Noteworthy

NC history museum commemorates Gettysburg's 150th

Posted July 4, 2013

— The North Carolina Museum of History this weekend is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's largest and bloodiest fight with the screening of a 1993 depiction of the three-day Battle of Gettysburg.

About 50,000 soldiers died or were injured from July 1 to July 3, 1863, on the Pennsylvania battlefield where the Union Army ended the Confederate Army's advance into the North.

"It was a game changer, said Chris Meekins, an archivist at the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. "From that point, the Confederacy never regained its footing to invade the North again."

Of the approximately 165,000 soldiers who fought, 14,147 were from North Carolina. Nearly 6,000 from the Tar Heel state died.

Gettysburg History museum explores Gettysburg's NC ties

"You can just imagine how much pain and how they felt so far from home," said Paige Myers, a textile conservator with the Museum of History.

As part of its Civil War collection, the North Carolina history museum also houses several artifacts from North Carolina's role in the battle – artifacts that include uniforms and letters, such as one found clutched in the hand of 34-year-old Lt. Col. Isaac Avery, of Burke County.

Avery, of the 6th North Carolina State Troops, had been shot in the neck on the last day of the battle and was dying on the ground, unable to speak.

"He reached in his breast pocket, pulled out a pencil and piece of paper and penned a note," Meekins said. "It said, 'Major, tell my father I died with my face to the enemy.'"

Sunday's screening of the four-hour film begins at 12:30 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. with a question-and-answer session with a battlefield guide from Gettysburg National Military Park.

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  • Poboy1963 Jul 8, 2013

    Proud of my 3 ancestors that survived Gettysburg, one with Iverson's Brigade and the 20th NC Co. K and tow with Lane's Brigade, Co. E 18th NC

  • jcd241959 Jul 8, 2013

    My GGGranfather was captured at Culp's Hill on the second day of fighting.

  • tayled Jul 5, 2013

    July 4 was also the 150th anniversary of the end of the Vicksburg campaign. The loss of Vicksburg had a more profound overall effect on the fortunes of the South. BOTH were important victories for the North.

    Absolutely. Gettysburg and the defeat there marked the last time the South would invade the North. The loss of Vicksburg effectively shut a major transportation route, that being the Mississippi River, from the South. It's amazing to me that they hung on for another two years.

  • tayled Jul 5, 2013

    Sometime during the battle, perhaps during Pickett's (Pettigrew's) Charge, Henry Haywood Knight, who later gave the town of Knightdale its name, was with the 47th NC when he was captured and spent the remainder of the war at Ft. Delaware, surviving a smallpox epidemic that killed prisoners and Union guards alike. He came home to eastern Wake County and became a successful farmer and political leader in our area.

  • veyor Jul 5, 2013

    My great grandfather had half of his hand shot off at Gettysburg. He was furloughed and walked all the way back to North Carolina.

  • thefensk Jul 5, 2013

    July 4 was also the 150th anniversary of the end of the Vicksburg campaign. The loss of Vicksburg had a more profound overall effect on the fortunes of the South. BOTH were important victories for the North.

  • ncrebel Jul 5, 2013

    I visited Gettysburg this past weekend. Such a humbling experience. The North Carolina monument is located next to the amazing statue of Robert E. Lee on Traveler along Seminary Ridge. I admire the commitment to cause these soldiers had. Walking on sacred ground. Long live the Confederacy.

  • 426X3 Jul 5, 2013

    Be careful. This is a Civil War Battle you are promoting. Don't want to offend anyone.

  • tayled Jul 5, 2013

    A solemn time to remember all those lost, both sides in that terrible war. Let us also not forget the men who were captured at Gettysburg and spent time at prisons like Fort Delaware, where a majority of those taken prisoner at Gettysburg were taken.