(Four Oaks, NC) -- The Friends of Bentonville Battlefield group has announced a Capital Campaign will begin in 2015, the sesquicentennial anniversary of the battle, to fund a new visitor center. To begin the funding, a portion of every reenactor registration fee for this year's event will be designated to the campaign.
"We all know that no goal can be reached without taking the first step," said Dean Harry, President of FOBB, "No one can say how long this will take, but we could think of no better time to begin this journey than right now, the 150th anniversary of the battle."
Nearing 50 years old in 2015, the Bentonville Battlefield Visitor Center is in need of replacement. Built in 1965, the current building is not large enough to accommodate bus groups, or more than 10-15 people at a time, let alone the staff, storage, or other demands on the building.
Groups are forced to split time between the battlefield map presentation and the film room. Only a small portion of a bus group or school group can make it through the gift shop and bookstore with lengthy waits at the register for checking out with purchases. There is no space for meetings or classroom space for group instruction besides the dedicated film room.
Exhibit space is very limited to tell the complete story of the battle and its aftermath. The site has increased dramatically in land acquisitions over the last 40 years and visitation has increased with more national attention to save historically significant portions of the battlefield. Only the visitor center has remained the same.
The 150th Anniversary Event is sponsored by the Friends of Bentonville Battlefield, NC Historic Sites and Properties, the NC Department of Cultural Resources and the Johnston County Visitors Bureau. Bentonville's reenactment is part of North Carolina's Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration. All proceeds from the event support Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site with a percentage to be used for improvements of the site's visitors center.
Address: 5466 Harper House Road, Four Oaks, NC 27524