RALEIGH, N.C. – Visitors to the State Capitol (www.nchistoricsites.org/capitol) can step back in time on Saturday, April 10. A Civil War-era troop encampment on the lawn and character interpretations will recall the April 1865 occupation of the State Capitol by troops of Union General William T. Sherman. The occupation occurred just days before the largest surrender of the war at Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham (www.nchistoricsites.org/bennett) that included almost 90,000 Confederate troops in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida.
Strolling through the Capitol, costumed interpreters playing former governors David Swain and William Graham will encounter a local vehement supporter of the Confederate troops, “Aunt” Abby House. Union Signal Corps Officer Lt. George Round and newly freed slave Ellick Moore will be on hand. The fear, anger and relief experienced by North Carolinians during the period will be shared in this program.
“Characters are based on personal letters, diaries and period accounts, and will speak about hardships they have endured, life in Raleigh, and their hopes and dreams for the future,” says Site Manager Deanna Mitchell. The interpreters also will answer questions from spectators.
Guides will lead tours at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., and at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. All tours begin outside the west doors of the Capitol. Advance reservations are recommended, as tour group size is limited. Call (919) 733-4994 to make reservations.
Union and Confederate troops (portrayed by re-enactors of the 6th North Carolina) encamped outside on the grounds will give a sense of the military life near the close of the Civil War. Re-enactors portraying U.S. Colored Troops will also be present (http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/blacks-civil-war/article.html).
The State Capitol’s mission is to preserve and interpret the history, architecture and functions of the 1840 building and Union Square. The Capitol is bounded by Edenton, Salisbury, Morgan and Wilmington streets. For more information, visit www.nchistoricsites.org/capitol/default.htm or call (919) 733-4994.
Administered by the Division of State Historic Sites, the State Capitol is part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available 24/7 at www.ncculture.com.
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