RALEIGH–The Civil War savaged lives yet secured the future of generations in North Carolina and the rest of the nation, and altered the course of American history. The injustices faced by African Americans were some of the most significant factors leading to the American Civil War (1861-1865). The fight for liberation is just one of many moving features of the Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory: Civil War Sesquicentennial Photography Exhibit which is visiting the Northampton County Memorial Library from Oct.1-26.
The Civil War occurred when photography was just becoming popular and became the first conflict to be widely recorded in this manner. Battlefield images fascinated the public and acquainted them, in a dramatic way, with the horrors of war. The “Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory” exhibit presents images that compare and contrast the conditions of war, then and now,” explains N.C. State Historic Sites Division Director Keith Hardison.
The exhibit will commemorate the bravery and resiliency of North Carolinians throughout the Civil War with stimulating images gathered from the State Archives, the N.C. Museum of History, and State Historic Sites. A total of 24 images will be displayed by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources in 50 libraries and four museums throughout the state from April 2011 through May 2013. A notebook will accompany the exhibit with further information and also seeking viewer comments.
The collection depicts African Americans, women and militiamen, including images of artifacts and official documents. One picture shows an African American U.S. Colored Troops (U.S.C.T.) re-enactor. The U.S.C.T. controlled the area around Wilson and Wayne counties after the war. More than 5,000 documented North Carolina blacks served in the U.S.C.T. for the Union Army and Navy. Despite resentment from Confederates, African Americans dutifully served, paving their way to freedom.
For information on the exhibit call the Northampton County Memorial Library at (252) 524-2571. For tour information contact the Department of Cultural Resources at (919) 807-7389 or visit the department online.