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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lenoir in Caldwell County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Patterson Mill

Struck by Stoneman's Raiders

 

óStoneman's Raid ó

 
Patterson Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 20, 2014
1. Patterson Mill Marker
Inscription. (preface)
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. Stonemanís Raid ended at Asheville on April 26, the day that Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnson surrendered to Union Gen. William T. Sherman near Durham.

(main text)
Union Gen. George Stonemanís raiders destroyed Samuel F. Pattersonís cotton mill or “factory,” which stood by the river half a mile to your left on March 30, 1865. Gen. Alvan C. Gillem, Stonemanís second in command, led two brigades of the Federal cavalrymen here into Caldwell County, and ordered the mill burned because it was a source of material for uniforms and other goods that aided the Confederate war effort. The Federal columns then rode on to Wilkesboro. Gillem later wrote in his report on the raid, “The order was executed.” This was the only major damage inflicted in the county by the raiders. The mill was rebuilt after the war.

According to local tradition, Clem Osborne, and itinerant peddler
Close up of the map on the Patterson Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 20, 2014
2. Close up of the map on the Patterson Mill Marker
(Inscription on the map) Route of Stoneman's Raid in Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina, March-April 1865
whose wares local women purchased for the use of Confederate soldiers, was hiding in the mill building when the soldiers set it afire. When the smoke and flames drove him out, he gave the Masonic distress signal and fellow Masons among the Federals saw to it that he was protected from harm.

Stoneman reportedly was not pleased that the mill had been burned. Rufus L. Paterson, who had been managing the mill for his father, Samuel F. Patterson, had also supplied cloth to Union troops in eastern North Carolina.

(sidebar)
Rufus Lenoir Patterson (1830-1879), the oldest son of Samuel Finley Patterson (1799-1874 and Phobe Caroline Jones (1806-1869), was a politician, banker, and railroad president. In the 1850s, Patterson established a cotton, flour, and paper mill in Salem, where he also served as mayor. Although pro-Union, he signed North Carolinaís ordinance of secession. He sold his Salem mills in 1862 and managed his fatherís cotton factory (operating since 1848) in Caldwell County until Stonemanís troops burned it. He returned to Salem, where by the time he died he was part owner of several cotton and paper mills and a general merchandising firm.

(captions)
(upper center) Gen. George Stoneman Library of Congress; Gen. Alvan C. Gillem Library of Congress
(upper right) The mill complex shown in this image,
Patterson Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 20, 2014
3. Patterson Mill Marker
taken in the 1880s replaced the buildings that the Federals burned in 1865. Courtesy Caldwell Heritage Museum
(lower right) Route of Stoneman's Raid in Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina, March-April 1865
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 59.659′ N, 81° 33.569′ W. Marker is in Lenoir, North Carolina, in Caldwell County. Marker is on Yadkin River Road (County Route 1560) 0.3 miles north of North Carolina Highway 268, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is located on the grounds of the Happy Valley Ruritan Club Community Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1317 Yadkin River Road, Lenoir NC 28645, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Defiance (approx. 0.3 miles away); Collett Leventhorpe (approx. 2.1 miles away); Raiders in Lenoir (approx. 5.7 miles away); Davenport College (approx. 5.8 miles away); Stoneman's Raid (approx. 6.1 miles away); Laura Foster (approx. 7.3 miles away); The Blowing Rock (approx. 10.3 miles away); Watauga Hotel Cottage (approx. 11.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lenoir.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 29, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 382 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 29, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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