Friday, October 12, 2012

Bennett Place Civil War Historic Site - Durham, NC

by Donna L. Watkins

Bennett Place, sometimes known as Bennett Farm, in Durham, North Carolina was the site of the largest surrender of Confederate soldiers ending the American Civil War, on April 26, 1865.

General Joseph E. Johnston and General William T. Sherman met at the Bennett Farm to finalize the surrender of Confederate soldiers still active in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. It was the largest surrender of the American Civil War.

The Bennett Farm has been reconstructed with guided tours daily, and special living history events and lectures throughout the year. The Visitor Center has a museum gallery with original Civil War artifacts and personal belongings of the Bennett Family, theater which shows the short film "Dawn of Peace", Everett-Thissen Research Library, and a gift shop. Nature trails and picnic tables are also located on site.

My husband and I are not really much interested in history, but you will certainly find plenty of historical places in my photo gallery. In school I had absolutely no interest in the subject of history and didn't instill much interest in our son when we home-schooled.

Our school curriculum included the usual history books but there was also a Christian series of books that provided accurate historical reference with a bit of literary license to make the stories come alive. During those years I and our son learned quite a bit about the Pilgrims, the founding of our nation and the cruelty of slavery and the sadness of a civil war.

That didn't spike my interest in knowing more, but since we moved to Virginia twelve years ago, there's so many historical places nearby that we can't help but be interested.  We also have some dear friends, Chuck and Carolyn, that are very interested in history.  Some of that has rubbed off obviously because we've taken many day trips and weekend getaways to visit places such as Bennett Place.

More than the history I believe I enjoy the feeling of the land.  Many were plantations that had slaves.  Just the thought of standing on ground with such a past makes me so grateful that I was born free and can live in the real freedom of Jesus Christ.

The complex mesh between the difficult lifestyles, yet the simplicity of desires, helps me to realize that I am very content with all that I've been given. We are in our culture so far beyond simplicity that seeing such a place reconfirms in me a greater and greater desire to continue to slow the pace down in life and focus on the things I feel are truly important.

View the photo album of Bennett Place State Historical Site.

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