Comes To Life.....
A group of
re-enactors pulled together by Bob Tolar wanted to do something to help raise
funds for the purchase of battlefield land in Lenoir County. They
decided to do a preservation march that was to take place on the Wyse Fork
Battlefield. Each marcher was to get sponsors for the Preservation
On Friday the
re-enactors began to arrive in town the day before the March, with others
coming in early Saturday. It was a cold morning before daybreak
at the CSS Neuse State Historic Site. The re-enactors
representing both Union and Confederate armies began loading on buses and
vans for the trip to the farm of John and Rebecca Vause.
family had given permission for the re-enactors to gather on the site that
had been part of the Wyse Fort Battlefield. As they began to walk the
land, Donny Taylor, site manager of Bentonville State Historic Sites, talked
to them about the history of the battle.
It was a time
these men were able to reflect on the past and understand what it must have
been like for both Confederate and Union soldier. The sun had
been up for several hours and the day was growing warmer. The
re-enactors marched to the Vause family Cemetery and had a memorial service
for the Vause Civil War ancestor that lay buried there.
memorial services the re-enactors marched south on Neuse Road with an escort
by Lenoir County Sheriff Department deputies. The soldiers turned
right onto Highway 70 west and marched down the right side of the highway
attracting attention as they marched toward Kinston. There was a brief
stop in front of Lenoir Community College.
continued down Highway 70 to King's Restaurant. It was here that
Wilbur and Wil King hosted a private luncheon for the re-enactors. For
a brief time the soldiers posed for pictures and mingled with the public in
the parking lot. Upon reaching the Neuse River the re-enactors made
another stop where they were told about the First Battle of Kinston and the
burning of the bridge at that site. The marchers made their way into
Kinston and up Queen Street. A welcome committee was waiting at the
future site of the Cultural Heritage Museum. The marchers
appreciatively drank the water offered and were invited into the building to
view a display that had been set up on the First Battle of Kinston.
The march continued up Queen St. and made a turn to the left at King Street.
Another turn to the left at Herritage St. Two blocks away people were
gathering at the site of the CSS Neuse II. As the marchers approached,
cheers went up from the crowd.
reached the site and soon fell out of formation as the Preservation March
was over and these proud men had raised $2000 for the purpose of battlefield
Preservation Group and the Lenoir County Battlefield Commission salute those
re-enactors that have given of their time and resources to help fulfill a
vision for the preservation and developing of the Civil War Battlefields of