Efforts have begun to conserve a North Carolina state flag captured by Union forces during the Battle of New Bern.
The banner was carried by the 33rd North Carolina State Troops during the March 14, 1862, battle at New Bern, NC. The encounter marked one of Federal leader Ambrose Burnside’s few highlights during the war, when his troops overcame an undermanned Confederate position and captured what was a key supply point.
New Bern would remain under Yankee control for the remainder of the war.
The conservation of the 33rd North Carolina regimental flag is the latest project of the Society for the Historical Preservation of the 26th Regiment North Carolina Troops, the largest group of War Between the States re-enactors in the Tar Heel State.
The 26th Regiment is working with the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh to conserve the 150-year-old standard; the effort will cost an estimated $7,500 to $10,000.
The 33rd North Carolina State Troops was organized in Raleigh in September 1861 and saw its first action at New Bern, according to the New Bern Sun Journal.
During the battle, the 33rd North Carolina suffered the greatest number of casualties of the six Confederate regiments engaged, with 32 men killed, 28 wounded and more than 100 taken prisoner, including its commander, Col. Clarke Avery.
Military censorship has been part and parcel of war reporting worldwide for at least a century.
Nearly half the French divisions on the Western Front mutinied to one degree or another in 1917, their will weakened by three years of devastating losses and no prospects of success as World War I dragged on. However, revelations on the extent and intensity of the mutinies, which included the execution of several dozen French soldiers, weren’t disclosed until 1967, and some information has still not been made available even after 96 years.
The British, in the same conflict, often didn’t even disclose to family members that their loved ones had been executed, choosing to bury men convicted and executed for crimes such as desertion in the same area as other soldiers killed in action and awarding the families pensions.
And as recently as 2004, the US military did its best to lay down a smokescreen surrounding the friendly-fire death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman in Afghanistan.
The thought being, more often than not, that the morale of troops and/or folks at home would be damaged by the truth.
That apparently wasn’t a concern in the South during the War Between the States.
South Carolina’s Edgefield Advertiser ran a story on May 11, 1864, which detailed the execution of Pvt. Henry Jerome of the 17th South Carolina Infantry regiment in Charleston.
MILITARY EXECUTION – About half-past ten o’clock yesterday morning, the Race Course was the scene of a military execution. Private Henry Jerome, of Company A, 17th Regiment, S.C.V., who twice had been guilty of the crime of deserting his colors, paid the penalty with his life. The execution took place in the presence of Major Blanding’s command of the 1st S.C. Artillery and an infantry regiment – the firing squads being detached from the ranks of the Regulars. The condemned, a man of mature years, short in stature, and of quiet demeanor, was brought to the ground in an ambulance, attended by Rev. Mr. Aldrich, Chaplain of the 1st S.C. Artillery. After the last prayer had been said, the culprit refusing to have his eyes bandaged, knelt beside his coffin. At the first fire, he fell insensible, having received several mortal wounds in the chest, and within two minutes all signs of animation had disappeared. Private Jerome was, we understand, a native of Chester District, and leaves a wife and three children.
The sing-song cry of the tobacco auctioneer – which wafted across Tobacco Road for decades but has been largely silent since 2004 – is beginning to be heard once again.
Auctioneers have become involved in the sale of the leafy crop for the first time in any size since the quota buyout of 2004, Southeast Farm Press reports.
“The average price was just under $2.02 per pound, very competitive with contract delivery stations,” the publication reported. “Many of the lots brought $2.20 a pound, also very high, and there were substantially no rejections of bids by farmers.”
This was the third year that Old Belt Tobacco Sales has conducted auctions in Rural Hall, 10 miles north of Winston-Salem, Southeast Farm Press added.
In 2010, the warehouse sold five million pounds, then 2.5 million pounds in 2011, when Hurricane Irene reduced the tobacco available.
It’s been nearly 150 years since the Blakely rifled cannon sitting in front of the North Carolina Museum of History has seen military action, but officials believe the gun still has a role to play in supporting the Tarheel State.
Recently, the relic of the War Between the States, used by Confederate forces at Fort Fisher, NC, was given a new location, on a plot in front of the museum entrance.
Where a century-and-a-half ago the cannon was used to fend off invading Yankees, today its purpose is to draw the attention of Yankees, Southerners and anyone else to the Raleigh museum that stands behind it.
“The connection for us is that it’s (a) Confederate cannon that was captured in the Civil War,” museum Director Ken Howard told the Raleigh News and Observer. “Now we’ve brought it back to North Carolina to display.”
With tobacco, the longtime staple of Southeastern agriculture, on the wane, farmers are looking for alternatives. One option may be stevia, a native South American plant that produces a natural no-calorie sweetener.
Late last month, a leading US-based global producer of stevia announced that it is expanding production of the crop to Georgia and North Carolina.
Currently, it’s only grown domestically in California, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Sweet Green Fields LLC of Bellingham, Wash., which produces and markets sweeteners derived from stevia to food and beverage companies, has signed a contract with a Southeastern Georgia farmer to grow stevia on about 100 acres, according to the publication.
