10/12/06 — Wayne museum gets donated map that shows Gen. Sherman's march

View Archive

Wayne museum gets donated map that shows Gen. Sherman's march

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 12, 2006 1:56 PM

A Goldsboro native has donated a map used by the Union Army during the Civil War to the Wayne County Museum. The map shows the coordinates of Union General William T. Sherman's famous march through Georgia and the Carolinas -- a march that ended at Goldsboro.

J. Kim Abdallah, who now lives in Katy, Texas, came across the 1865 map on eBay. Accompanying the map was a handwritten letter from the Union Army's assistant inspector general, Lt. Col. William E. Strong, to the inspector general, Col. James A Hardie. Strong had bound the seven-page letter with a pink ribbon running through two slits in the top of the pages. The letter was a report of operations from Savannah to Goldsboro.

Abdallah placed the winning bid and got them both for $100. But he told museum officials in a letter he felt it belongs in Goldsboro, a key railroad junction that was Sherman's destination when he left Charleston, S.C., at the head of 60,000 men. Goldsboro eventually was occupied by Sherman's troops.

The map and letter arrived at the museum two weeks ago, museum director Janet Clayton told the Historical Association members during their meeting Tuesday.

Historical Association member Betty Ellis said she recalls Abdallah. He and her son were the same age, she said. His father owned a craft shop in Goldsboro.

Association president Preston Garris said the map will be placed in a display case at the museum at 116 N. William St. and open from noon until 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

But Garris suggested the association buy an upright safe for valuable documents, such as the map, when they are not on display. He estimated that an upright safe that could be bolted to the floor would cost about $1,000. Any thieves that might try to take the safe would have to take the building with it, he said.

Ellis suggested finding someone who might donate a safe to the museum.

Some exhibits might have to be permanent, Mrs. Ellis said, asking if the museum might have a cubicle somewhere for a permanent exhibit. Several physicians in Wayne County have given her artifacts they want exhibited in the museum, she said. But they're heavy pieces, she said, and you can't be moving them in and out all the time.

"I like the sound of that," Garris said before appointing Charles and Betty Ellis to chair a committee to look into creating the exhibit. "We do need to take advantage of every bit of space we have."