Rowan County Courthouse

Rowan County Courthouse (HMMWN)

Location: Salisbury, NC 28144 Rowan County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 40.109', W 80° 28.131'

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Escaped Destruction

— Stoneman's Raids —

The Old Rowan County Courthouse, a visible reminder of Salisbury's antebellum prosperity, was erected in 1855 and is one of North Carolina's finest Greek Revival-style public buildings. It served as Rowan's third courthouse until 1914. Salisbury native John W. Ellis, who was North Carolina's governor when the war broke out, was the first judge here. He was called the "secessionist governor" for refusing to send state troops in answer to President Abraham Lincoln's call for volunteers to suppress the "rebellion." On May 20, 1861, North Carolina became the last state to secede from the Union.

Almost four years later, on April 12, 1865, Union Gen. George Stoneman, leading a cavalry raid through western North Carolina, rode into Salisbury. His forces burned vast quantities of military stores, including 10,000 weapons, a million rounds of ammunition, 17,000 uniforms, 250,000 blankets and more than 200 tons of food and other supplies. Light from the giant bonfires reportedly was seen 30 miles away. The stores had been sent to Salisbury to prevent them from falling into Gen. William T. Sherman's hands as he marched north from Georgia. Stoneman also burned and destroyed the Confederate States Military Prison located in Salisbury. Although Stoneman's raiders burned military supplies and facilities here in town, the courthouse escaped destruction.

" . . . I can be no party to this wicked violation of the laws of the country, and to this war upon the liberties of a free people. You can get no troops from North Carolina." - Telegram to President Lincoln from Governor Ellis, April 15, 1861.
Series This marker is part of the North Carolina Civil War Trails series
Placed ByCivil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:43pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 548071 N 3947309
Decimal Degrees35.66848333, -80.46885000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 40.109', W 80° 28.131'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 40' 6.54" N, 80° 28' 7.86" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)704, 336
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100-198 W Council St, Salisbury NC 28144, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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