DURHAM, N.C. – After the Civil War, Confederate and Union veterans and their families visited the graves of those who had made the ultimate sacrifice. Gen. John A. Logan had been at the surrender negotiations at Bennett Place in April 1865, and upon becoming a congressman he was instrumental in the establishment of Memorial Day to honor the U.S. military.
On Saturday, May 28, 10 a.m-4p.m., Bennett Place State Historic Site will continue the tradition.
Soldiers from many time periods will be available at the living history event. Re-enactors representing the American Revolution, Union and Confederate Civil War, Rough Riders from the Spanish American War, World Wars I and II, and other periods will participate.
“In special recognition of recent events in our United States military history we are especially proud to honor American soldiers with this particular Memorial Day event,” shares Site Manager John Guss. “We hope everyone everywhere will say a special thanks to our military and remember those who gave their all throughout our history.”
The evolution of weaponry and uniforms also will be apparent, from a flintlock musket to an M-1 Garand, or the hunter frock preferred by George Washington for his soldiers to the field uniform of World War II. The program is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.
The Historic Bennett Farm grounds, nature trails and picnic area will be available, and the Visitor Center will be open. Many exclusive Civil War artifacts in the museum gallery interpret the lives of the Bennett family, and Union and Confederate soldiers also. Visitors can purchase Bennett Place and Civil War-related collectibles that will benefit preservation of this historic landmark.
Once the home of James and Nancy Bennett, the farm became the site of the largest troop surrender of the American Civil War in April 1865, involving nearly 90,000 soldiers from North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The mission of Bennett Place State Historic Site is to preserve and interpret the surrender and the lives of 19th-century yeomen farmers such as the Bennetts.
Bennett Place is located at 4409 Bennett Memorial Road, Durham, NC, 27705. It is within 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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