FOUR OAKS – Leave the hustle and bustle of modern holidays behind and travel back to a simpler place and time at Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site’s “Civil War Christmas” event. On Saturday, Dec. 1, drop by and help decorate an 1860s style Christmas tree, spend time with Confederate soldiers around the campfire, sip cider with civilian living historians and tour the circa 1855 Harper House. This holiday program will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is free and open to the public.
Members of the 27th N.C. Troops will demonstrate how the common Civil War-era North Carolina soldier and civilian marked the holidays by presenting musket demonstrations, mail call and discussions about uniforms and what soldiers did while home on a Christmas furlough. A small military camp will also be set up for visitors to wander through.
Visitors may also enjoy seeing the Harper House kitchen, which will be festively decorated, with volunteers serving hot cider and cookies. To get into the spirit of the season, visitors can help the costumed interpreters string popcorn and cranberries, cut out paper ornaments and even decorate the Christmas tree. The Harper House, which was turned into a hospital during the Battle of Bentonville, will be set up as Union field hospital and open for hourly tours.
The Battle of Bentonville, fought March 19-21, 1865 involved 80,000 troops and was the last Confederate offensive against Union Gen. William T. Sherman. Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site interprets the battle and the hospital, where many Confederates were left in the aftermath. Bentonville Battlefield is located at 5466 Harper House Road in Four Oaks, three miles north of Newton Grove on S.R. 1008, about one hour from Raleigh and about 45 minutes from Fayetteville. For more information, visit Bentonville online or call (910) 594-0789.