Inscriptions by Union soldiers encamped at Raleigh NC at the war's end

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

A. Roy

Private
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
Today I visited the grounds of Dorothea Dix Park here in Raleigh, NC, and took photos of this boulder near the park's entrance. Local tradition holds that the inscriptions on this rock were made by Union soldiers encamped here from April 13, 1865, when the city was surrendered, until the army marched back north around the end of April. The Dix property and surrounding country was an important encampment area for Gen. Sherman's army.

The inscriptions are faint and hard to make out, but they could be names of soldiers or their units. Nearby is another rock with inscriptions, but that is on the grounds of the high-security Central Prison and hard to access.

At the time of the Civil War, the Dorothea Dix campus was a psychiatric hospital ("Insane Asylum") and continued as such until the last patient was moved out in 2012. The City of Raleigh purchased the property from the state in 2015 to develop an urban park.

I'd love to hear if anyone can make out or recognize anything from these carvings!

IMG_20190916_115414.jpg



IMG_20190916_115105.jpg



IMG_20190916_114919.jpg



IMG_20190916_114939.jpg



IMG_20190916_114811.jpg
 
Last edited:

CivilWarTalk

Lieutenant General
Owner & Webmaster
Joined
Apr 1, 1999
Messages
142,771
Location
Martinsburg, WV
Thanks for sharing! I'd never know about this otherwise! I wonder if there any older photos of this old bolder?

I imagine that wear & tear from visitors and weather aren't helping keep this historic artifact preserved, so photos may end up being the only record we have of this....

Thanks again!
 

A. Roy

Private
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
I imagine that wear & tear from visitors and weather aren't helping keep this historic artifact preserved, so photos may end up being the only record we have of this....
You're right -- these inscriptions are quite weathered. At first, I saw the boulder but dismissed it as the site for the carvings. I had to look very closely (and brush off grass clippings!) to make them out.

The city just released an ambitious master plan for the park, which, I hope, will include preservation efforts for this and other historic features. During the war, a wall of earthworks was built completely encircling Raleigh, and those earthworks ran right along the crest of the hill where the asylum was (part of the original building still exists). Two artillery emplacements were located on the property as well. It's some of the highest ground in Raleigh!

Al B.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

A. Roy

Private
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
Looking forward to my next trip to Raleigh. What are the premier Civil War sites there?
In a way, that's a hard question. Most of the action in North Carolina was either near the coast or in the mountains, and there was never a grave threat to Raleigh, until Sherman began to approach. Govs. Henry Clark and Zebulon Vance operated from Raleigh as the capital city of NC, and there are museums that cover the history and historic homes that played a role in the war. Raleigh was surrendered and occupied on 13 April 1865

For many enthusiasts, the earthworks that encircled the city are one of the most fascinating features -- or they would be fascinating if any real effort had been made to investigate or preserve them. Development has pretty much obliterated any remnants, although it's possible that some exist in woodsy areas or people's backyards.

That said, there are a few places in Raleigh and in the area that could be interesting to visit:

+ The NC Capitol building right in the center of downtown
+ Mordecai historic park -- Mordecai was an important plantation in Raleigh -- the plantation house is still there, and the tour guides are great
+ Joel Lane house -- an historic home and museum
+ The City of Raleigh museum on Fayetteville St.
+ The NC History museum on Edenton St.
+ The Confederate cemetery at historic Oakwood cemetery
+ The rock carvings I showed here, which are next to Hunt Dr. in Dorothea Dix park

Not in Raleigh, but in the region are some important sites:

+ Bentonville battlefield -- about 35 miles from Raleigh -- the last battle of the war where the confederates were able to launch a real offensive -- the battle was fought only a few weeks before Raleigh was surrendered, 19-21 March 1865
+ Bennett Place -- the site where Gen. Joe Johnston surrendered to Sherman, effectively ending the war (26 April 1865)

Al B.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,106
Thanks.

I'm shooting for the Christmas/New Years holiday for my next trip.

Passed a highway exit sign for Bennett Place site last time I was there, but had no time. I'm debating whether it should be my first stop on my next trip, or NC History Museum instead.



In a way, that's a hard question. Most of the action in North Carolina was either near the coast or in the mountains, and there was never a grave threat to Raleigh, until Sherman began to approach. Govs. Henry Clark and Zebulon Vance operated from Raleigh as the capital city of NC, and there are museums that cover the history and historic homes that played a role in the war. Raleigh was surrendered and occupied on 13 April 1865

For many enthusiasts, the earthworks that encircled the city are one of the most fascinating features -- or they would be fascinating if any real effort had been made to investigate or preserve them. Development has pretty much obliterated any remnants, although it's possible that some exist in woodsy areas or people's backyards.

That said, there are a few places in Raleigh and in the area that could be interesting to visit:

+ The NC Capitol building right in the center of downtown
+ Mordecai historic park -- Mordecai was an important plantation in Raleigh -- the plantation house is still there, and the tour guides are great
+ Joel Lane house -- an historic home and museum
+ The City of Raleigh museum on Fayetteville St.
+ The NC History museum on Edenton St.
+ The Confederate cemetery at historic Oakwood cemetery
+ The rock carvings I showed here, which are next to Hunt Dr. in Dorothea Dix park

Not in Raleigh, but in the region are some important sites:

+ Bentonville battlefield -- about 35 miles from Raleigh -- the last battle of the war where the confederates were able to launch a real offensive -- the battle was fought only a few weeks before Raleigh was surrendered, 19-21 March 1865
+ Bennett Place -- the site where Gen. Joe Johnston surrendered to Sherman, effectively ending the war (26 April 1865)

Al B.
[/QUOTE
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Seduzal

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
6,311
Location
Canton, North Carolina
Thanks for sharing this awesome story and photos. Also. Welcome to CWT from the Smoky Mountain side of North Carolina. Just jump right in and enjoy.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

A. Roy

Private
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
Great photos and story. Keep us updated after you spray some water on them.
Thanks! I note your interest in relics. There's an interesting collection of relics found near the Dix Park site, dating from the great Union camp here in Raleigh starting 13 April 1865. I'll create a post about that pretty soon as well.
Al B.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top