DURHAM -- A signature Sesquicentennial event of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources’ Bennett Place State Historic Site, “Road to Secession,” will capture the patriotism and fanfare of piedmont North Carolina at the outset of the American Civil War on Saturday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 9, 10 a.m-3 p.m.
The weekend-long event, “Road to Secession,” will include a recruiting station that recreates the enlistment of young men and gives demonstrations of military drill and musket firing; civilian ladies practicing period cooking, sewing, and preparing care packages for soldiers; and an exhibition 19th-century style baseball game by the Greensboro Patriots against the locals and new recruits.
Photographer Ronald Hudson will be on hand with period photography and portraits for sale. Mule-pulled wagon rides around the farm will be available. Vendors will have period products to showcase and sell, and the Huckleberry Brothers band will provide lively music.
Jeff Bockert, assistant curator for education with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources’ Historic Sites, will speak on uniforms and equipment of the North Carolina soldier. He is among several historians and authors who will speak in the Visitor Center theater. Brenda McKean will present her two books, “Blood at Our Doorstep, Life of the North Carolina Civilian During the Civil War, Volumes I & II.” Michael Hardy will present his latest title, “ North Carolina in the Civil War.” and Keith Jones will speak on “Boys of Diamond Hill,” a series of letters of a South Carolina family that lost four of five sons in the Civil War.
The Sons of the Confederate Veterans Bennett-Duke Camp will show a genealogical research display.
The mission of Bennett Place State Historic Site is to interpret the meeting of Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston, whose goal in April 1865 was to bring a peaceful solution to the war and the surrender of 89,270 exhausted Confederate troops. The state historic site also interprets the lives of yeomen North Carolina farmers such as James and Nancy Bennett.
Bennett Place is at 4409 Bennett Memorial Road , Durham , NC , 27705 . For additional info rmation call (919) 383-4345 or visithttp://www.nchistoricsites.org/bennett/bennett.htm.