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

Battle of Asheville

Kirby's Expedition

Battle of Asheville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 27, 2014
1. Battle of Asheville Marker
Inscription.  On April 3, 1865, Union Col. Isaac M. Kirby left Tennessee with 900 men including his own 101st Ohio Infantry for “a scout in the direction of Asheville.” Three days later, local resident Nicholas Woodfin spotted the Federals on the Buncombe Turnpike (present-day Broadway Avenue) and rushed two miles to Asheville to sound the alarm. Union scout Lt. William H. Greenwood and his men captured “five rebels, a mule wagon, and team of mules. Greenwood told Kirby that the Confederates had “400 troops and six guns only” Confederate Col. George Clayton, commanding here, was under manned because Gen. James G. Martin was in pursuit of Union Col. George W. Kirk’s cavalry raiders with some of Clayton’s troops.

Clayton entrenched on Woodfin’s Ridge (now Lookout Mountain, up the trail to your left, where surviving earthworks can be seen), as well as east and north of Glen’s Creek and the Buncombe Turnpike (Broadway Avenue). He had 300 men, including Asheville’s “Silver Greys” home guard, a local fire company, two Napoleon cannons from Porters’s Battery, and 175 remaining members of Clayton’s 62nd North Carolina
Battle of Asheville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 27, 2014
2. Battle of Asheville Marker
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Infantry (after Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender on April 9, 1965, the men returned home without taking the oath of allegiance required by Federal authorities). Other defenders included convalescing soldiers, a 14-year-old boy, and a 70-year-old Baptist preacher. At about 3 p.m., the Confederates opened fire on the approaching Federals, and for several hours, the forces shot at each other with little result. The intense fire let Kirby to order “the withdrawal of the brigade at 8 p.m. In my opinion General Martin had under his immediate command at Asheville not less than 1000 men and six guns,” contrary to Greenwood’s estimate. Kirby retreated to Tennessee, abandoning cannons, bayonets, and other equipment. No one on either side was killed, and only two to four were wounded. After the battle the Confederates found “one leg in a boot” at the deserted Union position.

(lower left) Nicholas Woodfin Courtesy North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville
(uper center) Reenactors on the confederate earthworks - Courtesy North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville
(lower right) Union cavalry attack a Confederate wagon train - Courtesy Library of Congress
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical
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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 month for this entry is April 1942.
Location. 35° 36.919′ N, 82° 34.311′ W. Marker is in Asheville, North Carolina, in Buncombe County. Marker is at the intersection of Campus Drive and Field Drive, on the right when traveling north on Campus Drive. The marker is located on the grounds of the University of North Carolina Asheville. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Asheville NC 28804, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Battle of Asheville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Buncombe Turnpike (approx. 0.4 miles away); The University of North Carolina at Asheville (approx. 0.4 miles away); Zelda Fitzgerald (approx. 0.4 miles away); Richmond Pearson (approx. 0.6 miles away); Riverside Cemetery (approx. one mile away); Caney (Canie) Brown House (approx. 1.1 miles away); In Honor of Markus and Maria Reich (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Asheville.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 21, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 741 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 21, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 1, 2022