Latest News

December 2020 Year End Update

Dear Friends: By any measure, 2020 has been a challenging year:  A global pandemic.  Racial division and strife.   Economic turmoil. Many of you have asked what this means for the future of the North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center. The answer...

Public Hearings and Meetings

The North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center is not something we just dreamed up last year and decided to build. In fact, we have held numerous public hearings and meetings with public officials, etc. Click the links below to download a list of the...

Questions and Answers

  You've got questions. We've got answers... Q.We don’t like the name A: Change it. The N.C. Civil War & Reconstruction History Center was chosen by the N.C. Civil War & Reconstruction History Center Foundation to refer to the proposed facility and...

NCCWRHC receives $6.5 million painting…

NCCWRHC receives $6.5 million painting…

N.C. Civil War & Reconstruction History Center receives $6.5 million painting, completes local funding requirement for $5 million state appropriation For immediate release: June 4, 2019 (For a video of the painting donated to the N.C. Civil War &...

December 2018 Newsletter

Dear History Center Friend and Supporter: We have a lot to tell you about our 2018 progress! Please click on the title above and then the link that follows this sentence to read our most recent update:  December 2018 Newsletter

History Center’s 2018 Progress to Date

Our latest newsletter: History Center's 2018 Progress to Date! There's much to tell you! We're proud of the progress we've made in the first five months of 2018. Dear Friend of the History Center: There's much to tell you! We're proud of the progress we've made in the...

Groundbreaking Ceremony Speeches

Our Speakers From The North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center Groundbreaking Ceremony in Fayetteville, NC on April 18, 2018. Chancellor James A. Anderson The Honorable Patricia Timmons Goodson Senator Tony Rand Commissioner Michael C. Boose Mayor...

Uniting a divided history

From the robust public discussion about North Carolina’s legacy of Civil War monuments, it’s clear that — a century and a half after its close — we’re still sorting out how to make sense of that war…

Where did all the treason trials go?

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless…

A summer of change, a long winter of resistance

As hopes and honeysuckle bloomed, a century and a half ago, forces were massing to ensure that the dreams of newly liberated slaves and their white supporters would never take root. At the federal level, slavery had been abolished by constitutional amendment. But...

Our Latest Newsletter!

March 2017 Dear Friends, The North Carolina Civil War History Center has been making great progress! In this newsletter are some of our recent and upcoming activities. We thank you for your continued support and, as always, we encourage you to contact us if you have...

Reconstruction: the insurgency that followed the war

 This is the sesquicentennial of Reconstruction, an ugly but historically important period in which the Union, having won a long and ghastly Civil War, lost the peace to the same set of antagonists. That realization arrived in different places at different times....

Aunt Janie vs. the Yankees — and me

My great-grandfather's youngest sister has been dead for more than 130 years, but she's still driving me crazy. In fairness, she's had a lot of help. Janie Smith, who was living in the house I now occupy when William T. Sherman and William J. Hardee literally brought...

What Lee and Grant didn’t bother to debate

Lee. Grant. Appomattox. The three names have become almost shorthand for an end to four ghastly years of a war, all of whose casualties were Americans turned against one another. It is worth revisiting the correspondence and other documents of April 8, 9, and 10,...

A few Southern perspectives on the Civil War

Near the end of the 19th century, author-journalist Cornelia Ann Phillips Spencer lost patience with what she considered Yankee revisionist history and decided to set the record straight. The result was a North Carolina history textbook that offered a full-throated...

Every good story deserves an audience

Snippets from a war story:      Being outnumbered and flanked on our right (Sherman’s left), we fell back in good order to Line No. 3, hundreds of yards from Line No. 2, and there Hardee’s entire corps, so far as I could tell, held the enemy in check until night.    ...

Have a boxful of history? Share the wealth!

Thousands of North Carolina boys and men began their Confederate service as members of local militias, some of which had colorful names such as “Scotch Tigers” and “Cumberland Plough Boys.” The names, and the men, were sometimes lost to view as those units disappeared...

Olmsted cast New Eyes on the Old South

Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) was in the front rank of this country’s landscape architects, and many consider him the best. But he was other things, as well – farmer, journalist, public works administrator – and he approached all his work with the same vision,...

To Make Them Live Again

“Why are you so interested in history?" Oh, for a dollar for each time I've been asked that. My initial answer went something like this: "I was bitten by the bug when my grandparents took me to an old battlefield close to home." Later, I changed it to, "The people of...

Waterloo and The Civil War

A few days ago, I finished reading an outstanding book about the battle of Waterloo. Titled “WATERLOO: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles,” it was written by Bernard Cornwell. If you know anything about historical fiction, you've probably...

The first to fall for North Carolina

He was only 19. Fate or plain bad luck had brought him to a fight at Big Bethel Church in Virginia, in June of 1861. The young man had enlisted back in April, less than a week after the bombardment of Fort Sumter. The Tar Heel State had not initially joined...

The long road ends at Durham

For more than nine months, some 50,000 troops in the Army of Northern Virginia were dug in at Petersburg, in a situation that none other than Robert E. Lee had early on described, in writing, as “untenable.” During the long face-off, their contributions to the war...

Averasboro, and a civilian view

They're making this easy for me. The week ended with distant artillery at Fort Bragg jarring the foundations of this old house. Then, on Sunday, gunners in the reenactment at the Averasboro Battlefield Museum a few hundred yards south let go a couple of rounds with...

