Because Madison County was a “border county” in a “border state” during the Civil War, there are many examples of communities as well as families divided in their allegiances.
There were no major battles in Madison County although both armies moved through the area and Madison County furnished troops for both sides. The southern sympathizers from Madison County were in Companies A, C, D, F, and I of the 64th regiment of the Confederate Army. Those on the Union side served with armies in Tennessee and the west. A few skirmishes were fought within the County: one at Cuffey Field on Spring Creek and a second on the hotel grounds at Warm Springs (the former name of the town of Hot Springs). Each year since 2008, the Hot Springs Resort & Spa hosts a Civil War re-enactment of that skirmish on the first weekend of November.
The skirmish actually happened in October of 1863 when two Union Regiments –the 2nd and 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry regiments–were stationed at Warm Springs as a recruiting camp. When the Confederates learned of their presence, a mounted battalion led by Major J. W. Woodfin (a lawyer from Asheville whose family name is now a town north of Asheville) arrived and Woodfin was immediately shot dead as he was crossing the bridge. The attack was to come from both front and rear, all under the command of General R. B. Vance (the brother of Governor Zebulon Vance). Since the artillery had been discovered and had retreated back to Asheville and General Vance couldn’t get his men across the river, he withdrew, leaving the 25th North Carolina unsupported.
Watch a You Tube of the Re-enactment: Skirmish at Warm Springs
Information on the Skirmish at Warm Springs and the photo were provided by Dave Smith, a Civil War Re-enactment participant with the 2nd NC Mounted Infantry (http://2ncmi.org).
For other events in the Civil War in the County including Shelton Laurel Massacre: the tragic Civil War story, go to The Civil War Trails under the Self-Guided Tours section of our site.