Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War in North Carolina, 2011-2015


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Sesquicentennial Photography Exhibit

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In preparing for the anniversary of the war, some states have formed legislatively authorized and funded commissions. North Carolina has not. In light of uncertainty as to whether a commission would take shape, the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, part of the Department of Cultural Resources, in 2006 formed an in-house committee to guide and promote agency-sponsored observances. Organizers, with the counsel of a panel of academic advisers, endorsed a wide range of programs intended to appeal to diverse audiences. The themes of Freedom, Sacrifice, and Memory encompass a wide range of topics and points of view.

This website and the projects described herein are products of that in-house committee. Use of the logo on this page is restricted to programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the Department. North Carolina’s residents and visitors are invited to join us in the observance or to plan local or privately sponsored commemorations. While the committee encourages other groups to plan their own events to commemorate the sesquicentennial, it cannot endorse or promote them as its focus is restricted solely to Department activities. Members of the committee gladly will advise local parties as time and circumstances allow.

Our programs include an ambitious three-part series of panels:

  1. Memory: North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, May 20, 2011
  2. Freedom: "'Lay My Burden Down': Freedom and the Legacies of the Civil War," Winston-Salem (Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University, and Old Salem), October 17-18, 2013. Videos from the conference available here.
  3. Sacrifice: "What a Cruel Thing is War: Sacrifice and Legacies of the Civil War," Southport and Wilmington (UNC-Wilmington), February 27-28, 2015

Activities

Thirteen of the twenty-seven State Historic Sites will launch a new, comprehensive, education initiative in 2011 to highlight the North Carolina experience.

State Historic Sites with site-specific programs are:
  • Bennett Place
  • Bentonville Battlefield
  • Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson
  • CSS Neuse
  • Fort Fisher
  • State Capitol
  • Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace

Non-traditional Civil War sites will also offer programs:
  • Duke Homestead
  • Historic Edenton
  • Somerset Place
  • Historic Stagville
  • Tryon Palace
  • Roanoke Island Festival Park

Archaeological work will be undertaken at selected venues.

A teacher workshop for renewal credit is planned about the programs which will be designed to meet eighth grade curriculum standards.

Exhibitions and Special Events

The North Carolina Museum of History will build upon previous exhibits and highlight aspects of the war over the course of the anniversary period.

Several works of art related to the Civil War period are on view at the North Carolina Museum of Art

New Ventures

The Division of Historic Sites and Properties will initiate a broad-based educational program geared toward eighth grade students.

The Historical Publications Office will publish new books and posters, a series of reprints, and will continue the volumes in the ongoing North Carolina troop roster series.

A North Carolina Civil War Atlas, conceived by Mark A. Moore, will be published online.

Also being discussed are placement of one or more monuments, establishment of a speakers bureau, and heritage tourism-based marketing efforts.

Committee

Dr. Jeffrey J. Crow, Deputy Secretary, Archives and History, established the Commemoration Committee. He noted that the department long has had a commitment to projects associated with the Civil War and, during the anniversary, those efforts will intensify. The Cultural Resources team is co-chaired by by Keith Hardison, Director of the Division of State Historic Sites and Properties, and Michael Hill, Research Branch Supervisor.

An advisory panel of leading Civil War historians will consult with staff and guide development and execution of programming.

Our sunburst logo is derivative of a button worn by North Carolina soldiers, 1861-1865.

With all programming, the committee wishes to reach the widest possible audience, extending the reach of the Office of Archives and History geographically, thematically, and demographically.

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