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Event to celebrate siege anniversary

Published 2:21am Friday, January 18, 2013

A living-history event celebrating the 150th anniversary of the siege of Washington during the Civil War is scheduled for April 12-14 at Veterans Memorial Park in Washington.
The battle occurred from March 30 to April 19, 1963. It was part of Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s Tidewater operations.
Prior to Christmas, the Washington Tourism Development Authority, discussed the approaching sesquicentennial of the siege, Lewis told the City Council during its meeting Monday.
“One of the comments I’ve heard in the nine years that I’ve been in this job is how there’s so much Civil War history in this community, but the story isn’t very often told,” Lewis said. “So, we started thinking, ‘Gosh, this is a really great opportunity to tell that story because we do have a rich history. There might not be a vast amount of buildings left to show for it, but there is a great story here to tell.  So, with the sesquicentennial approaching, we formed a small committee to pursue the idea of hosting some type of event to commemorate that.”
Lewis told the council the city might have to approve the use of weapons such as cannons and firearms during re-enactments. The weekend also would include lectures, static displays and guided tours, Lewis said.
“We’ve gotten a lot of interest from the re-enactors. We’re really excited about being able to tell the story,” Lewis said. “I think it will be very education. It’s something we’ve had a lot of people express an interest in attending and participating in.”
The Tarboro-based Phoenix Historical Society plans to participate and share the story of Big Bob.
Big Bob was a slave preacher who became a runaway. He was a scout, guerrilla fighter and saboteur for the Union army in eastern North Carolina.

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