By Sam Atkins
Published in News on February 2, 2004 2:02 PM
The re-enactment of the Battle of Goldsborough Bridge over the weekend brought the biggest weekend crowd ever to Waynesborough Historical Village.
It was the first time in Wayne County's history that the battle had been commemorated with a re-enactment. The event was free and open to the public.
Colleen Baker, village administrator, said it had more visitors on Saturday than it has ever had over an entire weekend. Close to 1,000 people total witnessed the re-enactments on Saturday and Sunday. They were held in the former state park land behind the village.
"Everyone enjoyed it so much that we are going to make it an annual event," said Ms. Baker.
Around 150 participants re-created the battle, which occurred on Dec. 17, 1862. Gen. John G. Foster led his Union soldiers to burn the railroad bridge just below Goldsboro in present-day Mar Mac. He was opposed by Confederate Gen. T.L. Clingman.
Randy Sauls, a Goldsboro lawyer and historian, portrayed Foster during the battle. He plans to have a marker placed on the battlefield in the Mar Mac area in May and at the Wayne County Museum to commemorate it.
He said it occurred mainly because the Union Army wanted to destroy the railroad the Confederates used to transports supplies up the East Coast.
The railroad bridge was burned by the Union soldiers, and they spent two days tearing up the track, he said.
The participants were military historians who re-create battle scenes as a hobby. They came from all over the East Coast and have various professions and represented various infantries and artilleries on both sides of the war.
The entire village was used to show costumed interpreters creating a living history of camp conditions during the war, with field artillery and drill demonstrations.
Other events included civilian demonstrations, infantry drill demonstrations at both the Confederate and Union camps, men and women Civil War fashion shows in the visitor's center, an artillery demo, soldier presentations about camp life including their weapons, uniforms and flags, and a history of the Goldsboro expedition by Gen. Foster and Confederate Gen. Evans in the visitor's center. There was also a period church service.
Ray Swinson, events chairman of the Old Waynes-
borough Commission, said he was pleased with the event and is working on having more services for the public, like concessions, at next year's event.
The village is at 801 U.S. 117 South. Its new hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Monday.
For more information on becoming a member of the Old Waynesborough Commission or about other activities at the village, call 731-1653.
Summerfest 2004 will be held on July 9-11. Anyone planning a wedding and would like to have a Civil War wedding during the event should call the village.
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