Civil War

Unveiling of the confederate monument in 1913.
Wilson Library

On June 2nd, 1913, the University of North Carolina dedicated a memorial on its Chapel Hill campus to students who had fought for the Confederacy.  A century later, Silent Sam – as the statue has come to be known – still stirs passions.

The confederate flag with a star cut out, preserved for the NC Museum of History.
NC Museum of History

A battle-worn confederate flag has undergone a $6500 dollar preservation and has now been returned to the North Carolina Museum of History. The flag was lost in the final months of the Civil War and was carried by the 6th Regiment of North Carolina in the Battle of Sailor's Creek in Virginia. It was captured by Union forces in 1865.

Jackson Marshall, the museum's assistant director of programming, says the flag has been cleaned and placed under glass in an acid-free environment that should last another 50 years.

The wreck of the Civil War vessel USS Monitor lies off the coast of Cape Hatteras. Friday marks 150 years to the day since it sank.
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary / noaa.gov

The remains of two Union sailors who went down with the ironclad USS Monitor off the North Carolina coast will be honored Friday at Arlington National Cemetery. 

The Civil War ship sank 150 years ago.  The remains were found in 2002.  Lauren Heesemann is the research coordinator for NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. 

"The date for the burial was chosen because its the 151st anniversary of the battle of Hampton Roads which is one of the battles that the Monitor is most known for; the battle of the Monitor versus the Merrimack or the CSS Virginia," Heesemann says.

Officers with flag
North Carolina Museum of History

On May 12, 1864 during the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in Virginia, a Union soldier in hand-to-hand combat with a North Carolina standard-bearer tore the battle flag right off its staff. The flag ripped along its left border, the color-bearer was captured and imprisoned, and the Union soldier who seized the flag was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his deed. Today, the historic flag is on display at the North Carolina Museum of History.

National Archives, Washington, D.C.

From May 15 through June 16, the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation will be on display in the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. The historical seven-page document is on loan from the National Archives in Washington, D.C..

Scientists say they may have found a new clue that sheds light on the sinking of Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley during the Civil War. The new evidence lies in a pole, called a spar, once placed on the front of the sub and used to plant explosives on enemy ships.  Scientists announced Monday that 135 pounds of gunpowder was attached to the spar at the front of the vessel.

There’s a scene in Walter Bennett’s new novel "Leaving Tuscaloosa" (Fuze Publishing/2012) that will send chills down your spine. It’s 1962 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and a group of young white men ride through the African-American part of town throwing eggs and hurling racial taunts. The scene is based on an experience from Walter Bennett’s adolescence and it still bothers him.

Abraham Galloway was a fugitive slave hailing from Wilmington, North Carolina, who became a union spy, a radical abolitionist and a state senator. However, you'll rarely, if ever, see Galloway's name in a history textbook. For 10 years, author and historian David Cecelski researched and attempted to uncover the life of Abraham Galloway.

Blakely Cannon at NC Museum of History
NC Dept of Cultural Resources / http://www.ncdcr.gov

A cannon that saw service in Wilmington during the Civil War will now mark the plaza in front of the North Carolina Museum of History. The Raleigh museum is unveiling the artifact later this morning, adding to its exhibits marking the sesquicentennial of the conflict.

A Civil War artifact is back in North Carolina to help commemorate the battle of New Bern.

Jeff Tiberii: On March 14th, 1862 nearly 500 soliders were wounded at the Battle of New Bern. A Massachusetts made cannon began that day in confederate hands. It had been used in the early part of the Civil War in Eastern North Carolina. However, the Amherst Cannon was seized by it’s original Union owners in the fight. Dr. Jeanne Marie Warzeski is curator at the North Carolina Museum of History.

An exhibit about Roanoke Island's role in the Civil War opens at the Outer Banks Visitor Center today. Curator Kaeli Schurr says capturing the island was an important part of the strategy for both the confederacy and the union.

Kaeli Schurr: After a long summer of both sides training troops and devising military strategy, both knew that whoever would be able to control the supply lines would control all of eastern North Carolina. And that led then to being able to disrupt the supply lines from Wilmington up to the Confederate capital in Richmond.

37th US Colored Troops re-enactors participated in Pvt. Frank Worthington's headstone ceremony, Civil war
Leoneda Inge

Summer-time is known for neighborhood get-togethers and family reunions.   That’s what the Worthington-Wellington family did this month in Wilson, North Carolina.  But a big cook-out was not the highlight.  This year, family gathered at Maplewood Cemetery to honor Private Frank Worthington – a member of the 14th Regiment North Carolina Colored Troops – Heavy Artillery.  After years of letter-writing and historical research – Private Worthington finally has a Civil War Memorial Headstone – a rarity for African Americans.

The "Good War"

Jun 24, 2011

Many people think the American Civil War had to happen. It reunited a torn country and put an end to slavery. But was it a "good" war, and is there even such a thing? Host Frank Stasio talks about the morality of the Civil War with David Goldfield, the Robert Lee Bailey Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of “America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation” (Bloomsbury Press/2011); and Fitzhugh Brundage, the William Umstead Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Washington Duke
Duke Homestead

Before the Civil War, North Carolina was a poor, agrarian state. The people who lived here were renowned for their independence. It was a quality that would serve the state well after the war.

Washington Duke was a penniless, ambivalent Confederate soldier in the spring of 1865 when he was released from a Union prison in New Bern. Ahead of him was a 130 mile walk home to Durham - waiting for him there were 4 children, no wife, and a ransacked farm.

