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Textile companies and related businesses continued into the 21st century, when most went bankrupt, reorganized, and/or merged with other companies as textile manufacturing jobs moved offshore.

Greensboro is still a major center of the textile industry, with the main offices of International Textile Group (Cone, Burlington Industries), Galey & Lord, Unifi, and VF Corporation (Wrangler, Lee, The North Face, and Nautica).

In addition, four Amtrak passenger trains stop in Greensboro daily on the main Norfolk Southern line between Washington and New Orleans by way of Atlanta.

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In the early 1840s, Greensboro was designated by the state government as one of the stops on a new railroad line, at the request of Governor John Motley Morehead, whose plantation, Blandwood, was in Greensboro.

Stimulated by rail traffic and improved access to markets, the city grew substantially, soon becoming known as the "Gate City" due to its role as a transportation hub for the Piedmont.

Since the late 20th century, the latter has been adapted and operates as a private inn.

In the mid-19th century, many of the residents of the Piedmont and western areas of the state were Unionist, and Guilford County did not vote for secession.

In the final weeks of the war, Greensboro played a unique role in the last days of the Confederate government. While in the city, Davis and his cabinet decided to try to escape overseas in order to avoid capture by the victorious Union forces; they left Greensboro and separated.

Greensboro is notable as the last place where the entire Confederate government met as a group: it is considered by some the "final" capital city of the Confederacy.

After the war, investors worked to restore the textile mills and related industry.

In the 1890s, the city continued to attract attention from northern industrialists, including Moses and Caesar Cone of Baltimore, Maryland.

ITG Brands, maker of Kool, Winston and Salem brand cigarettes, is the third largest tobacco company in the United States and is headquartered in Greensboro.

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