Drakes Branch in Charlotte County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
“Burnt all the depot buildings”
—Wilson-Kautz Raid —
“Burnt all the depot buildings and works at Drakes Branch… and nearly every saw mill on the line…. [T]hey burnt tobacco houses and corn cribs with their contents but everywhere spared the grist mills at the solicitation of the Negroes.” - Confederate News Report, The Richmond Examiner, July 4, 1864
“I ordered two regiments of the First and two regiments of the Second Brigade to be constantly engaged in tearing up and burning the railroad as far down as Drakes Branch, requiring Chapman to cover the movement with two regiments. The day was excessively hot, and the men were completely exhausted by their continued hard work on the railroad. I was obliged to halt the division at Drakes Branch for three or four hours in order to let the working parties come in and rejoin us. Fortunately, during all this time, we were not molested by the enemy.”
“Saturday, 25th, marched on up the railroad, reaching Drakes Branch Station at 9 A.M., destroying the road as on previous days; Halted for two hours, then marched on toward Roanoke Station.” - Col. Samuel D. Spears, Commander, Second Brigade, Kautz’s Division
Confederate president Jefferson Davis, members of his Cabinet, and a guard from the Confederate navy to protect the Confederate treasury passed through Drakes Branch on their way to Danville after the evacuation of Richmond on April 2, 1865. Drakes Branch, like so many other communities on the Richmond and Danville R.R., was used as a water and fuel stop. While there is no documentary proof, it is probable that the train stopped in Drakes Branch to refuel before continuing south. Davis assembled the remnants of his government at the Sutherlin Mansion (now a museum) in Danville, making that city the last capital of the Confederacy. Since then, there have been persistent rumors of Confederate gold buried along Davis’s escape route to prevent its capture by Federal forces. Those rumors have become folklore and people continue to hunt for the gold.
Erected by Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 36° 59.551′ N, 78° 36.068′ W. Marker is in Drakes Branch, Virginia, in Charlotte County. Marker is at the intersection of Depot Street and Drakes Main Street (Virginia Route 47), on the right when traveling south on Depot Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Drakes Branch VA 23937, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Greenfield (approx. 4.7 miles away); Edgehill (approx. 4.7 miles away); Charlotte County Library (approx. 4.8 miles away); Charlotte County Confederate Monument (approx. 4.9 miles away); Henry and Randolph's Debate (approx. 4.9 miles away); Charlotte Court House (approx. 4.9 miles away); Charlotte Court House Historic District (approx. 4.9 miles away); Campaign of 1781 (approx. 5 miles away).
More about this marker. On the center is a photo with the caption, "Destroying railroads included heating and “wrapping” the rails."
The sidebar displays a photo of "Jefferson Davis"
Also see . . .
1. Wilson-Kautz Raid Driving Tour. Civil War Traveler - Southside Virginia (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. A History of Drakes Branch, Virginia (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
3. The Search for Lost Confederate Gold. By Hans Kuenzi, The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,188 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. 7. submitted on April 8, 2012, by Daniel Thomas of Midlothian, Virginia.