North Carolina-Fort York-October 4

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-October 4

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.

I have never heard of Fort York. I came across a reference to  it while researching Rowan County. It is a little known Confederate fort that was built in anticipation of Union General George Stoneman’s march into the piedmont of North Carolina during the Civil War. The fort was built to protect  a railroad bridge across the Yadkin River. The fort was actually located in Davidson County.


Although historians disagree whether the earthworks began being laid in late 1864 or in early 1865, a growing concern regarding invading Yankees prompted the fort’s construction.  North Carolinians feared William T. Sherman’s approach from Georgia and South Carolina and George Stoneman’s vengeful cavalry crossing the Appalachians.

The fort is an earthwork system of small artillery batteries connected by rifle pits.  There is an inner line (240 yards of infantry trenches and 3 artillery batteries) and an encompassing, outer line (385 yards of trenches and 4 batteries). It was constructed to protect the North Carolina Railroad Bridge from being destroyed.


One ironic thing about George Stoneman was that his roommate at West Point was Stonewall Jackson. In the last weeks of the civil war, Stoneman led raids into North Carolina and Virginia that inspired the song  “The night they drove old Dixie down”.

Love that song by THE BAND and sung by Levon Helms. Link below.



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