Union Soldiers Occupy Bennett Farm — Again

[This blog post comes from a Dept. of Cultural Resources press release – you can find other news related to NC Cultural Resources here.]

DURHAM – Yankees in North Carolina!  Just as it was nearly 150 years ago, Union soldiers this weekend will occupy Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham. Then known as Bennett Farm, the April 1865 surrender there of the armies of North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, was the largest surrender of the Civil War (www.nccivilwar150.com).

Re-enactors will share the story of the more than 2,800-mile march with Maj. Gen. William Sherman, the occupation of North Carolina, and will serve as sentries to engage visitors along historic Hillsborough Road approaching the site.  The free program is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday, July 17.

Southern civilian re-enactors at the Bennett Farm will share tales of hardship and rebuilding after the war in this living history program.  A Federal encampment will include demonstrations of cooking, forage details, drilling, writing home and standing guard.  Thousands of Union troops remained in North Carolina at war’s end, occupying the region until order and the government could be restored and assisting in rebuilding the South.

Chris Crabb, author of “Facing Sherman in South Carolina,” and Jim Wise, author of “On Sherman’s Trail, The Civil War’s North Carolina Climax,” each will speak on his book about Union forces in North Carolina at the war’s end.  The books are available for purchase in the gift shop, and the authors will be signing copies.

Local Sons of Union Veterans General Logan Camp #4 meets monthly at Bennett Place and will provide displays of original artifacts of the Civil War and post-war periods.  Visitors can see unique artifacts of the Bennett family in the Visitor Center, along with military weaponry and site related souvenir and collectibles.  Purchases in the shop help preserve and maintain this historic site.

The mission of Bennett Place State Historic Site is to interpret the meeting of Sherman with  Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston to bring a peaceful solution to the war and the surrender of 89,270 exhausted Confederate troops, and to explore the war’s impact on the lives of yeomen farmers such as James and Nancy Bennett.

Bennett Place is at 4409 Bennett Memorial Road, Durham, NC 27705.  For additional information call (919) 383-4345.

Bennett Place is part of the Division of State Historic Sites within 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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