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History Comes To Life.....
Preservation March

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 March.

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.

The 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.

After the 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. 

The march 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.

The re-enactors 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 land acquisition.

The Historical 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 Lenoir County