North Carolina as the Confederate Capital?

FAYETTEVILLE — When you think of notable Civil War events in North Carolina, you are likely to think of such things as the Battle of Bentonville, the Battle of Ft. Fisher, or the surrender at Bennett Place. Rarely would one think about North Carolina serving as one of the Confederate capitals.

The first Confederate capital was Montgomery, Ala., but was eventually settled in Richmond, Va. So when did North Carolina serve as the Confederate capital?

The answer to that question will be given on Wednesday April 6, at 7 p.m. in the Pate Room of the Cumberland County Headquarters Library when Michael Hardy presents, North Carolina as the Confederate Capital. The library and the North Carolina Civil War History Center, an affiliate of the Museum of the Cape Fear, are co-sponsoring this event. Hardy’s presentation is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholar program.

“It’s an interesting story of how the Confederate cabinet ended up in North Carolina in the final days of the war,” says Leisa Greathouse, curator of education at the Museum of the Cape Fear. “Officially North Carolina is not recognized as a Confederate capital. However, audience members may fine that Mr. Hardy has a sound argument for making it one,” concluded Greathouse.

Hardy has researched and written numerous books, along with magazine and journal articles on different aspects of the conflict. Much of his work has focused on the role of North Carolina. Some of his twenty published books include The Thirty-Seventh North Carolina Troops: Tar Heels in the Army of Northern Virginia (2003); North Carolina Remembers Gettysburg (2010); North Carolina in the Civil War (2011); and The Capitals of the Confederacy: Montgomery, Richmond, Danville, Greensboro, and Charlotte (2015). Michael holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama, and in 2010, he was named North Carolina Historian of the Year by the North Carolina Society of Historians.

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