Civil War 150

Monday, 13 April, 6:30 pm
1st Floor Morgan Room, High Point Public Library

When most slaves were freed in 1865, the US government set up an agency to assist them. The Freedmen’s Bureau helped with food aid, labor contracts, reunion of divided families, literacy, interracial conflict, and justice in local courts. What’s more, the records are freely available on-line in many instances. This free program will help you use these records to uncover ancestors as we approach the 150th anniversary of the end of widespread American slavery. Diane Richard, a certified genealogist and editor based in Raleigh, will lead us. A free program.


This program was originally scheduled  in March but has been rescheduled due to bad weather.

The Forsyth County Genealogical Society will meet at 

6:30 PM, April 1, 2014 in the Auditorium of the Forsyth County Public Library, 660 W. 5th Street, Winston-Salem, NC. 

Social at 6:30, Program at 7:00. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Martha R. Brown, Winston-Salem author, will discuss her research and writing techniques in creating the historical novel “Holding Sweet Communion” which is based on her great-grandfather’s Civil War letters.  Mrs. Brown is a graduate of Agnes Scott College with a Master’s Degree from Duke University.  Books will be available for purchase.


So we woke up this morning to find the government shutdown beginning. I thought I knew what that meant. “It won’t affect me,” I said. “Because I only work with the past.”

Smugness = dumbness, I quickly learned. Here’s how.

The phone rings. Some guy is interested in finding out if his ancestor served in the Civil War. He has no idea if he did, or on which side. There is a standard answer to that question.

We go to the National Park Service’s database known as “Soldiers & Sailors”. There we type in a name and the database gives us a list of all people with that name who served on the Union or Confederate side in the war.

If it is a common name, that can lead to a bit of work, but eventually we will probably narrow it down to the person in question and be given important information such as units served in and thence to more specific information. Usually works like a charm.

So I asked the caller for the name of his ancestor, as I navigated to “Soldiers & Sailors”, only to be confronted with this:

There are other ways to get at this problem, but they will require a lot more work, which cannot be done on the phone. So the patron suffers and we resign ourselves to who knows how long without the “Soldiers & Sailors” database. Hooray for politics!

The Forsyth County Genealogical Society will hold its regular monthly meeting in the Auditorium of the Main Forsyth County Library at 660 West 5th Street in Winston-Salem on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012.  Please join us at 6:30 PM for refreshments. The program starts at 7:00 PM. The meeting is free and open to the public.

 Michael C. Hardy, the 2010 North Carolina Historian of the year, will speak on

“Bringing the War Home: The Civil War in Forsyth County.”

 Mr. Hardy is the author of sixteen books.  His latest release is “Civil War Charlotte: Last Capital of the Confederacy”. He is one of North Carolina’s best-known Civil War historians.  Not only does he have numerous books and articles to his credit, but he also writes and edits a blog on North Carolina during the war years.  His latest book, “Civil War Charlotte: Last Capital of the Confederacy” was released by The History Press in June 2012.  He is an eight-time winner of the Willie Parker Peace History Book Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians, and was recently presented the Jefferson Davis Gold Medal by the North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  In 2010, the North Carolina Society of Historians honored him as the North Carolina Historian of the Year.  He lives in western North Carolina with his wife Elizabeth and their children, Nathaniel and Isabella.  You can learn more by visiting his web site at

The following press release came out today.

Civil War Online Resources Take Center Stage at Free Aug. 8 Talk


RALEIGH — “The baby toddles about all day only takes two little naps I made her a pair of shoes and she can walk first rate in them she is just gone to sleep…”  A wife delivers news of their family to her soldier husband in October 1864, in a letter held in the Civil War materials at the North Carolina State Archives.  


How can you find such a letter? 


Join archivist Ashley Yandle at 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 8, as she demonstrates Web sites, online catalogs and blogs focusing on the Civil War that are available through the State Archives’ Web site at “An Introduction to Online Civil War Resources” will be held in Room 208 of the State Archives building, 109 E. Jones St., Raleigh, N.C. 27601.


In observance of the American Civil War sesquicentennial ( the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources ( has planned more than 250 events – talks, re-enactments, exhibits – statewide. The Civil War wrought great hardship upon the state and nation. North Carolina suffered at least 35,000 deaths and felt more than its share of pain. The nation and state survived the war years, 1861-1865, but at great price.  


The talk will touch briefly on tools helpful to genealogists whose search for family history take them through this time period, and will also include information about family letters, governors’ correspondence and other Civil War materials in the Archives’ collection. These online tools can help both novice and advanced researchers to identify and explore the lives of ordinary North Carolinians, as well learn more about actions taken by government officials during this tumultuous time.


Many of North Carolina’s military records, like those of other southern states, were taken during the war and are now maintained by the National Archives in Washington, D.C. However, several types of records including some state agency, court and pension records can be found at the State Archives, and many of them have been scanned and digitized for easy access.


Call (919) 807-7385 for additional information.

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources is the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available 24/7 at


The Civil War was the first war widely covered with photography. The Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory exhibit provides images of historic figures, artifacts, and documents that brought the reality of the war from the battlefront to the home front, then and now,” explains Deputy Secretary Dr. Jeffrey Crow of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

The exhibit will commemorate the bravery and resiliency of North Carolinians throughout the Civil War with stimulating images gathered from the State Archives, the N.C. Museum of History and State Historic Sites. A total of 24 images will be displayed by the N.C. Department of Culture Resources in 50 libraries throughout the state from April 2011 through May 2013. A notebook will accompany the exhibit with further information and also seeking viewer comments.


The collection depicts African Americans, women and militiamen, including images of artifacts and official documents. More than 5,000 North Carolina blacks are documented as having served in the U.S.C.T. for the Union Army and Navy. Despite resentment from Confederates, African Americans dutifully served, paving their way to freedom.

Find out more about North Carolina’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the War at the North Carolina Civi War Sesquicentennial website.


Next Page »