Reidsville in Rockingham County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Flight of Jeﬀerson Davis
The Piedmont Railroad, chartered in 1862, linked Danville, Virginia, with Greensboro, North Carolina. Work began on the road that autumn in Danville, but wartime labor and supply shortages impeded progress on the 48-mile-long line, which did not extend here to Reidsville until late in 1863. Passenger service between the two towns began on December 21, and the railroad was completed to Greensboro in May 1864. For the remainder of the war it was a vital supply line from North Carolina to Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.
In 1865, the community here consisted of a few houses and a store containing a post office established in 1829 by future governor David S. Reid. By the 1850s, Joseph Holderby and his son-in-law William Lindsey owned much of the property here. Holderby laid out a town that he named Reidsville after he learned of the planned railroad; he sold a few lots, but the town did not prosper. Reidsville did become the county collection point for Confederate taxes, however, and Holderby served as collector for tax district 35.
It was along this route on the morning of April 11, 1865, that the train carrying Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet rolled from Danville to Greensboro after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, two days earlier. The present Norfolk Southern Railway
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After passing through Reidsville, Jefferson Davis and his dwindling entourage continued through North and South Carolina to Georgia, where U.S. cavalry captured him near Irwinsville on May 10, 1865. Davis was incarcerated at Fort Monroe, Virginia, until his release on May 13, 1867.
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 36° 21.516′ N, 79° 39.737′ W. Marker is in Reidsville, North Carolina, in Rockingham County. Marker is at the intersection of SE Market Street and Lawsonville Avenue, on the left when traveling south on SE Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 321 SE Market Street, Reidsville NC 27320, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Governor Reid House (within shouting distance of this marker); Booker T. Washington High School (approx. 0.4 miles away); Wright Tavern Wentworth and the War (approx. 6.7 miles away); Wentworth Methodist Church (approx. 7 miles away); a different marker also named Wentworth Methodist Church (approx. 7.1 miles away); Lower Saura Town (approx. 8.1 miles away); Bethesda Church (approx. 10.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Reidsville.
More about this marker. The background of the marker contains a map of the Piedmont Railroad with Civil War Trail Sites indicated. At the bottom right is a portrait of President Jefferson Davis.
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 6, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 343 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 6, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.