Local items from Civil War needed for exhibit
The Outer Banks History Center is seeking letters, diaries, photographs and artifacts of Civil War-era ancestors, especially those on Roanoke Island in the early 1860′s, for an exhibit to open in March, as part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
The exhibit, “The Civil War Comes to Roanoke Island: Fishers, Fighters and Freedmen” will tell the story of a sparsely populated Roanoke Island, and how it became the scene of an important engagement early in the war.
Confederates tried to fortify the island, but the 3,000 southern troops were no match for the 10,000 Union soldiers of the Burnside Expedition that landed on Roanoke’s shores in February 1862.
Union victory meant control of the waterways in northeastern North Carolina, and paved the way for additional Union control of the Tar Heel State.
Also during this period, Roanoke Island became home to thousands of blacks, both free and former slaves, who flocked to the area for protection during the uncertain war times.
Representatives of the national Freedman’s Bureau, assisted by northern missionaries, worked at settling, educating and employing the freedmen.
“We want to go beyond the soldiers’ and sailors’ perspective and include stories from the viewpoint of the people who lived here on Roanoke Island,” said curator KaeLi Schurr. “Although there are ample records about the battle and subsequent four-year occupation, accounts from local residents are scarce.
The exhibit will debut First Friday, March 2, and will remain on display through Dec. 30. All are invited to the free opening reception being hosted by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center.
The OHBC can make digital scans of original documents, papers or photographs for inclusion in the exhibit.
For more information about the Outer Banks History Center, call (252) 473-2655, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.obhistorycenter.ncdcr.gov.
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