As the Civil War continued the need arose for establishing a Home Guard made up of the older and younger men who had not volunteered nor conscripted into the war.

So in late 1863 Governor Zebulon B. Vance appointed John Wesley McElroy to serve as Brigadier General in command of the Western North Carolina Home Guard he would be based from his old home in the heart of downtown Burnsville. Fortunately for its citizens because in the Spring of 1864 an upraising of 75 men lead by local Montreval Ray himself a Confederate deserter tried to plunder and destroy the stores and businesses in Burnsville. Gen. McElroy called for aid from Col John B. Palmer who responded with 200 men and artillery to reestablish order to the town

This event is commemorated through living history re-enactments each year. See the Calendar of Events page for details.


The Civil War Trails program has installed more than 1,000 interpretive markers at Civil War sites in Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, West Virginia and North Carolina.
Driving tours, that follow major campaigns, have been created and a series of regional brochures are available upon request.

The link below, takes you to the Civil War Trail listings for each state.
You can pick up a printed copy of the Trails information at visitor centers in those states or fill out the Request Information Form to receive most of the Trails information by mail.

© Yancey History Association, 3 Academy Street, Burnsville, North Carolina 28714. All rights reserved. Designed by John Elsegood 2012