SUBMITTED BY: Richard Harding Davis
Less than a quarter mile North, as the crow flies, from Perry Brown’s Furniture Factory Outlet World on 200 South lies a historically significant location in Union County. On March 1, 1865, near the intersection of Bigham and Brady Roads, a skirmish occurred between Union and Confederate cavalry. Sherman’s army had completed it’s march to the sea and marched through South Carolina burning and pillaging along the way. The Confederate generals, desperate to stop the advance, sent the cavalry under General Joseph Wheeler to determine the route the Federal army would take into North Carolina. Wheeler’s men soon discovered a column of blue clad Union soldiers apparently marching toward Charlotte. On February 27th Wheeler positioned his artillery on a hill above and behind the present location of Walkersville Presbyterian Church. He established picket lines along Cane Creek a half mile to the South and threw up earthworks at Wilson’s Store near the intersection. He made his headquarters in the Wilson home.
Elements of the Federal cavalry approached the Confederate position at Wilson’s Store and were met by a withering fire. They were quickly repulsed and retreated. After being re-enforced by Union troopers advancing from Lancaster they charged again. The skirmish lasted less than a half hour and the Federals were again driven from the field. The Confederates suffered one wounded. The Federals had 5 captured, 3 killed and an unknown number wounded.
At the same time as the Wilson’s Store Skirmish, 35 Union soldiers rode into the unprotected village of Monroe and captured several wagons of supplies
The move toward Charlotte was a feint. The main force of the Federal army marched into eastern North Carolina.
Today a small monument, shown below, marks the location of Wilson’s Store. It is at the entrance to the Cemetery across Brady Rd. from Walkersville Presbyterian Church. The second photo shows the remains of the Wilson home where General Wheeler made his headquarters. It was torn down in the early 1980s.