Friday, November 10, 2006

CW Sites in Western NC, part 2

Civil War sites in Western North Carolina continued....

The I-26 corridor has several good Civil War sites. In between Flat Rock and Hendersonville is Connemara, the home of Confederate Secretary of the Treasury Christopher Memminger. Memminger had the house constructed in 1938. Connemara is probably better known as the home of Carl Sandburg, who purchased the property in 1945. Sandburg won a Pulitzer for his four- volume biography of Abraham Lincoln. The site is now owned by the National Park Service and is open for tours. Nearby is the St. Johns of the Wilderness Episcopal Church, which has both the grave of Memminger and of Lt. Col. Charles de Choisel of the 7th Louisiana Infantry, or Wheat’s Tigers. This tiered cemetery has got to be the best cemetery in western North Carolina.

While in the area, check out the 1855 Woodfin Inn, now a bed and breakfast.
A little further north, up US 26 in Fletcher, is the Open Air Westminster Abbey of the South, located behind the Cavalry Episcopal Church. On the grounds are monuments to R. E. Lee, Dan Emmett, Stephen Foster, O. Henry, and Albert Pike, among others.

If you continue north, you will come to Asheville. The best place to visit in the city is the cemetery, Riverside. North Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance, former colonel of the 26th NC, is buried in the cemetery, along with his brother, Brig. Gen. Robert B. Vance (former colonel of the 29th NC). Thomas L. Clingman and James G. Martin are two other Confederate generals buried in the cemetery. There are numerous other Confederates buried within the cemetery, and at least one Federal soldier,

There are breastworks, almost unrecognizable, on the campus of UNC-Asheville at the Botanical Gardens.

Also close to Asheville, off the Blue Ridge Parkway, is Soco Gap. Soco can mean either "ambush place" or "where the Spaniard is thrown in the water." A skirmish was fought hear between Kirk (Union) and Thomas’s Legion (Confederate).

Still further north is the Vance Birthplace State Park, off Reams Creek Road. These are the actual cabins in which Vance grew up.

A little further north, into Madison County, is the site of the Shelton Laurel Massacre. The County was called "Bloody Madison" at the start of the war and there is a book entitled Victims about the tragic events that took place there.

More to come.....

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