Martinsville, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Near War's End
Henry Court House Engagement
— Stoneman's Raid —
On March 24, 1865, Union Gen. George Stoneman led 6,000 cavalrymen from Tennessee into southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina to disrupt the Confederate supply line by destroying sections of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, the North Carolina Railroad, and the Piedmont Railroad. He struck at Boone on March 28, headed into Virginia on April 2, and returned to North Carolina a week later. Stoneman’s Raid ended in Asheville on April 26, the day that Confederate Ge. Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to Union Gen. William T. Sherman near Durham.
One of the last engagements of the Civil War in Virginia occurred here on April 8, 1865, as Union Col. William J. Palmer’s brigade of Gen. George Stoneman’s command swept through Henry County.
Confederate Col. James T. Wheeler and about 250 cavalrymen bivouacked the night before about a mile north of here on Jones’s Creek on their way to join Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s army in North Carolina. Wheeler’s unit included recruits from Middle Tennessee, detachments from Wheeler’s 6th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment and the 9th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, and some
At dawn on April 8, Palmer’s 10th Michigan Cavalry, which had been detached from the brigade but was to reunite with Palmer in Henry County, collided instead with Wheeler’s troopers here at Henry Court House. Both sides claimed victory in the brief but sharp engagement. Federal officers reported that “we remained masters of the field” and that “after a brisk skirmish, the Confederates were chased from the town.” Wheeler, however, reported that he took several prisoners and that “the enemy, after a spirited fight, were repulsed.” Casualty reports also conflicted, but perhaps half a dozen Federals were killed or wounded; a single Confederate was reported killed.
Later in the day, the remainder of Palmer’s brigade rendezvoused here, and Wheeler withdrew fifteen miles east. The Federals rode south toward Salisbury, North Carolina, a major Southern supply depot and site of a 10,000 man prisoner-of-war camp. The day after the fight here, Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 36° 41.514′ N, 79° 52.391′ W. Marker is in Martinsville, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Jones Street (Virginia Route 457) and East Main Street, on the left when traveling north on Jones Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 29 Jones Street, Martinsville VA 24112, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Henry County War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Martinsville (within shouting distance of this marker); Henry County U.D.C. Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Fayette Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); Belleview (approx. 2.9 miles away); Waller's Ford (approx. 3½ miles away); Chatmoss (approx. 4 miles away); Martinsville Speedway (approx. 4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Martinsville.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 16, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 507 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 16, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.