Contact: Julia Rogers (919) 477-5498
Release: April 29, 2015
Fay Mitchell (919) 807-7389
DURHAM, N.C. – Soldiers from across North Carolina were returning home in May 1865, exhausted at the end of the Civil War. It was a brother’s war that divided families and communities, and now healing the nation would begin. “A Soldier’s Walk Home” May 11 to 23 recaptures such a journey.
Returning home from the Civil War was Washington Duke, a Confederate sailor, who was a prisoner released by the Union Army and taken to New Bern. Like much of eastern North Carolina, New Bern was Union occupied. Historian and re-enactor Philip Brown will make the walk from New Bern to Durham as Duke did then, but not as Washington Duke. Brown will represent all soldiers returning home from any war.
Brown will make the 166-mile journey often along backroads, because he loves re-enacting and history, and is interested in how people interact with history. He completed a master’s degree in public history at UNG-Greensboro in April, and earned a B.A. degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in peace, war, and defense and American History. Soon after the 13-day walk, the Charlotte native will start working at Gettysburg National Military Park in late May.
The ceremonial opening will be May 10, 3 p.m., at the Academy Museum of the Tryon Palace complex. Staff at Duke Homestead State Historic Site, the ancestral home of Washington Duke, is organizing the walk. It represents not only all soldiers returning from war, but also the reunification of the United States.
Mayor Dana Outlaw will be among dignitaries who will speak about New Bern and Civil War history. Others include New Bern Historical Society President Nelson McDaniel, N.C. Division of State Historic Sites Director Keith Hardison, re-enactor Bernard George and re-enactor Philip Brown. A reception will follow the opening ceremony at the Academy Museum. Admission to the museum will be free that day and visitors are invited to view the exhibit “Face to Face: Civil War Sketches and Stories.”
The walk will officially start at Union Point in New Bern May 11 and reach Durham May 22 and Duke Homestead May 23, during the site’s Bull Fest program. Programs at communities on the route will allow them to commemorate local history as well. The journey will progress as follows:
May 10 New Bern, 3 p.m. Ceremonial opening at Academy Museum
May 11 New Bern, 9 a.m. Walk begins from Union Point
Cove City, 6 p.m. Ceremonies at Cove City Public Library
May 12 Kinston, 5 p.m. Federal check point activity, Harriet’s Chapel on Battlefield Site
Kinston, 7 p.m. Reception with veteran’s and other guests - closed
May 13 Kinston, 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at CSS Neuse with officials - closed
Kinston, 10 a.m. Visit with 7th and 8th grade students at Arendall Parrot Academy
Kinston, 1 p.m. Visit with 4th grade students at Contentnea School
Kinston, 2:15 p.m. Tour of CSS Neuse II
Kinston, 2:45 p.m. Visit Military Walk of Honor
Kinston, 3:15 p.m. Visit Maplewood Cemetery-Mass Confederate Burial Site
Kinston, 4 p.m. Visit Memorial Site of the Kinston Battlefield
Kinston, 7 p.m. Dinner at Olivia’s – ticketed event for public
May 14 Seven Springs, 5 p.m. Cliffs of the Neuse State Park camping
May 15 Goldsboro, 2 p.m. Goldsboro Bridge Battlefield camping
May 16 Princeton, 4 p.m. Wreath-laying at Veteran’s Memorial
May 17 Smithfield, 6 p.m. Reception/Tour of Confederate Monument-Wreath-laying
May 18 Clayton, 4 p.m. Arrive at Smith-Compton House. 6 p.m. Veteran’s Ceremony
Clayton, 7 p.m. Town Square program
May 19 Clayton, 8:30 a.m. Wreath placement at Clayton Yellow Jackets Monument
(veteran’s burial site)
May 19 Raleigh, 7 p.m. UDC hosted dinner (closed)
May 20 Raleigh, 11 a.m. Brown, re-enactors, including USCT, meet with school groups
May 21 Morrisville, 3:30 p.m. After School program. 6:30 p.m. Ceremonies, Ernie
May 22 Durham 6 p.m. Ceremony with dignitaries at American Tobacco Campus
May 23 Durham, 11 a.m. Arrive at Duke Homestead for Bullfest Program. Welcome
home, music, dance lessons, crafts
This program is presented by Duke Homestead State Historic Site with support from Tryon Palace and local tourism groups and other organizations.
For additional information, please call (919) 477-5498. Duke Homestead is located at 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham. It is within the Division of State Historic Sites of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan W. Kluttz, NCDCR's mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state's history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.
Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state's communities. NCDCR's Divisions of State Archives, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina's rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR's State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for the blind and physically handicapped.
NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state's creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.