Camden Courthouse










Camden Courthouse was built in 1847, replacing the building that burned in 1845. On 17 October 1863, a skirmish occurred near Camden Courthouse. Here is the report of Lieut. Col. William Lewis, Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry:


“While on a return with a detachment of his cavalry, numbering 40, from a scout to Camden Court-House, the rear of his column was fired on by guerrillas concealed in the swamps, by which Privates Taggart, of Company F, and Wolf., of Company I, were killed, and Private Hoover, Company C, wounded. This occurred about 4 miles from the court-house and 8 miles from South Mills. We had heard that 15 of these men had been seen during the day, and every precaution was taken by sending out carbineers to skirmish the front and flanks, but did not discover the concealed foe until the firing commenced in the rear. The carbineers were immediately called back and the swamps scoured, but without being able to overtake any of the enemy. As a means of retalliation Colonel Tolles has consented to the sending out of mixed parties of infantry and dismounted cavalry with three days’ rations to play their own game. I would also report the safe return of Captain Ker, with his squadron, from the scout of North Landing River. Nothing of importance occurred during the scout. He went so far as Pungo Landing, where the tug White had been destroyed, and found none of the enemy, but learned that the party who committed the outrage had returned, going in the direction of Church’s Island.”


















Camden Courthouse does not have a Confederate monument. However, memorial bricks were added to pave the sidewalks following the 2006 renovations to the courthouse.


On 10 May 1861, the county commissioners authorized the formation of three companies, one in each township. $965.18 was appropriated to the captain of each company by the county, one-third of the $2895.55 draft the county made on a Virginia bank on that date. A second draft for $4827.33 was made on Joseph Benson Ferebee of South Mills Township.


Ferebee states in his farm ledger that general musters were held at the courthouse on 18 May 1861 and 26 July 1861. He reports that “all the militia called out to repel a supposed attack” on 26 May 1861.


The Jonesboro Guards formed in Camden Township on or about the 18th of May 1861, before North Carolina officially seceded from the Union on the 20th of that month. They enlisted on May 31, 1861, at the courthouse.


The Camden Grays formed in South Mills Township on or about the 4th of May. Capt. Joseph G. Hughes was commissioned on the 20th. The men enlisted on May 30, 1861, at the Camden Courthouse.










Following the Battle of South Mills, members of the 21st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry occupied the courthouse building prior to retiring to their transport vessels in the Pasquotank River at Chantilly.


The Masonic lodge had moved from Shiloh to Camden by the time of the Civil War. Tradition has it that the temple jewels were stolen by Union soldiers retreating to their ships after the Battle of South Mills. The jewels were later returned.