Crossing of the Dan Exhibit

Commemorating 14 February, 1781
in Halifax County, Virginia


A project of the Halifax County Historical Society, this permanent, interpretive exhibit of the Crossing of the Dan is housed on the top floor of The Prizery, overlooking the original Boyd's Ferry site. The exhibit is intended to keep the story alive and bring visitors to Halifax County.

The Crossing of the Dan exhibit opens much like the beginning of the Southern Campaign of the American War for Independence. In the exhibit's opening scene, General Nathanael Greene instructs his Quartermaster, Lt. Col. Edward Carringtom, to "explore" the Dan and Yadkin Rivers to find an efficient route for transporting supplies to his army in North Carolina. Little did they know that this fateful decision would later save the American war efforts.

The exhibit describes the event, the military events that preceded the event, what the people of Halifax County did to aid Gen. Greene, the military action after the event, including the final encounter at Yorktown, and communicates the purpose and value of the American Revolutionary War.

237th Anniversary Commemoration will be held February 17, 2018.
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Read HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 6037 - Commending the Crossing of the Dan exhibit.

Crossing of the DanThe Crossing of the Dan was the culmination of ". . . one of the masterful military achievements of all time" . . .Dennis M. Conrad.

The story of this pivotal event, the Crossing of the Dan, cannot be told without placing this vital crossing into the wider context of the entire Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. This interpretive exhibit then becomes quite unique in that it not only describes a local event, but brings together all the little-known significance of the Southern Campaign.

The "retreat" to the Dan that began in January 1781 at the Cowpens battlefield in South Carolina had transformed into a "race to the Dan after the Council of War at Guilford Court House in present day Greensboro, North Carolina. With the Crossing of the Dan River at Irwin's and Boyd's ferries in Halifax County, Virginia, by General Nathanael Greene on February 14, 1781, the Race was won by the Americans.

The Crossing of the Dan can be described as the beginning of the end for the British Lt. General Charles Cornwallis led British army. The exhibit for this event will become one of the highlights in the history of the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War.