Event to celebrate siege anniversary

Published 2:21 am 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.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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