7 months ago

April 2016 Final Web

April 2016

Hidden History Bus Tour

Hidden History Bus Tour Planned By Kathy Waters Attention history lovers! The Washington County Historical Society is sponsoring a Hidden History Bus Tour in conjunction with their 26th Annual Living History Weekend. On Friday, April 22nd and again on Saturday, April 23rd, the tour hosted by local historian, Jimmy Hardison, will leave sharply at 1 p.m. on a bus adjacent to the Port-o-Plymouth Museum on the beautiful Roanoke River. The threehour tour will be a reservation event with limited seating on the bus both days. The cost per person is $30 or $50 per couple and is expected to sell out quickly. These tours will be held regardless of the weather. Call the Museum to make your reservation today – 252.793.1377. Jimmy Hardison is perfectly suited to lead this tour. He has been a long-time historian and a former Confederate re-enactor. He still competes on the national level in black powder events with the North/South Skirmish Association. Jimmy shares: “I can’t remember a time I wasn’t interested in history. When I was really young, growing up in Dardens, James Fenimore Cooper material was running on Disney – things like Daniel Boone. That was probably my original interest. My mother let me play with a bayonet that she had received as a gift from a veteran of the Civil War. In school I was always interested in history. I remember writing a poem in the 7th grade at Washington Street School. One of my classmates gave it to our teacher, Mr. Inabinett, and he gave me a grade on it even though it wasn’t homework. In high school, Mrs. Louise Fleming (later Spruill) got me really interested. She was probably the person most responsible for my interest.” According to Jimmy Hardison, “Though we had something similar in the past, this tour will be longer and more extensive. The tour will trace the route that General Robert F. Hoke of the Confederate Army took on the morning of April 17th, 1864 when he traveled from Foster’s Mill (now known as Big Mill) in Martin County to Plymouth. We will retrace the original route as much as possible. A lot of people don’t realize the importance of the Battle of Plymouth. Hoke held history in his hands here, and they pulled him away because General Lee needed him. Lee said, ‘I absolutely could not survive without Hoke’s Army.’ The Confederate Army could have been in control of everything all the way to the ocean. The theme of the tour will be Hoke’s entry into and exit from Plymouth and the capture of the town that had been occupied by Union troops for some time. There will also be highlights of additional historical sites as the tour proceeds. There will be much more history that just the Battle of Plymouth. Also the role of the CSS Albemarle will be included. Had it not been for the success of the Albemarle, Hoke would not have been successful here. He could not have held the town without the success of the Albemarle due to the Yankee gunboats in the river. This is one of the most important and most unusual battles of the war involving the army, navy, and cavalry with both artillery and infantry on both sides. That was almost unheard of. Hoke was an extremely smart fellow. General Lee had designated him as his successor. Hoke was extremely modest even after the war. Anybody who really likes to study personalities should read “General Robert F. Hoke, Lee’s Modest Warrior” by Daniel Barefoot. Barefoot is from Lincolnton, NC as is General Hoke. Hoke was known for his dark (nighttime) offensives. He did not recklessly sacrifice his men.” Jimmy continues: “Highlights of the tour include the historical point of view and should be appealing to those who may not be familiar with the Battle (of Plymouth) and what it meant to North Carolina. It should also be of interest to local people who don’t know the history here. I will be sharing information that hasn’t been divulged previously. It’s unfathomable to me how much publicity Plymouth has gotten through Living History connections. A number of people have even moved to the area after experiencing our historical events. Still there are a lot of people in town who don’t know our history.” 18 Albemarle Tradewinds April 2016

If you wish an article written about your business call Scott at 252-312-2302 Help for Free! By: T. Wade Nichols, Executive Director Sponsored By: Volunteerism is so simple, but truly vital to the success of any community. It affect any community, but especially here in Elizabeth City. Historically, Elizabeth City has been a bit isolated, physically, from a lot that has been going on in North Carolina. Sometime that is a pretty good thing, but really, we would be hard pressed to make this town work at all if it were not for our volunteers. Hospitals, churches, schools and nursing homes must have a lot volunteer input to stay afloat. It’s not just free labor either, because everyone benefits in terms of our humanity. Every time we touch or serve another person with no expectation of payment, we make ourselves better but also strengthen the community around us. The soloist at church? The Sunday school teacher, working on wardrobe items for Encore Theatre are all fairly small scale volunteer jobs that are needed==not just a board chairman, chief fundraising champion, and management advisor to a non-profit board or Executive Director. A wise writer once put down “be the change you want to see.” And I’ve always quietly agreed. Sometimes it made take action and go to a community meeting I was about to skip. Or if I don’t it will leave me with a weight of guilt around my neck. So next time someone wonders what could be done to improve downtown, send them to me! I need committee members, planners, event helpers and yes, I even need a pal to go out and pick up rubbish with me once a month. So BE THE CHANGE! Albemarle Tradewinds April 2016 19