During the Civil War, the Union Army had an increasing supply of something the Confederacy lacked: food. Canning operations in the North kept the Union’s bellies full while Southern soldiers faced starvation. In his new book, “Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War” (St. Martin’s Press/2011), author and culinary historian Andrew F. Smith explores the role of food in the outcome of the war. Smith joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his research and the connection between the Civil War and the industrialization of America’s food supply.

America was a highly religious nation during the Civil War era and spiritual believers on both sides of the conflict turned to their faith to understand the causes and consequences of the war. The concept of divine providence - the idea that God’s will was being played out on the battleground - was a common theme in the messages of preachers and political leaders of the day. For African-Americans in South, the freedom to worship came slowly and black ministers found themselves facing the exciting challenge of emancipation in different ways.

Many families here in North Carolina have passed down stories about the experiences of their ancestors during the Civil War. For most people, those tales are a link to a distant past that spans generations. But for one small group of elderly women who are actually the daughters of Confederate soldiers, that history is very much a part of their own life story.

A commonly used image of Lowry.
www.ncmuseumofhistory.org

Henry Berry Lowry was a Lumbee Indian sometimes described as the “Robin Hood” of Robeson County, North Carolina. But Lowry’s story is much more nuanced than that. He’s a hero to some, a murderer to others. All told, Lowry and his gang of outlaws were responsible for some two dozen killings as the Civil War ended and during Reconstruction.

Historians estimate that more than 56,000 Americans died in prison camps during the Civil War. That's a casualty figure that is far greater than any single battle. The South's most famous prison was at Andersonville in Georgia. Conditions there were horrible; the food was scarce and often rancid. Nearly 29 percent of all prisoners detained at Andersonville died before the end of the war. Singer Dave Alvin wrote a song about it after he discovered that one of his relatives died there.

Bennett Place
www.nchistoricsites.org/bennett/

The Civil War was one of the bloodiest wars fought in American history. Although the North won, led bravely by President Abraham Lincoln, Union victory was never a foregone conclusion. Historian Joseph Glatthaar says Lincoln may have been a great political leader, but he didn’t know much about military strategy. The president’s missteps made the Civil War longer and almost caused the resignation of one of the Union’s great generals.

Some historians refer to the Civil War as the “war between the states" – a white man’s war.  But to many people of color – it was the “war for freedom.” And during this mighty war, no other place in North Carolina had more “free” slaves than New Bern.

When the Union Army seized the city, word spread fast. Slaves travelled from across the state and outside its borders to get to New Bern.

www.chowandiscovery.org

More Americans marked at least two boxes for “race” on the 2010 Census than ever before. The country may not be increasingly multiracial but it certainly is increasingly conscious of its multiracial identity. In Northeastern North Carolina there is a community that is historically mixed race. Landowning free people of color have lived together in The Winton Triangle for 260 years. Their ancestors include people who moved from the Chesapeake Bay area as well as Chowanoke, Meherrin, and Tuscarora Indians, Africans and East Indians.

The 26th North Carolina Regiment is one of the largest Civil war reenactor groups in the country. Nearly every month the regiment travels from one historical site to the next to reenact battles and perform living history exhibits. The group is modeled after a Confederate regiment of the same name.

The Civil War is often referred to as the last war fought on American soil. Since then, we fight wars over seas and we watch the battles play out on TV or the Internet. For black and white women living in the American South, the Civil War was fought all around them, but the true enemies were poverty, hunger and despair. For those women, the battlefront was not a distant idea because the battlefront was the homefront. As part of our series, “North Carolina Voices: The Civil War,” Thavolia Glymph and Laura Edwards join host Frank Stasio to discuss what life was like for women in North Carolina during the war.

Did you know that Quakers were the first organized non-native religious group in the Carolinas? In the late 1600s, the governor and assembly of North Carolina were majority Quaker. Today, the Piedmont Triad has the largest concentration of Quakers in North America. But leading up to the Civil War, Quakers left the state in droves because of their opposition to slavery. During the war, their pacifism sent them north and west to free states. Greensboro’s Guilford College was first established as a boarding school in 1837 in order to maintain some Quaker presence in the state.

Michael Gerhardt
law.unc.edu

The 14th Amendment may be the most hotly debated 2,000 words in American history. It was adopted on July 9, 1868 and is considered the most important of the “Reconstruction Amendments.” Those amendments - the 13th, 14th and 15th - reconfigure the relationship between the states and the federal government. Among other things, they put the federal government in the position of monitoring the way states protect civil rights.

Civil War Monuments Loom Large

Jun 15, 2011
The Reidsville monument... without the statue.
Rose Hoban

All over North Carolina, statues of Confederate soldiers stand sentry in front of courthouses, churches and in public squares.
 

It was a dark and stormy night in Reidsville early on May 23rd...

Black Soldiers In The Civil War

Jun 14, 2011

Visualize a Civil War soldier and a sepia colored picture of a white man likely comes to mind. But thousands of African Americans in North Carolina served in the Union Army during the Civil War. They trained in the town of New Bern after its fall in March 1962.

Teaching The Civil War

Jun 13, 2011
Brick wall At Stagville
Dave DeWitt

The first public school in North Carolina was created in 1840. Before the Civil War, those schools were reserved only for Whites. And then, four years after the war ended, the system was revived.

Segregated schools were the law in the state for much of the 20th century. And as you might imagine, the Civil War was taught much differently depending on the color of the students’ skin.

Battle of Bentonville
UNC-Chapel Hill, NC Collection

  The site of the bloodiest battle in North Carolina history is now the location for a memorial to confederate soldiers. A ceremony tomorrow afternoon will recognize a long lost graveyard at Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site. Derrick Brown is the assistant manager of the facility. He says an old photo and some new technology helped find the area where confederate soldiers were buried. 

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