Jonesville in Yadkin County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Silver-Dollar Bell
— 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.
On April 1, 1865, a column of Union Gen. George Stoneman's cavalry under Gen. Alvan Gillem entered the thriving town of Jonesville. Incorporated in 1811, the town featured the Benham Hotel as well as the Methodist-affiliated Jonesville Male and Female Academy, which was located about two miles northwest of here on West Main Street. Gillem's vengeful "home Yankees" (Unionist North Carolinians) destroyed the academy's scientific equipment but overlooked its prized possession--the chapel's mellow-toned bell, cast in Troy, N.Y. of bronze and ninety-nine silver
Meanwhile, on the north side of the Yadkin River in Surry County, Union Col. William J. Palmer's seasoned, well-behaved troops spared the cotton and gristmill in Elkin. Reared a Quaker, Palmer detested unnecessary destruction. Palmer's brigade then moved east on the river's north side before joining Gillem's men at Rockford.
The Jonesville Academy never fully recovered from the effects of the war. The academy building, where classes were taught during the week and where church services were held on Sunday, was torn down in 1915 to make way for a new Methodist sanctuary. The silver-dollar bell still rings there at Jonesville First United Methodist Church.
Students William Wilson (later a preacher) and L.L. Gwyn allegedly inscribed this poem, discovered during demolition, inside the bell tower. Bell-ringer Van Eaton was the academy's wartime principal.
Oh, Jonesville, Jonesville,
I bid you adieu.
I would see you in hell
Before I'd come back to you.
And this old chapel,
I'd see it in hell,
Van Eaton in the chapel
Ringing the bell!
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. North Carolina Civil War Trails series list.
Location. 36° 14.41′ N, 80° 49.52′ W. Marker is in Jonesville, North Carolina, in Yadkin County. Marker is on Winston Road (State Highway 67) north of Fall Creek Church Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jonesville NC 28642, 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. Elkin Manufacturing Company (approx. 1.6 miles away); The Kings Mountain Campaign of 1780 (approx. 2.2 miles away); Surry County Muster Site (approx. 2.2 miles away); Surry Muster Field (approx. 2.2 miles away); Benjamin Cleveland (approx. 6.8 miles away); Rockford (approx. 10 miles away); Flat Rock Baptist Church (approx. 10.2 miles away); Richard Allen, Sr. (approx. 10.2 miles away).
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 605 times since then and 11 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.