Saint Mary's School

Saint Mary's School (HM16WT)

Location: Raleigh, NC 27603 Wake County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 46.911', W 78° 39.193'

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Union Camp and Confederate Refuge

— Carolinas Campaign —

Here in this oak grove on the front campus of Saint Mary's School for girls, Union Gen. Oliver O. Howard, commanding Gen. William T. Sherman's Right Wing, encamped in April 1865. The Federals coexisted with students and faculty for several weeks, as the school remained open. Although the Union presence created great excitement, the teachers and the rector, the Rev. Aldert Smedes, saw to it that life went on as usual. Howard, for his part, assured Smedes that "nothing was to be feared from his troops," and all remained orderly in the grove.

Late in April, Sherman toured the school's main building with Smedes and was "charmed with the polite reception" he received from the teachers and the girls. "So charmed," Mary Bayard Clarke reported, that "after saying adieu he turned at the bottom of the steps for a parting bow," and caught the girls making ugly faces at him; some were shaking their fists. This so amused Sherman that he later told the story himself.

( Sidebar : )
The Rev. Aldert Smedes, an Episcopal priest, founded Saint Mary's School in 1842. During the Civil War, Confederate President Jefferson Davis sent his wife, Varina, and their children here in 1862, when Union Gen. George B. McClellan threatened Richmond; they returned to the capital after danger passed. The students here included Mildred Childe Lee, daughter of Gen. Robert E. Lee, and Nancy Haywood Branch, daughter of Confederate Gen. Lawrence O'Bryan Branch. Today, Saint Mary's School is an independent, Episcopal, college-preparatory boarding and day school for young women in grades 9-12. The front campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
HM NumberHM16WT
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 27th, 2014 at 7:55am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 712109 N 3962293
Decimal Degrees35.78185000, -78.65321667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 46.911', W 78° 39.193'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 46' 54.66" N, 78° 39' 11.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)919
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2 Smedes Hall Cir, Raleigh NC 27603, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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