SUBMITTED BY: Richard Harding Davis
A Wagon Train Once Camped on the Public Square – from the June 28, 1910 issue of MONROE JOURNAL (Union County, N.C.)
The fine elms that surround the public square, none of which should ever be cut down, were planted before the war. In March, 1865, Mr. R.V. HOUSTON says, all the trees were growing and not one was missing from the line. That month a crowd of Confederate scouts disguised themselves as Federal soldiers and captured seventy-five wagon loads of supplies from SHERMAN’S army which was passing below here. Captain ASHBY in command of the scouts, brought his booty to Monroe and encamped on the public square. His horses and men broke down or damaged many of the young trees. Each of the seventy-five wagons had six mules attached to it, and each wagon was filled with stores of Northern goods. As the war was closing, the scouts considered their capture as private booty and proceeded to sell it out and pocket what money they got. The mules were sold for almost a song and much of the stores were given away as the scouts knew they must get away at once or be captured by SHERMAN’S men.