WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The Cameron Art Museum will host the USCT Living History Weekend on Saturday, Feb. 18, and Sunday, Feb. 19.
“The museum invites the community to commemorate the Battle of Forks Road with a weekend of Living History on CAM’s grounds with USCT reenactors, family activities, film screenings, illustrated lectures, and more,” the CAM stated in a news release. “On Saturday, February 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all are invited to learn about the lives of the United States Colored Troops with reenactors from the 35th USCT and Battery B on the museum grounds.”
Guest lecturers will include Kaitlin O’Connor from the Fort Fisher Historic Site; Dr. Sherwin Bryant, professor of history from Northwestern University who specializes in colonial Afro-Latin America and the Atlantic/Pacific World, and Dr. Chris Fonvielle, Professor Emeritus at UNCW, who has published books and articles including The Wilmington Campaign: Last Rays of Departing Hope; Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear: An Illustrated History; Fort Fisher 1865: The Photographs of T.H. O’Sullivan; Glory at Wilmington: The Battle of Forks Road.
The event will include the North Carolina Rice Festival.
All outside activities are free. There is a $5 suggested donation for lectures, and museum admission will apply for the galleries.
The CAM released the following schedule of events:
Saturday, February 18
11 a.m. – Kaitlin O’Connor: Presentation on Black and Indigenous stories at Fort Fisher
Kaitlin is the education and outreach coordinator at Fort Fisher State Historic Site. She’s passionate about creating inclusive and ethical historical narratives through academically sound yet engaging programs. Kaitlin earned her bachelor’s degree in history from NC State University and will (knock on wood) earn her second degree from State this May – a master’s in public history. This January and February, Kaitlin coordinated a new educational series called “Dwell with Gratitude & Pride: New Perspectives on the Wilmington Campaign,” which focuses on the experiences and central role of people of color in the Union’s campaign to capture Wilmington in 1865. Today, Kaitlin will highlight those stories and explore the campaign leading up to the Battle of Forks Road on February 20, 1865.
Noon – North Carolina Rice Festival Films
Gullah Geechee Foodways in Southeastern NC(22 min) and Gullah Geechee History and Rice Growing in Brunswick County (19 min) followed by Q&A
2 p.m. – Dr. Sherwin Bryant: Lecture
Dr. Sherwin Bryant is a professor of history at Northwestern University specializing in colonial Afro-Latin America and the Atlantic/Pacific Worlds. Dr. Bryant works at the intersections of cultural, legal, social history and political economy, with an emphasis on Black life in the Kingdoms of New Granada and Quito (what is now modern Colombia and Ecuador). Hailing from the Brunswick area, Dr. Bryant has been back in the Southeastern region of NC conducting research and working with an underwater archeologist to remap the rice plantations. He will be giving an illustrated lecture on his work thus far.
3 p.m. – Daniel Jones: Boundless tour
Take a tour of Boundless, the public sculpture built to honor the United States Colored Troops and their fight for freedom, with CAM’s Cultural Curator Daniel Jones
Sunday, February 19
1 p.m. – Dr. Chris Fonvielle: Illustrated lecture on the Battle of Forks Road
Dr. Chris Fonvielle is a Professor Emeritus at UNCW, where he began working at in 1996. He taught courses on the Civil War, Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear, and Antebellum America. A Wilmington native, his in-depth research focuses on coastal operations and defenses, and blockade running in southeastern North Carolina during the Civil War. He has published books and articles including The Wilmington Campaign: Last Rays of Departing Hope; Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear: An Illustrated History; Fort Fisher 1865: The Photographs of T.H. O’Sullivan; Glory at Wilmington: The Battle of Forks Road.
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