Civil War Weekend to be Held at Tryon Palace

Nov. 13, 2012

NEW BERN, N.C. - Help commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War and learn the stories of an occupied town and the people who inhabited it during Civil War Weekend at Tryon Palace. Civil War Weekend will take place on November 17 and 18, with costumed interpreters, Civil War-themed tours of the historic Dixon and Stanly Houses, a special opening of the New Bern Academy Museum, Civil War lectures, crafts from the past and much more.

Immediately following the Battle of New Bern on March 14, 1862, the city of New Bern became a federally occupied city and would remain so until the end of the American Civil War. Though many New Bernians abandoned their homes and fled behind Confederate lines prior to the Union victory, many of the town's citizens remained. What was it like to live in a city occupied by the enemy? Help commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War and learn the stories of an occupied town and the people who inhabited it during this special weekend

For detailed information on individual events, explore the Tryon Palace calendar at or call Karen Ipock, Educational Programs Manager, at (252) 639-3581 or e-mail at


Calendar Entry:
Saturday, November 17 - Sunday, November 18
Civil War Weekend: Life in an Occupied Town
Included in regular admission.

Just before New Bern was occupied, many of its residents abandoned their homes and moved behind Confederate lines. However, this weekend will focus on the stories of the people who stayed. Why did they choose to remain and what was life like in an occupied town? The weekend will include special Civil War-themed tours, programs, and craft activities.

• Saturday, November 17, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 18, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Special Opening of the New Bern Academy Museum
Free admission
Enjoy the New Bern Academy's Civil War exhibits during this special weekend dedicated to the 150th Anniversary of New Bern's occupation.

• Saturday, November 17, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 18, 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
New Bern Occupied
Dixon and Stanly Houses
Included with regular admission
Hear the stories of the soldiers, civilians, and the buildings they inhabited in occupied New Bern through special Civil War-themed tours of the historic Dixon and Stanly Houses.

• Saturday, November 17, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Crafts from the Past
North Carolina History Center
$3 per child or included with regular admission
Learn about New Bern during the Civil War with family craft activities and a special interactive gallery cart that explores the bigger picture of the war and its effects on the people who lived through it.

• Saturday, November 17, 11:00 a.m.
Special Lecture: "Pre-Civil War & Civil War Period Quilts"
Guest Speaker: Lynn Lancaster Gorges, Textile Historian and Conservator
North Carolina History Center, Large Orientation Theater
Free Admission
Join Textile Historian and Conservator, Lynn Gorges, as she discusses the history of quilts in America in the years leading up to the American Civil War. Through a slideshow, Ms Gorges will examine the history of early textile dyes, textile production in America prior to the war, the use of and production of quilts during the Civil War, and some of the popular patterns and fabric colors that would have been seen during the war among civilians and soldiers on both sides. Ms. Gorges will have several period quilts on display and also invites attendees to bring their own quilts to be shared and evaluated for the approximated dates it was produced.

• Saturday, November 17, 2:00 p.m.
Bound Signature Quilt Block Workshop
North Carolina History Center, Education Classroom
$12 per person. Price includes workshop admission and materials to make one bound quilt block.

Join Textile Historian and Conservator, Lynn Lancaster Gorges, and learn about quilts made by the US Sanitary Commission during the time of the American Civil War as you make your own bound signature quilt block. The blocks can then be sewn together to make a complete quilt. During the workshop Gorges will discuss color palettes and patterns used during the Civil War era as well as compare authentic period fabrics to reproduction fabrics that can be bought for making replica Civil War era quilts. Gorges will talk about quilts that would have been used at the Union hospital in New Bern. Workshop will last three hours. Space is limited to 15 participants. Basic sewing skills required. To reserve your spot, please call (252) 639-3581 before 4:00 p.m. on November 16th. Extra openings will be filled the day of on a first come first serve basis.

• Sunday, November 18, 2:00 p.m.
Richard K. Lore Annual Lecture: "The Lost Light"
Guest Speaker: Kevin Duffus

North Carolina History Center, Cullman Performance Hall
Presented by the New Bern Historical Society in partnership with Tryon Palace
Free admission

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Kevin Duffus returns to the New Bern Historical Society with his program, The Lost Light: A Civil War Mystery, which tells the extraordinary odyssey of the original Cape Hatteras Lighthouse lens which went missing during the American Civil War and became the center of a power struggle between the two sides. This special lecture is sponsored by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council and is presented by the New Bern Historical Society in partnership with Tryon Palace. For inquires, please contact New Bern Historical Society at 252-638-8558 or visit

About Tryon Palace
Tryon Palace, located in New Bern, N.C., is part of the Office of Archives and History, an agency of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. Tryon Palace is one of North Carolina's most significant historic sites. It is the home of the Governor's Palace, North Carolina's first colonial and first state capitol, and includes historic buildings, gardens and the North Carolina History Center, which revolutionizes the visitor experience through use of the latest interactive technology. The History Center includes galleries, a performance hall, the museum store and a waterfront café. Tryon Palace's mission is to engage present and future generations in the history of North Carolina from early settlement in 1710, the development of statehood and into the mid-twentieth century. It is dedicated to collecting, interpreting and preserving objects, buildings, landscapes and events that enrich understanding of the making of our state and nation.

Tickets and visitor information are available at Tryon Palace, 529 S. Front St., New Bern. For directions and further information about special events, programs or group tours, employment and more, visit our web site: or phone (800) 767-1560 or (252) 639-3500.

About the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives.

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources champions North Carolina's creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state's economy. To learn more, visit



Brandon J. Anderson