Old myths frustrate modern hopes

If you grew up white, Southern and embedded in the successor class to the Antebellum gentry, you've likely heard it -- more than once: "I was always told that they treated them like family." "Them" meaning slaves. It wasn't a lie; that was in fact what they -- the...

The Day Joe Johnston Stopped the War

The day after I became a teenager in 1960, Look magazine published a piece by American novelist MacKinlay Kantor, titled, "If the South Had Won the Civil War." At the time I found the title intriguing, but the substance eluded me. Having had more than half a century...

Gen. Sherman’s critical turn of events

As the summer of 1864 gave way to autumn, Maj. Gen.William T. Sherman was restless. What remained of Atlanta was under Union control. Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood had by Sherman's reckoning lost his enthusiasm for head-to-head fighting. Instead, Hood busied himself...

Matters of time and timing

If a 19th-century Time magazine had picked a Person of the Year for any of the war years, Abraham Lincoln would have been impossible to ignore. The mere fact of his election in 1860 stirred South Carolina to declare the Union dissolved and begin expropriating U.S....

Hard times on the home front

Monroe is in the Hospital somewhere sick. Our 1st Lieut. is now Capt. and myself 1st Lieut. J.D. Currie 2nd Lieut. and Toler holds 2nd Lieut.'s place though he is not with us. He is at home, has hemorage (sic) of the lungs. Bill Davis died on his way to the Co. with...

Help tell it like it is, and was

Laws, Ian Fleming's villainous Goldfinger scoffed to James Bond, are merely "the crystallized prejudices of the community." That's harsh, and not entirely accurate. But it makes the useful point that our code of laws, no matter what the credits and credentials of...

Missing some of your history? Check this

Have you hit a dead end in trying to piece together your ancestors’ stories? Has an old cemetery gone missing? Can't find the will, birth or death certificate, or tax record you want? You could be looking in the wrong place. Maybe a county jumped out from under you....

When assets suddenly became liabilities

Not quite two years after the Civil War ended, John C. Smith of Cumberland County found himself in the same predicament as other planters suddenly confronted by the prospect of having to pay the help. The land that had made his grandfather, his father and John himself...

Tar Heel war stories need a binder

Some call the endless fascination with the Civil War puzzling -- silly, even. They should rethink that. There are no reliable figures for those who were wounded or maimed, or those whose health was wrecked. No one can quantify the grief and privation of families...

Confederates stalking Confederates

A good shake of the family tree often brings down a hail of Civil War soldiers, each good for at least one war story pieced together from unit records or one personal anecdote preserved in a letter or diary entry. But what did it mean to belong, as did several of my...

The South before the war: an island in time

The first thing a modern time-traveler would notice, on arrival in the antebellum South, would most likely be the silence. There might be movement among dry leaves, or the snort of a horse. Bird songs, surely, and, somewhere, a barking dog. But no dense overlay of...

Waiting for the end in Sherman’s path

"The cloud of war is darkening and threatens to burst over our heads. Wilmington has fallen, Charleston and Columbia. Sherman is still making his onward march. Our own town is threatened and all is dismay and uncertainty." So wrote Jane Elliot from her plantation home...

Merit selection, it wasn’t

If you want to know how one of the nation's premiere military installations got its name, don't expect to find the answer in the Civil War service record of Braxton Bragg, who has been called "the North's favorite Southern general." Want To Work With Us? Get involved...

U.S. History, Meet the Present

There's no shortage of innocent assumptions, sneering one-liners, pseudohistory, off-topic diversions and mindless loops regarding the causes and conduct of the Civil War. If you've had enough of that cheap beer, then buy, borrow or check out Daniel A. Farber's...

High hopes and hard war

A Texas soldier stationed in Arkansas, one of eight Reb brothers born and reared on the same Cape Fear River plantation, was reservedly optimistic as the Civil War passed its first anniversary."If I am still blessed with good health," Jimmie Smith wrote his future...

Become a Charter Member of the Friends of the History Center!

On Thursday, May 8, from 7:30 – 9:30 PM, the History Center will launch its Friends program at a special gathering at SkyView on Hay in downtown Fayetteville.  We will be premiering a special video about the History Center plans and we will be hearing from one of the...

Community Foundation Announces $500,000 Grant Investment

Leaders of Cumberland Community Foundation announced a major gift to the proposed North Carolina Civil War History Center. Plans call for the education center to be built on the grounds of the existing State-supported Museum of the Cape Fear, directly adjacent to the...

There’s no script for war

Abolish the unthinkable and you can have no more wars. Is there even a remote chance that Alexander McRae, a U.S. Army officer from Fayetteville, idly wondered during his time as a West Point cadet if he would die in New Mexico Territory battling rebels led by his...

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Latest News

  • December 2020 Year End Update

    Dear Friends: By any measure, 2020 has been a challenging year:  A global pandemic.  Racial division and strife.   Economic turmoil. Many of you have asked what this means for the future of the North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center. The answer is simple.  There never has been a …Read More »
  • Phase 1 is finished September 2020, and Phase 2 is in progress!

    Phase 1 is finished as of September 2020! While covid-19 has slowed our progress, we now have our certificates of occupancy for the 3 houses in History Village. Landscaping and sidewalks are complete. The 6-minute-long video at the end of this post walks you through the project. The renovations are …Read More »
  • June 8 2020 Statement by the Board of Directors

    It is with great sadness for the families and friends of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor—and for where we are as a state and as a nation—that we at the North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center issue this statement. The unjust and violent ways that these …Read More »

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