Piedmont Railroad

Piedmont Railroad (HM16U0)

Location: Reidsville, NC 27320 Rockingham County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 21.516', W 79° 39.737'

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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 follows the historic route of the Piedmont Railroad. Reidsville grew quickly after the war and was incorporated in 1873. A Confederate monument was erected several blocks northwest of here in 1910.

( Sidebar : )
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.
HM NumberHM16U0
Series This marker is part of the North Carolina Civil War Trails series
Placed ByNorth Carolina Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 5:58pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 620020 N 4024554
Decimal Degrees36.35860000, -79.66228333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 21.516', W 79° 39.737'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 21' 30.96" N, 79° 39' 44.22" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)336
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 349-413 State Rd 2549, Reidsville NC 27320, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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