Chapel Hill in Orange County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Creek of New Hope
—Carolinas Campaign —
Union forces occupied Raleigh on April 13, as Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick pursued retreating Confederates. The next day, he divided his cavalry command, sending two brigades north along the railway past Brassfield Station towards Durham’s Station while Gen. Smith D. Atkins led his brigade westward. Atkins pursued the retreating Confederates to New Hope Creek in what is today southwestern Durham. The opposing forces clashed three times near here – the third skirmish
The first engagement, the final picket fight of the war, occurred when seven Confederates ambushed and killed twelve Union pickets in present-day southwest Durham. The other Federals marched through Richard Stanford Leigh’s 1,000-acre plantation on present-day Stagecoach Road to New Hope Creek, where they found that the Confederates had destroyed the bridge. As they forded the creek, Confederate forces attacked with pistols and single-shot carbines. Although the Confederates held the high ground, their weapons were no match for the Union soldiers’ new Spencer repeating rifles, and they withdrew, leaving three dead.
About a mile upstream, the Confederates, with artillery, held the high ground and blocked the way. Union Col. William D. Hamilton ordered covering fire as his 9th Ohio Cavalry advanced. Suddenly, the gunfire stopped when news of a truce declared by Gens. William T. Sherman and Joseph E. Johnston at James Bennett’s farm, less than 10 miles north, reached both sides almost simultaneously. The last shots of the Civil War in North Carolina had been fired.
Richard Stanford Leigh owned and farmed most of this land in 1865. A Leigh cousin, Nancy, and her husband, James Bennett, hosted Gens. Sherman and Johnston as they debated the terms of the Confederate surrender at what is now Bennett
Erected by Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 55.522′ N, 78° 59.294′ W. Marker is in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in Orange County. Marker can be reached from Farrington Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of Patterson’s Country Store. Marker is in this post office area: Chapel Hill NC 27517, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Silent Sam (approx. 3.7 miles away); Strowd Building (approx. 3.8 miles away); Carolina Coffee Shop (approx. 3.8 miles away); University Florist (approx. 3.8 miles away); Journey of Reconcilation (approx. 3.9 miles away); James E. Shepard (approx. 4.4 miles away); Elizabeth Cotten (approx. 4.7 miles away); O'Kelly Chapel Christian Church (approx. 4.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chapel Hill.
More about this marker. A map showing Union troop movement towards R.S. Leigh Mill & Store is at the lower left of the marker. A picture of Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick – Courtesy of the Library of Congress is seen at the top of the marker. The sidebar contains a picture of Richard Stanford Leigh – Courtesy of Curtis Booker.
Also see . . . Civil War Traveler. North Carolina Civil War Trails website. (Submitted on August 3, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 3, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,225 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 3, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.