Civil War Living History Weekend features reenactments, encampments & demonstrations

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The year 2014 marks the 149th anniversary of the Battle of Forks Road, an important skirmish that preceded the fall of Wilmington during the Civil War. On February 8 and 9, the Cameron Art Museum will present the 9th Annual Civil War Living History Weekend. This year’s theme “Forks Road…The Fall of Wilmington” features battle reenactments, cannon and artillery demonstrations, and an encampment with tents, sutlers, period games and music, artisan demonstrations, and kids’ art activities.

Reenactments, encampments and demonstrations will take place on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 10:00 a.m. each day. Re-enactors will represent Confederate, Union and U.S. Colored Troops—including the 37th USCT Regiment and Battery “B.” Saturday’s opening ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. with special guests, including Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, Commissoner Jonathan Barfield, Civil War historian Dr. Chris Fonvielle, and Malcolm Beech, 37th US Colored Troops Infantry re-enactor. Battle reenactments will take place at 2:00pm on Saturday and at 1:00pm on Sunday. Guided battle trail tours will be offered on Saturday at 10:30am, 12:00pm, and 3pm; and Sunday at 10:30am and 12:00pm. Special kids and family programming will take place at the CAM’s Museum School from 11:00am until 2:00pm each day. On Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m., The Huckleberry Brothers Band, comprised of musically gifted American Civil War re-enactors, will perform a period concert at the Cameron Art Museum (admission charge for concert).

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This outstanding educational program affords visitors the opportunity to learn more about the role of African American troops during the Civil War. Step back in time with re-enactors who will demonstrate life as it was in the mid-1800s. Dress warmly and see the restored Civil War mounds at the site where the Battle of Forks Road actually took place. Events take place on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Galleries remain open until 7:00pm on Saturday. Camps and activities resume on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. (museum will remain open until 5:00 p.m.). The event is free and donations are welcomed. In honor of the Civil War Living History Weekend, Kids @ CAM family program from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. will feature Civil War era games and activities. Visitors are also welcome to explore Requiem in Glass: Brady’s Greenhouse: An Installation by Harry Taylor, a reimagination of Mathew Brady’s Civil War photography (on display through June 1, 2014). Photographer Harry Taylor will lead a gallery walk on Sunday at 3:00pm. For details and event schedule, visit http://battleofforksroad.org; 910-395-5999.

The original Battle of Forks Road battlefield is located on the grounds of the Cameron Art Museum, located at 3201 South 17th Street. The Civil War mounds were restored when the Museum opened at this location in 2002. The Battle of Forks Road was a significant skirmish that followed the fall of Fort Fisher, directly preceded the fall of Wilmington, and led to the final surrender of the Confederate armies. It was the final fight to take Wilmington on February 20, 1865. The site is where Major General Robert F. Hoke made his last stand against Union soldiers, primarily made up of African-American troops (referred to as U.S. Colored Troops during that era) from several divisions, before evacuating Wilmington. The “Sable Arm” of the US Army was made up of freed men and former slaves who volunteered for service after the Emancipation Proclamation.

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When your favorite pastime is “past times,” Wilmington, N.C.’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach is a destination of choice. The coast is close. Wilmington, N.C. and its island beaches is a year-round coastal destination that’s a convenient drive from Raleigh via I-40 and Charlotte via US 74. The Wilmington International Airport (ILM) offers daily flights to major airline hubs. For a free Official Visitors Guide, call 1-866-266-9690 or visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com where you’ll find visitor information and a complete event calendar.

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