RALEIGH — Nearly 150 years after the final shots of the Civil War were fired, a new wave of volunteers will descend on America’s battlefields — only these dedicated troops will wield paint brushes, trash bags and hammers in the line of duty.
On Saturday, April 6, history buffs and preservationists from around the country will team up with the Civil War Trust to help clean and restore America’s priceless battlefields, cemeteries and shrines. Park Day is the nationwide volunteer effort created by the Civil War Trust, underwritten with a grant from History™ and endorsed by Take Pride in America, a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Park Day at Bentonville Battlefield in Four Oaks will enlist volunteers and site staff to clear trails for an extension of the site’s walking tour. Refreshments such as water, sports drinks and coffee will be furnished by the Friends of Bentonville Battlefield. Please bring hand tools for brush clearing, but power tools are not allowed. For more information about Park Day at Bentonville Battlefield, please contact Amanda Brantley by phone at (910)-594-0789 or by e-mail at Amanda.Brantley@ncdcr.gov.
Bennett Place in Durham projects will include preparing the spring garden and landscaping, clearing nature trails and preparations for the 148th Anniversary Surrender commemoration on April 20-21. Refreshments including water and sports drinks also will be provided. Volunteers please call (919) 383-4345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Now in its 17th year, the annual hands-on preservation event comprises more than 100 sites in 24 states. Volunteers will participate in activities ranging from trash removal to trail building, while learning more about each site from local experts. In exchange for their effort, volunteers receive t-shirts or patches. Individuals of all ages and ability levels are welcome, and many activities are appropriate for groups, like scout troops or corporate outings.
The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 35,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states. Learn more at www.civilwar.org, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.
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. For more information, or call (910) 594-0789.
In April 1865, the Bennett Farm was the site of the largest surrender of the American Civil War. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman met at the farmhouse of James and Nancy Bennett to negotiate terms that ended fighting in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, surrendering 89,270 Confederate soldiers. Bennett Place is located at 4409 Bennett Memorial Road in Durham. Call (919) 383-4345 for info
Bennett Place and Bentonville Battlefield are units of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. For more information on North Carolina arts, history and culture, visit Cultural Resources online.