FAYATTEVILLE – On Saturday April 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the grounds of the old Fayetteville Arsenal will once again host Confederate soldiers. “Skirmishes and Shortages: N.C. in 1863” is a Civil War Sesquicentennial living history event focused on what was happening in our state 150 years ago. Members of the 26th NC Regiment will set up camp and provide musket and drilling demonstrations for the visiting public at 10:30, 12:30, and 2:30pm in Arsenal Park.
The Carolina Citizens, a civilian living history group, will portray female munitions workers employed by the Arsenal and visitors can try their own hand at rolling cartridges. They will also demonstrate and discuss the hardships and shortages caused by the war for women on the home front. Demonstrations are ongoing throughout the day.
Musical performances will be provided by the Huckleberry Brothers Band at 11:30, 1:30, and 3:30 pm. This popular group of musicians from eastern North Carolina performs songs, ballads, and fiddle tunes from the 19th century. Instruments include 5-string banjo, fiddle, guitar, accordion, mandolin, tin whistle, harmonicas, bones, and tambourine. Their appearance is made possible through private donations to our “Mystic Chords of Memory Project” on power2give.org/Fayetteville and contributions by the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County.
Want to learn more about women workers in the Arsenal? Guest speaker Raina Kellerman, adjunct professor at Mount Aloysius College in Pennsylvania, will be presenting on this fascinating topic at 1:00 pm in the museum. She has been involved in Civil War living history for 17 years and is currently in the process of writing a book about women who worked in Civil War arsenals.
Have your tintype image taken by fine art photographer Harry Taylor. Taylor uses the wet plate collodion process, the same method used during the Civil War, which involves large format cameras up to 16×20 and on site processing in a mobile darkroom. Visitors are welcome to have their images taken and purchase a 4×5 tintype or ambrotype on glass for $50, or an 8×10 is available for $100. Photography will be available throughout the day.
Discover the story of “Long Grabs” McSween, the unofficial war correspondent for the Fayetteville Observer. A Fayetteville native, McSween wrote over 80 letters to the Observer in 1862-1863. He was twice wounded at Petersburg as a member of the 26th NC. McSween returned to Fayetteville after the war and became editor of The Eagle newspaper. Learn more about his extraordinary life and listen to an interpretive reading of his letters at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
All activities are free, and will take place in Arsenal Park located along Myrover Street unless otherwise noted.
The Museum of the Cape Fear is a unit of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. For more information on North Carolina arts, history and culture, visit Cultural Resources online.