Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lexington in Davidson County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Lexington in the Civil War

Occupation and Fire

 
 
Lexington in the Civil War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2010
1. Lexington in the Civil War Marker
Inscription. President Jefferson Davis and his entourage paused here in Lexington on April 16-17, 1865, as the Confederate government fled south after the April 3 evacuation of Richmond, Virginia. While here, Davis telegraphed Gen. Joseph E. Johnston as to the whereabouts of Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge. The Civil War essentially ended after Johnston surrendered the forces under his command to Union Gen. William T. Sherman at Bennett Place near Durham on April 26, 1865.

Officers belonging to the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Union Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick, were quartered in the Davidson County Courthouse for two months starting in May, as Reconstruction began in the South. The balance of the regiment bivouacked outside Lexington, and several companies patrolled the countryside. The flamboyant Kilpatrick established his headquarters nearby at Lexington’s finest residence, The Homestead.

On November 23, 1865, while Union troops still occupied the county, fire damaged the interior of the courthouse. The fire may have started in a ground-floor office and burned through to the courtroom. Some townspeople thought that the soldiers had set the fire, but local resident John McCrary observed many Federals helping to extinguish the flames and rescue important county records. Although little physical evidence of the fire remains, documents
Lexington Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2010
2. Lexington Marker
suggest that the damage was serious. The court soon resumed its sessions in the building nevertheless.

James M. Leach, an attorney and former Confederate congressman, petitioned the U.S. Congress for the costs of repairing the damage. His petition was never heard, and the county was forced to borrow money from private citizens to pay for the repairs.

(Sidebar):
The Davidson County Courthouse was completed in the Greek Revival and Italianate styles in 1858. The building continued to serve the courts until 1958, and has housed the Davidson County Historical Museum since 1976.
 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 49.45′ N, 80° 15.231′ W. Marker is in Lexington, North Carolina, in Davidson County. Marker is on E Center Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located next to the old Court House, between Greensboro and Main Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Lexington NC 27292, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Davidson County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); City of Lexington (within
Marker on E Center Street image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2010
3. Marker on E Center Street
The marker is seen here next to the Davidson County Courthouse.
shouting distance of this marker); Captain Benjamin Merrill (within shouting distance of this marker); Daniel Boone and Gen. Nathanael Greene (within shouting distance of this marker); Our Confederate Dead (within shouting distance of this marker); The Homestead (approx. 0.3 miles away); Wm. Rainey Holt (approx. 0.3 miles away); Pilgrim Church (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lexington.
 
More about this marker. The upper right of the marker contains a photograph of the “Davidson County Courthouse, ca. 1900. Courtesy Davidson County Historical Museum.” At the bottom left of the marker are photos of President Jefferson Davis and Union Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick, both Courtesy Library of Congress.
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsWar, US Civil
 
Davidson County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2010
4. Davidson County Courthouse
The marker is located next to the old courthouse.
The Homestead image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2010
5. The Homestead
As stated on the marker, Union Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick made his headquarters in this house located a few blocks south of the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 8, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 970 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 8, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
Paid Advertisement