Crossing of the Dan exhibit

This Crossing of the Dan exhibit currently located on the third floor in The Prizery is becoming the centerpiece of the South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History’s permanent collection.

In order to increase the primary exhibit’s public visibility and increase visitor access, the Halifax County Historical Society has joined with the South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History to transfer the Crossing of the Dan exhibit to the Museum for permanent display.

The society is assisting financially in the move from its current location in The Prizery and is gratified to join with the museum in properly honoring the original funders and creators of this important piece of public history, according to Barbara Bass with the historical society.

Work will begin immediately on making the exhibit the centerpiece of the museum’s permanent collection, said Bass, with a goal of it being in place for the upcoming 240th anniversary of the Crossing of the Dan.

The exhibit has been a primary indoor exhibit on the third floor of The Prizery, and there’s also a secondary outdoor exhibit is at the Dan River crossing site since the early 2000s.

It was created after a far-sighted local committee was formed to plan an exhibit to commemorate the event. The Historical Society, being a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, volunteered to raise funds and help lead the creation of two Crossing of the Dan exhibits.

The Halifax County Historical Society’s mission is to preserve historical facts, artifacts and structures of Halifax County and to disseminate historic information to the public.

The society was instrumental in bringing national attention to the Crossing of the Dan, a wily tactical maneuver pulled off by American forces during the American Revolution.

This important event, though not a battle, occurred in South Boston in 1781 and has been recognized as crucial to American victory.

This strategic retreat was planned by General Nathanael Greene to weaken the British army by drawing them away from their source of supplies.

Using local intelligence provided by Lt. Col. Edward Carrington, the American army won the Race to the Dan and crossed the river using all available boats. When the British arrived they had no means of crossing the river to continue the pursuit.

Halifax County supplied provisions and troops that allowed the American army to continue and ultimately win the war.

In February of every year the society co-sponsors a commemoration of this critical moment in the Revolution.