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Early College ninth graders tour Bentonville Battlefield

Ninth graders from Lenoir County Early College High School experienced what life might have been like for a soldier fighting in one of the last major battles of the Civil War when they toured the Bentonville Battlefield North Carolina Historical Site near Benson. 

On Thursday, Nov. 14, students toured the Harper House, commandeered by the Union forces as a field hospital during the three days of fighting on March 19-21, 1865, and discussed the ways Civil War surgeons would separate the injured into three unique classifications based on their wounds.

 Three students in winter clothes smile at camera. “We learned that officers were separated from the enlisted men after surgery and were allowed to recover in the house while enlisted men had to go outside because there wasn’t enough room,” student Aunesty Pridgen said.

Students were also able to tour a 19th century reproduction of both an outside kitchen and slave quarters during their Harper House tour. They watched a video overview about the Battle of Bentonville and its importance to the end of the Civil War. They were also able to tour the visitor center, in which artifact exhibits visually describe the struggle that soldiers, from both the North and South, would have faced, especially if they were wounded in battle.

 “I enjoyed looking at the artifacts because it’s like seeing a piece of history come alive and knowing that a real person personally used those things in their daily life,” Jenna Steele said.  

“Overall, students had a fun time, even though the temperature never got above 48 degrees. Most would agree that it was a fun and educational trip that was worth the drive,” Early College history teacher Travis Towne said.

“Special thanks go to the fantastic staff at the Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site for their assistance in helping to arrange and lead the tours for students.”

More information about Bentonville Battlefield, along with details about tours, are online at www.bentonvillebattlefield. nchistoricsites.org.

Photo captions:

Above: As part of their visit to Bentonville Battleground, Lenoir County Early College High School ninth graders adopted the personae of actual soldier who fought there and learned their fate. Ka’Nara Wilson, Janna Grady and Kaitlyn Minder discovered they were not mortally wounded and lived through their injuries.

Below: Ninth graders and accompanying faculty members from Lenoir County Early College High School pause in their tour of Bentonville Battleground for a group picture at the Harper House, which was used as a field hospital during the March 1865 battle.

Large group of ninth grade students in winter wear post in front of a restored white 19th century house.