Thursday, May 10, 2007

Preserving some of the home turf

Sometimes it feels that since I don't live near the big battlefields, that preservation is a only a matter of writing a check and taking the tax deduction. At other times, I feel like a Johnny-come-lately to a preservation issue that may or may not be lost, or simply didn't jump in the boat on time because of ignorance of the situation.

Small story: I came to the Raleigh area in the mid-nineties in search of the good life. Jobs were (and are now) plentiful, and I had a career that was on the up and up. Didn't pay too much attention to the area around me, since I already knew tons about the area I just left - the NC mountains.

Not on my radar screen at the time was the fact that lived in the midst of the largest Federal encampment in Sherman's Carolinas Campaign. I was too wrapped up in life, and frankly I didn't take the time to check out local history.

Fast forward to the present time.

I knew that some remnants of those encampments and pieces of history still remain. Of course I knew about the Mims House being one of Sherman's stop-overs, but someone told me that. I also happened to discover that there were some rifle pits nearby, but someone told me that too. I didn't bother to research or be curious, the info just fell into my lap.

But by the time I get the time and inclination to go see the pits, I'm told at they're almost all totally destroyed by some logging company, and I expect that in the next couple of years they will be completely developed over. The Mims House is in a steady rate of deteriorating decline. Unfortunately, other than tooting a horn for the Mims House, Holly Springs Civil War history is at the end-game.

I've learned the moral of the story is that if you don't always put up the good fight, then precious things, like your local history, can go away very quickly. Sometimes that history isn't out front, like rifle pits, but they're worth serious consideration and preservation. Apathy and ignorance are the real enemies.

But there is some good news for a nearby community that has a small battleground - not too much, but something worth saving for future generations. The battle at Morrisville Station was fought a few miles north of Holly Springs, and a reenactor has been hot on the case for the past few years. Make difference with an email, and send it here. Tell them you support the effort to save some historical ground. Don't surrender to apathy and ignorance, like I did years ago. Sometimes we only get one good shot, so take it.


Blue Bellied Yank said...

Local history is always awesome and fun to discover. It's wonderful that you live in an area of America that is drenched in Civil War history. We have some great historical spots around the county where I live and they are hands.
I've been away from the blog a bit due to the fact that I was assaulted by my neighbor over a property dispute and had to go the hospital. A few years ago I had 3 level fusion in my neck after falling off a chairlift in Canada. The ER doctor said I have a strained neck. My neighbor is in his 70's, he's also twice my size!
The sheriff's department read the neighbor the riot act so I think it will be safe to walk around my yard again.

mntineer said...

Everywhere in the US has alot of history - maybe not as intersting as the Civil War, but there's something out there waiting to be researched and recreated.

As for aggressive neighbors -- only the riot act?! He should have gotten an assualt and battery charge! Riot act indeed!