Letter: Morrisville remembers
June 14 marked a significant event in Morrisville. The Town Council voted to approve a historic marker
relating to the role the town played during the last days of the Civil War.
In mid-April 1865, approximately 4,000 soldiers skirmished in the small town located in between what
is now RTP and Raleigh on Rt. 54. In addition to the skirmish, a letter from Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, the
commander of the remaining Confederate forces, passed through the lines to Gen. Kilpatrick and ultimately
Gen. William T. Sherman, the federal commander. This letter was the initial correspondence that requested
an armistice and later terms for the surrender of the remaining Confederate forces.
[N&O columnist Dennis Rogers wrote about the 1865 events and the effort to obtain a marker in his
June 12 column "Marking history in Morrisville."]
Not surprisingly to local historians, the N.C. State Historic Marker Commission rejected the proposal,
holding that North Carolina has enough Civil War markers. Their failure to recognize Morrisville's
historical importance was not taken lightly by the Town Council, which voted unanimously to approve the
procure-ment of the historic marker that will be located near the skirmish site.
The man responsible for pleading the case for historical preservation is Ernest Dollar of Raleigh. His
interest in North Carolina history should be an example on how to preserve history and the marker
commission should take notes. All history is important, not just popular history!