Morrisville in Wake County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
“Scattering them in every direction”
—Carolinas Campaign —
The Carolina Campaign began on February 1, 1865, when Union Gen. William T. Sherman led his army north from Savannah, Georgia, after the March to the Sea. Sherman’s objective was to join Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia to crush Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of the Northern Virginia. Scattered Confederate forces consolidated in North Carolina, the Confederacy’s logistical lifeline, where Sherman defeated Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s last-ditch attack at Bentonville. After Sherman was reinforced at Goldsboro late in March, Johnston saw the futility of further resistance and surrendered at Bennett Place near Durham on April 26, ending the Civil War in the East.
The Morrisville depot of the North Carolina Railroad stood three hundred yards in front of you. It became the focus of fighting here on April 13, 1865.
After the capture of Raleigh, Union Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick’s skirmished with Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler’s cavalry as it retreated west. About 2 p.m. Wheeler galloped into Morrisville with the Federals close behind. Wheeler’s cavalrymen dismounted and erected barricades around the depot to protect a locomotive straining to pull cars loaded with supplies and wounded, including Arkansas Gen. Daniel H. Reynolds, up the long grade out of town. Reynolds had lost
Kilpatrick occupied a Morrisville house as his headquarters. That evening, a message arrived for Gen. William T. Sherman from Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, requesting an armistice to discuss surrender terms. Kilpatrick sent it on to Sherman in Raleigh. The message signaled the end of the Carolinas Campaign.
"When we reached the brow of the hill overlooking this place, we saw a long heavy rebel column of cavalry passing through the town and up the opposite heights. My pieces were brought forward on a run and we sent the shell in quick succession right in the midst of the retreating Johnnies, scattering them in every direction." — Lt. Joseph Kittinger, 23rd New York Artillery
(lower right) Gen. Daniel B. Reynolds Courtesy Arkansas History Commission
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 49.333′ N, 78° 49.679′ W. Marker is in Morrisville, North Carolina, in Wake County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Town Hill Drive and Morrisville Carpenter Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is on the east side of the Morrisville Town Hall. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 Town Hill Drive, Morrisville NC 27560, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rural Credit Union (approx. 6.4 miles away); O'Kelly Chapel Christian Church (approx. 7.2 miles away); Brassfield Station (approx. 7.4 miles away); Memorial Belltower (approx. 9½ miles away); The Governor Morehead School (approx. 9.7 miles away); Camp Bryan Grimes (approx. 9.8 miles away); Saint Mary’s (approx. 10.2 miles away); Central Prison (approx. 10.2 miles away).
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 4, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 542 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 4, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.