For nearly six hours on March 14, 1862, 11,000 Union forces and 4,500 inexperienced and ill-equipped Confederate troops battled for control of New Bern -- a battle that drew the line in North Carolina and changed New Bern forever.
Help commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of New Bern and relive these times of change during a special series of activities, beginning March 9 with the Sesquicentennial Symposium, followed by the Civil War Weekend at Tryon Palace on March 10 and 11, with themed tours of the Union occupation by costumed interpreters in historic homes, a Union encampment and special Civil War exhibit, crafts from the past and much more.
The Symposium begins on Friday, March 9, with an evening reception from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., where symposium registrants have an opportunity to meet the speakers. A rare collection of Civil War weapons and clothing that includes many North Carolina artifacts will be displayed at the reception. The reception is ticketed as part of the Symposium and will be held at the historic Attmore-Oliver House. The symposium is presented by the New Bern Historical Society in partnership with Tryon Palace.
On Saturday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Tryon Palace's North Carolina History Center, Thunder in the East: The Civil War in Eastern North Carolina. A Sesquicentennial Symposium explores the famous battle and many other aspects of the war. Featured speakers in Cullman Performance Hall include noted Civil War Historian Ed Bearrs; Hari Jones, Curator of the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum in Washington, DC; Josh Howard, Research Historian with the Office of Archives and History in Raleigh; Chris Fonvielle, Associate Professor of History at UNC Wilmington; and noted Civil War authors Richard Sauers and Mark Bradley.
To register for the Symposium and evening reception, call the New Bern Historical Society at (252) 638-8558 or visit website.
In addition to the Symposium, Saturday, March 10, Tryon Palace will offer a number of other Civil War Weekend activities. There will be a special opening of the New Bern Academy Museum, as well as an encampment of Union soldiers featuring interactive drilling and musket firings. Admission is free.
On both Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11, explore the Union occupation and hear the stories of soldiers and civilians through special Civil War-themed tours by costumed interpreters of the Stanly and Dixon houses. And, on both days, families will enjoy learning about New Bern during the Civil War with period craft activities at the North Carolina History Center and a special interactive gallery cart that explores the bigger picture of the War and its effects on the people who lived through it.
For a full listing of Civil War events at Tryon Palace and New Bern, visit the website or call (800) 767-1560 or (252) 639-3500.