Standing across the street from the Williamston Municipal Center and adjacent to Williamston Mineral Park is a marker commemorating one of the last skirmishes of the Civil War. In fact, this tussle, which occurred on May 1, 1865, was once thought to be the last engagement of the war to happen east of the Mississippi. However, evidence now exists of another brief engagement that took place in Greenville a few weeks later on May 23.
As the above marker states, a group of cadets from the Arsenal Academy in Columbia – part of which now serves as the Governor’s Mansion – encountered a group of Stoneman’s Raiders near this site in Williamston. The Raiders were a Union cavalry unit led by General George Stoneman. The Arsenal cadets were on their way from Greenville to Newberry to disband when the gunfire erupted; the Stoneman’s Raiders were headed to Greenville. The cadets officially disbanded in Newberry on May 9, 1865.