Newport to celebrate its Civil War history

newport battle

Volunteers work on the construction of the Battle of Newport Barracks Civil War Memorial Park last week in preparation for 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle. A three-day commemoration to celebrate the opening of the barracks is set for this weekend.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 10:22 AM.

The Battle of Newport Barracks might have just been a footnote in the Civil War. But, some Carteret County residents don’t want to see the community’s role go unnoticed.

The Battle of Newport Civil War Memorial Park will be celebrated this weekend on a half-acre plot at 220 Chatham St. in Newport.

Local volunteers have been putting sweat equity into building the park, which will recreate features of the original barracks that were burned on Feb. 2, 1864.

Volunteer Michael Bell said his family goes back to the time when Newport was called Bell’s Corner. In his family tree is Josiah Bell, a confederate spy, which is one of the reasons he has put so much time into the park project.

“I felt like being that my family probably had certain aspirations to help burn the place, I felt like I ought to help build it back,” Bell said as he stood next to a log structure erected to look like one of the original barracks buildings.

“As far as history goes, Newport has probably had more than any other place in the county,” Bell said.

Gerald Mann, chief architect of the project, said many know little about the battle he called the largest in Carteret County during the war.

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