Antietam, Manassas...and Morrisville
Posted August 22, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
MORRISVILLE — So you think you know your Civil War history? How well do you remember the events that happened in Morrisville in 1865?
Not so sure? You're not alone.
One man who's determined to help put Morrisville's mark on history is Ernest Dollar.
"This would have been the centerpoint of the battle in 1865," Dollar says as he shows a visitor around.
Now the site is part of Morrisville, and the centerpoint of Dollar's preservation efforts.
Dollar says one of the last major skirmishes of the Civil War happened in Morrisville, and he has the artifacts to prove it.
"Most of the artifacts are Federal buttons lost by the Union soldiers and a few Confederate buttons."
Dollar says the artifacts are left from the battle on April 13, 1865. That's when rebel troops clashed with Union soldiers following Raleigh's surrender. The fight took place near where the Morrisville town hall now stands and the old Williamson Page house.
"I'm surprised it's still standing. If you read some of the accounts, the Federal artillery lined up on the heights along the hill and they were just tossing shells into Morrisville," Dollar recounted.
Dollar tried to get the state to erect a historic marker in this area to no avail. Town leaders have mustered up the money for the sign, which will read "Here the Confederate cavalry defended the train depot against Federal artillery and repelled a Union cavalry charge."
Dollar's next quest is to protect the remaining battlefield from encroaching development so future generations will know what happened in Morrisville 134 years ago.