate commanders to make hard choices on where their men were needed most.

Stoneman divided his men and sent detachments throughout the region, securing the destruction of the region’s factories, bridges and railroad lines. The army relied heavily on local citizens for food and supplies, often emptying storehouses. Stoneman’s raids in North Carolina lasted from late March until May when they assisted
Major General George Stoneman image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
3. Major General George Stoneman
in the search for Confederate President Jefferson Davis as he fled the collapsed Confederacy. The men had marched more than 1,000 miles during the raid and historians credit their march with assuring the death of the Confederacy as they captured artillery pieces and took thousands of prisoners while destroying Confederate army supplies and blocking a line of possible retreat for both Lee and Johnston’s armies.

After hearing rumors of the end of the war, Stoneman’s men remaining in North Carolina under the command of General A. C. Gillem marched toward Asheville. The Union forces reached the Swannanoa Gap on April 20th after a successful raid on Morganton. At the gap, they were met by a blockade of 500 Confederates and artillery. Gillem, aware that the Confederates were in a good defensive position, ordered his men to deceive the Confederates as some men maintained the guise of a frontal assault while others flanked the Confederate position. Because of the mountainous environment, the flanking movement was a wide march that took Gillem and his men into Rutherfordton, forty miles south of the Swannanoa Gap, on April 21. The flanking movement effectively placed Gillem and his men in the heart of the Confederate backcountry.(North Carolina Dept. of Cultural Resources)
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. the relationship...markers
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Credits. This page was last revised on August 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 30, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 750 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 30, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.

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May. 18, 2022