At the site of one of the most dramatic moments of the Civil War, the North Carolina Civil War Round Table and other North Carolinian history enthusiasts will unveil a new monument dedicated to the brave soldiers of the Tar Heel State who fought and died on that very spot during the Siege of Petersburg. This monument dedicated to the 18th, 28th, 33rd, and 37th North Carolina Regiments under the command of Brigadier General James H. Lane will be unveiled at a ceremony on the Breakthrough Battlefield at Pamplin Historical Park.
After almost a year of siege warfare, Union forces commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant finally pierced the Confederate siege lines protecting the vital railhead of Petersburg. The segment of trench line held by Lane’s North Carolinians was one of the first to be attacked by Union troops, and his brave soldiers fought valiantly, but, like the rest of the Confederate forces, were forced back, beginning the retreat that would finally halt at Appomattox Courthouse and end the war.
A dedication ceremony will be held on March 19th at 11:00 AM and is open to Pamplin Historical Park members and all ticket holders that day. During the ceremony, renowned Civil War battlefield historian Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service Ed Bearss will give a short presentation on the North Carolinians at the Breakthrough. Known for his verve and showmanship as well as his brilliance in explaining the effects of terrain on Civil War battles, Bearss is probably best known for his appearance in Ken Burns’ The Civil War documentary series (1990). In addition to the dedication ceremony Pamplin Historical Park will offer a special tour at 1:30 p.m. focusing on the North Carolinians’ participation in the battle.