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R.F.Maxwell Grant for Wyse Fork CW BattleField

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  • Jewelle Baker
    Hello Group, This is wonderful news for all lovers of history and ancestors in today s Kinston Free Press. Read on:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 26, 2003
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      Hello Group,
      This is wonderful news for all lovers of history and ancestors in today's Kinston Free Press. Read on:

      Story ran : 04/26/2003
      Preservation group to restore battlefield to 1865 condition
      By Lee Raynor
      Managing Editor
      A $25,000 grant to a Kinston battlefield will go a long way toward helping preserve the city's Civil War history.

      "I'm thrilled," said Jane Phillips, president of the Historical Preservation Group. "I'm excited about the impact of the preservation of the battlefields on economic development In Lenoir County."

      The money is coming from filmmaker Ronald F. Maxwell, director of "Gods and Generals," a recently-released Civil War film. Maxwell has committed $500,000 to Civil War preservation projects. The money is being distributed by the Center for Civil War Living History.

      Nearly 3,000 re-enactors donated their time to appear in "Gods and Generals." The money re-enactors would have made is funding the grants.

      Three re-enactors were Kinston's Bob and Jan Toler and their daughter, Jennie Toler. Bob Toler is commanding general of the 1st Division Army of Northern Virginia re-enactors.

      "After the battle of Gettysburg, the movie shows Gen. Lee sitting on his horse," Phillips said. "Bob Toler is just to the left of Lee."

      Dennis Frye, president of the center, said $25,000 is going toward helping Kinston's Historical Preservation Group buy 11 acres at the Wyse Fork battlefield.

      Wyse Fork was the site of the state's second largest land battle during the war, in April 1865. It will be the first piece of property purchased by the Historical Preservation Group.

      The Kinston preservation group will come up with $70,000 to match the center's grant. Phillips said her organization has applied for money from the federal Land and Conservation fund of the National Park Service. Congress established the fund to preserve Civil War battlefield property.

      "We have an excellent chance of getting that money," she said.

      The battlefield land eyed by the group now is the core piece of the site along Southwest Creek. Phillips' group believes other land donations will follow.

      "The dream is to restore it to its 1865 condition," said Cindy Brochure, board member and grant writer for the preservation group. "We want to use it for re-enactors and tourism. We want to make the battlefield come alive and be an important part of Lenoir County."

      Stuart Johnson has been promoting Kinston and Lenoir County to movie producers for years. He was excited to learn about the latest grant.

      "This is a unique situation," Johnson said. "Director Robert Maxwell is a real buff about restoration of Civil War battlefields. This is a tremendous opportunity, but it is an example of the benefits film production can bring an area."

      The community should get behind all the heritage projects going on now, preservation group board member Pat Faulkner said.

      "Our history is not going to close down or move away. It will always be here, and the community needs to view it as a major asset and start promoting it as economic development," Faulkner said.

      Two other battlefields also are benefiting from the film money. Sites in New Market and McDowell, Va. will be funded.

      Nearly $250,000 remains to be granted. The money is expected to be distributed by the end of the year.


      Our 'hats-off' to Jane Phillips, and her organization, for her relentless pursuit to preserve our past history for us and future generations!! Ronald F. Maxwell, director of the acclaimed "Gods & Generals" gets my 'hug-of-appreciation' for his welcomed generosity and heart-wrenching film! Jewelle

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