DURHAM, N.C. – Campfire cooking of salt pork and Johnny cakes, chopping firewood, mending uniforms and other aspects of the daily life of a Confederate soldier will be demonstrated on Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27, at Bennett Place State Historic Site. Re-enactors will encamp as “Tarheel” soldiers during free programs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday, as part of the Civil War Sesquicentennial observance (www.nccivilwar150.com).
“The North Carolina soldier was unique in that he was better clothed and equipped than other Confederate soldiers,” notes Bennett Place Site Manager John Guss. “Yet the war took the greatest toll on North Carolina, which lost more soldiers than any other state in the Confederacy,” he concludes.
Across North Carolina new recruits enlisted in the Southern cause, some willingly, some by conscription. Towns including Hillsborough, Company Shops (now Burlington), Graham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro and Raleigh, had recruiting stations for civilians young and old.
Bennett Place site staff will explain how soldiers from North Carolina came to be known as “Tarheels.” Visitors also will learn about the unique uniforms produced by North Carolina’s booming textile industry. Other presentations will examine the history and variations of the Confederate flag, and personal sacrifices of soldiers marching under Southern banners.
Local Sons of Confederate Veterans will have displays and share genealogical information for those seeking information on relatives who served the Confederate States of America. In the visitor center, many unique Civil War related artifacts are exhibited. These reflect the life of the Bennett family and that of soldiers serving North Carolina during surrender negotiations. Collectibles and souvenirs for sale in the shop will benefit Bennett Place.
The Bennett farm was the home of yeomen farmers James and Nancy Bennett and was the site of negotiations for the largest troop surrender of the Civil War.
For additional information call (919) 383-4345 or visit the Web site at http://www.nchistoricsites.org/bennett/bennett.htm. Bennett Place State Historic Site is located at 4409 Bennett Memorial Road, Durham, N.C. 27705. It is part of the Division of State Historic Sites in 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. For more information on Cultural Resources, visit www.ncculture.com.
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