Elkin in Surry County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Elkin Manufacturing Company
Welcoming the Raiders
— Stoneman's Raid —
On March 24, 1865, Union Gen. George Stoneman led 6,000 cavalrymen from Tennessee into southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina to disrupt the Confederate supply line by destroying sections of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, the North Carolina Railroad, and the Piedmont Railroad. He struck at Boone on March 28, headed into Virginia on April 2, and returned to North Carolina a week later. Stoneman's Raid ended at Asheville on April 26, the day that Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to Union Gen. William T. Sherman near Durham.
This is the site of the Elkin Manufacturing Company, a cotton mill where 60 women produced Confederate uniform cloth. Richard Ransome Gwyn, the manager, lived in the Greek Revival house up the slope to your left.
On April 1, 1865, a 2,000-man detachment of Union Gen. George Stoneman's cavalry raiders under Col. William J. Palmer rode into Elkin. The mill workers "welomed the Yankees," who seized 500 bales of cotton and flour, meat, honey, butter, molasses, tobacco, and chestnuts—"a perfect God-send to us," one hungry soldier wrote. Palmer
According to local tradition, a common bond of Freemasonry may explain why Palmer spared the mill. It is more likely, however, that Palmer declined to destroy the factory because because Gwyn was a cooperative and influential community leader. Palmer had written of an earlier instance, "We frequently meet such fine gentleman in our marches, and always make it a point to leave them them as far as possible unmolested so that they may remain to teach nobility by example to the communities in which they live."
Stoneman, bivouacked on the south side of the high-water Yadkin River, signaled Palmer late in the day that the level was falling. Stoneman's command crossed over the next morning, using a ferryboat rope, and the reunited cavalrymen continued their road.
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is March 24, 1865.
Location. 36° 14.62′ N, 80° 51.24′ W. Marker is in Elkin, North Carolina, in Surry County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Front Street, on the leftTouch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Elkin NC 28621, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Kings Mountain Campaign of 1780 (approx. ¾ mile away); Surry County Muster Site (approx. 0.8 miles away); Surry Muster Field (approx. 0.8 miles away); Jonesville (approx. 1.6 miles away); Benjamin Cleveland (approx. 5.3 miles away); Richard Allen, Sr. (approx. 8.7 miles away); Stoneman's Raid (approx. 8.7 miles away); Flat Rock Baptist Church (approx. 10.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Elkin.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 25, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 696 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 25, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.