Stoneman’s Raid – Civil War History, 1865

​Rutherford County was not host to any major battle or skirmish during the Civil War but they did send nearly 2,000 men to fight for the Confederacy. Some four hundred and fifty did not return. Near the end of the war, Union General George Stoneman led 6,000 soldiers in a march mirroring General Sherman’s in the east from Tennessee into the western areas of North Carolina and Virginia to disrupt supply lines and stretch already thin Confederate forces to the breaking point. On April 21, 1865 roughly two dozen of Stoneman’s raiders sacked Rutherfordton, burning three buildings and ransacking the post office. Stoneman’s Raid ended four days later in Asheville, two weeks after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. Some of Stoneman’s men returned to Tennessee, others joined in the search for escaped Confederate President Jefferson Davis, at one point traveling through Anderson, SC, where the troops had the onerous task of disposing of 300 bottles of captured wine. The chase continued until May 15, when Davis was captured by the 4th Michigan Cavalry in Irwin, GA.

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