History Buffs Should Visit Bennett Place in Durham
Scranton, PA – I love history. History that covers our area during the Civil War is especially interesting. There is so much all around us. If you are a history buff, like me, you should pay a visit to Bennett Place.
About Bennett Place State History Site
On the morning of April 17, 1865, General Joseph E. Johnston and Major General William T. Sherman met in the small farmhouse of James and Nancy Bennett located along the Hillsboro and Raleigh Road in Durham, which at the time was situated between the Union armies of nearly 90,000 soldiers in Raleigh and the Confederate armies of some 30,000 encamped in Greensboro.
On three separate occasions the Union and Confederate generals struggled to come to mutually agreeable surrender terms at the home of James and Nancy Bennett. Finally, on April 26, 1865, Sherman and Johnston met for a third and final time signing the papers, which surrendered 89,270 Confederate soldiers still active in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The Bennett home became the site of the largest troop surrender of the Civil War.
Today James Bennett’s reconstructed farmhouse, sleeping quarters, kitchen, and smokehouse recall the lifestyle of an ordinary Southern farmer during the Civil War.
- Visitors can go for a stroll down the original Hillsborough Road where the two great generals met at the Bennett farm in April 1865. Visitors are taken inside the buildings and given detailed accounts of the discussions between General Sherman and General Johnston in putting an end to the war.
Tours are typically on the hour beginning at 10 am with the last tour of the day beginning at 4 pm. Guided tours last between 30 minutes to one hour. Check HERE for map & directions.
The Visitor Center contains a museum gallery of three rooms of exhibits telling the story of the Bennett Family and the events encompassing the largest surrender of the American Civil War. Military weaponry, farm tools, and other Civil War artifacts are part of the collection on display.
In addition, the Everett-Thissen Research Library contains more than 1,000 books, periodicals, and documents relating to the Civil War and the Bennett Family story.
2nd Saturdays: “Textiles and Tar Heels”
This Saturday, July 14, 2012, a collection of various artisans will demonstrate the impact of the textile industry in the Tarheel State.
See weaving demonstrations in the Bennett Kitchen and watch authentic fabric dyeing demonstrations.
Living history activities, both military and civilian, throughout the weekend include demonstrations of 19th-Century hand-sewing techniques and soldier displays and presentations, including musket firing demonstrations.
Photos by Hal Goodtree.