Most of the world’s stevia is being grown in China, but the US is a logical fit for the crop given the health-conscious nature of American consumers and their desire no-calorie sugar substitutes, said Hal Teegarden, president of Sweet Green Fields.
“The largest user country in the world today is the United States,” he said. “We believe there’s an interest in having a domestically grown available product.”
Some Latin American countries that trade with Southeastern states are worried that kudzu bugs may be headed south of the border, Southeast Farm Press reports.
In February, officials in Honduras discovered dead kudzu bugs in a shipping container from Georgia. This led the country to step up inspections of cargo from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama, according to the publication.
The kudzu bug only arrived in the Western Hemisphere in 2009, coming into Atlanta from Asia. But since then it has spread across at least 230 counties in four states.
It’s now found in all 46 South Carolina counties, more than 140 counties in Georgia, more than 40 North Carolina counties, along with parts of Alabama. Entomologists have been astounded by the insect’s rapid movement.
The bugs, known in most parts of the world as bean plataspids, look like boxy brown ladybugs and emit a foul-smelling secretion when threatened. While they are known to eat kudzu, they can also ravage soybeans, along with other legumes, according to the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.
University of Georgia researchers scheduled an informational meeting late last month to share with Latin American officials what they have learned about the kudzu bug since its arrival in the Southeast.
A descendant of a chieftain’s son kidnapped from Africa and sold into slavery in Massachusetts more than 250 years ago will become the first black member inducted into a North Carolina chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution this weekend.
Chaz Moore, 30, is a descendant of Toby Gilmore, the son of a chieftain in coastal West Africa who was kidnapped at 16 and sold into slavery in Massachusetts. He gained his freedom after fighting for American independence against the British.
Moore, a native of Worcester, Mass., only recently learned he had an ancestor who had joined the Colonists’ side during the Revolutionary War.
“Growing up, I wasn’t even certain that African-Americans even fought in the Revolutionary War,” Moore said. “It’s not something that’s talked about. Then to say, ‘Well, yeah, they did, and you’re a direct descendant of one’ was unbelievable, humbling. I had to redefine patriotism for myself.”
Moore has been a Raleigh firefighter for about five years. On Saturday, he’ll become the first black inducted into the North Carolina chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution in a ceremony at the state Museum of History, according to The Associated Press.
Organic cotton continued a nearly decade-long growth trend in 2011, with approximately 16,000 acres planted, according to the Organic Trade Association.
That was up sharply from 2010, when nearly 12,000 acres of organic cotton were planted.
Last year’s total represented the largest number of acres planted since 1999, according to the 2010 and Preliminary 2011 US Organic Cotton Production & Marketing Trends report conducted by the OTA.
However, harvested acres and bales are expected to be down by 38 and 45 percent, respectively, due to a devastating drought in the Southern Plains, according to Southeast Farm Press.
Extremely dry conditions in Texas forced farmers there to abandon more than 65 percent of their planted crop in 2011, the publication added.
A modest acreage gain of two percent is forecast for 2012, bringing plantings of US organic cotton to 16,406 acres.
Organic cotton is cotton grown from non-genetically modified plants without the use of fertilizers or pesticides.
It took 26 years to translate the Bible into Gullah, but just six to create an audio version of the Good Book, which was released recently.
“Healin fa de Soul,” is a 5-CD set of readings from the Gullah Bible and includes a dramatized version of the Gospel of John.
It was released in November at the St. Helena Island-based Penn Center, founded in 1862 as one of the nation’s first schools for freedmen after Union troops captured the area during the Civil War.
The readings, which feature 24 local Gullah speakers, are based on the Gullah Bible, “De Nyew Testament.” Translation into Gullah began in 1979 and the full testament was published by the American Bible Society in 2005, according to the Associated Press.
Gullah, also known as Geechee, developed among Africans along the Southeastern coast as a way to communicate with people from other tribes and Europeans.
For years, people thought Gullah was poor English, but during the Great Depression scholar Lorenzo Dow Turner studied Gullah on the Sea Islands and determined that it was made up of English and more than 4,000 words from many different African languages.
How fast has the so-called “kudzu bug” moved across the Southeast over the past two years? Since arriving in the Western Hemisphere by way of Atlanta from Asia in 2009, the insect has spread from nine Georgia counties to across at least 230 counties in four states.
It’s now found in all 46 South Carolina counties, more than 140 counties in Georgia, more than 40 North Carolina counties, along with parts of Alabama, and entomologists have been astounded by its rapid movement, according to Southeast Farm Press.
The bugs, known in most parts of the world as bean plataspids, look like boxy brown ladybugs and emit a foul-smelling secretion when threatened. As a result, it’s often as easy to locate them by smell as by sight when they occur in large numbers.
While they are known to eat kudzu, they can also ravage soybeans, along with other legumes, according to the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.
Clemson University Entomologist Jeremy Greene says the insects, often mistakenly referred to as stink bugs, are becoming a bigger problem in agriculture as they spread throughout the region.