Words of the formerly enslaved will be shared in a lecture at Bennett Place State Historic Site on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The presentation, "The First Year of Freedom in North Carolina: Pursuing Freedom with the Hoe and the Sword, the Book and the Lord," by Dr. Reginald Hildebrand of UNC-Chapel Hill, will offer first-hand accounts based on his research.
Among experiences documented are reports of black soldiers entering Wilmington who participated in the Union capture of Fort Fisher in February 1865, the first July 4th celebration by the newly independent former slaves and recollections of a watch night service to mark both the New Year and the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The program, hosted by the Durham Civil War Roundtable and the Bennett Place Support Fund, is free to members and has a $5 fee for visitors. The lecture is part of the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration organized by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
This and other special events at Bennett Place are funded and sponsored by the Bennett Place Support Fund, Inc., a nonprofit which provides additional funding to this historic site. For information, visit Bennett Place.