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Bennett Place Recalls Civil War Christmas Celebrations

Kids can talk with Santa at Bennett Place Dec.16

Soldiers and Civilians tried to celebrate Christmas, even during the Civil War. Soldiers decorated their quarters with whatever they had and looked forward to receiving packages from home. Southern families endured the hardships of a naval blockade, food shortages and loved ones far away. Bennett Place State Historic Site will recall those times Saturday, Dec. 16, with a daytime and evening program.

The annual “Christmas Candlelight Tour” program, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will offer living history demonstrations of life in the field and on the home front. Watch soldiers decorate, read letters and open packages from home. In the kitchen, women will prepare food and bake.

Examples of items often sent to soldiers will be on display in the historic Bennett cabin, with Christmas presents under the tree. Santa will visit to delight children of all ages. Hot apple cider and cookies will be available and a bake sale with lots of goodies will be underway at this free program.

The “Christmas Candlelight Tour,” 6 to 9 p.m., will guide visitors around the property to experience how soldiers and civilians celebrated the holiday. From the field, visitors will watch as Union and Confederate soldiers hold a truce and exchange items. At a camp, visitors will see soldiers receive packages from home.

The tour next will go to the home front as families try to cook holiday food and decorate homes to carry on the holiday spirit.  Hot apple cider and cookies will be available in the visitor center. The evening program fee is $3 for adults and $2 for children ages five to 16; children under age five are free. Tickets will be available the evening of the event at the visitor center.

For additional information, please call (919) 383-4345, email or check out website Bennett Place is located at 4409 Bennett Memorial Rd. and part of the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

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