Mark the Civil War’s 150th Anniversary in North Carolina

Mark the Civil War’s 150th Anniversary in North Carolina

Bentonville Battlefield was home to the largest Civil War battle to take place on North Carolina soil

This spring, state historic sites and museums across North Carolina are honoring our state’s Civil War sesquicentennial with torpedo demonstrations, artillery and cavalry reenactments, and unimaginable memories of warfare. You can be part of the color, history and spectacle of the “War Between the States” throughout 2014 and into 2015.

Underwriter Expedition Symposium and Navy Living History
Feb. 1, CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center in Kinston
Even though much of coastal North Carolina fell to Union forces early in the Civil War, the spectacular attack by the Confederate Navy aboard the CSS Neuse still managed to challenge Union control of the region. This program, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Underwriter Expedition of 1864, will draw you into the heart-pounding attack and the larger campaign. You'll need to pre-register and pay for the symposium, but you can enjoy the living history program for free.

Civil War Living History Day
Feb. 8, Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City
During this energetic celebration at the Museum of the Albemarle, you can thrill to the sights and sounds of cannon firings on Waterfront Park, along with re-enactor encampments, demonstrations and tours of the Civil War sesquicentennial exhibit, Under Both Flags: Civil War in the Albemarle. Take advantage of a rare opportunity to muster with the troops and practice drills, and don’t miss all the collections of Union identification badges, rare Confederate firearms, photographs and medical equipment.

Navy Way
Feb. 15 - 16, Brunswick Town / Fort Anderson State Historic Site in Winnabow
Head for the high seas and explore the Navy Way during the 149th Anniversary of the Fall of Fort Anderson at the Brunswick Town / Fort Anderson State Historic Site. You can immerse yourself in the life sailors experienced during the Civil War, and watch torpedo, small arms and artillery demonstrations throughout the weekend. You can also tour one of the most extensive exhibits of Civil War torpedoes in the Southeast.

Forced to Fight
March 15 - 16, Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site in Four Oaks
Time-travel back to the waning days of the war when it’s not going well for the Confederacy and the expanded draft means men ages 17 to 50 are required to join the fight. During this two-day program at the Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site, re-enactors of the 11th and 18th N.C. Troops, 27th N.C. Company D and 1st N.C. Volunteers will portray raw conscripts being trained for war from a Civil War period manual of arms. Infantry and artillery demonstrations and an opportunity to “enlist” will also make you part of the action.

Tryon Palace Special Event
March 15 - 16, New Bern
Visit Tryon Palace and explore the effects of the Civil War on the American family in the 1860s, with special emphasis on the Stanly family. You can participate in activities at the North Carolina History Center, Waystation and Academy Museum. The weekend will feature New Bern's Civil War period hospitals and will offer tours, soldier encampments, and craft activities, all included with the regular cost of admission.

Many Roads to Surrender
April 26 - 27, Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham
In April 1865, Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston and Federal Maj. Gen. William Sherman came together for the largest troop surrender of the Civil War at an unassuming farmhouse now preserved as Bennett Place State Historic Site. During this commemoration of that day, you’ll see civilian and military re-enactors demonstrating what life was like at the end of the Civil War and learn from historians and authors from the National Park Service. Other weekend events include an off-site Grand Blue and Gray Ball and the annual Sunday Unity Monument wreath-laying ceremony.

A number of additional Civil War-related events, lectures and programs are scheduled this year:

North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

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