photo of the Civiil War Trail marker at Swepsonville River Park with the Civil War Trails logo overlaid

The Civil War Trails is a historic preservation organization based in Virginia, which works with communities in numerous states including North Carolina to help preserve the heritage of the American Civil War. This past month, the Civil War Trails organization began overhauling longstanding and worn Civil War Trail interpretive markers across numerous states, which designate historic events and places during our nation’s most tragic and significant period, 1861-1865. Included in these upgrades are the markers in Alamance County, where there are currently nine interpretive marker locations that tell the story of both the soldiers and the community’s involvement in the war. Alamance County’s Civil War Trail takes about 3 hours to complete if you visit every location.

The first initial sign enhancement is located at Swepsonville River Park, recently transferred to Alamance Parks from the town of Swepsonville. The park is also home to a section of the Haw River Land Trail and two access points on the Haw River Paddle Trail. Here along the riverfront of the historic Haw, in April 1865, several thousand soldiers of the Confederate Army crossed the river en route to Greensboro, where they would ultimately be discharged following the surrender agreement between General Johnston and Major General Sherman at the Bennett Farm just outside Durham. The interpretive marker is located along the riverfront where visitors can stand and view the river crossing, and get a visual sense of what it might have been like for the men wading across the river with their knapsacks, personal belongings and muskets. Sadly, the deep rocky river presented a risky crossing and some soldiers died during the passage, just days before the war would come to an end. There are more fascinating stories like this one exhibited at the other locations across Alamance County.

For more information about visiting the Civil War Trail through Alamance County, please visit the website of the Alamance Convention and Visitors Bureau: (link will open a new window). You can also download a printable brochure of the Civil War Trail in Alamance County here (PDF will open in a new window).