This image of Cherokee members of Thomas’s Legion is one of the images from the Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory: Civil War Sesquicentennial Photography Exhibit on display at the Haywood County Public Library from April 1-28. Photo courtesy of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

Press release from the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, shared March 26:

RALEIGH – The Civil War savaged lives yet secured the future of generations in North Carolina and the rest of the nation, and altered the course of American history. The injustices faced by African Americans were some of the most significant factors leading to the American Civil War (1861-1865). The fight for liberation is just one of many moving features of the Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory: Civil War Sesquicentennial Photography Exhibit (, which will visit the Haywood County Public Library in Waynesville from April 1-28.

“The Civil War was the first war widely covered with photography,” explains Deputy Secretary Dr. Jeffrey Crow of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. “The Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory exhibit provides images of historic figures, artifacts, and documents that brought the reality of the war from the battlefront to the home front, then and now.”

The exhibit will commemorate the bravery and resiliency of North Carolinians throughout the Civil War with stimulating images gathered from the State Archives (, the N.C. Museum of History (, and State Historic Sites ( A total of 24 images will be displayed by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources ( in 50 libraries throughout the state from April 2011 through May 2013. A notebook will accompany the exhibit with further information and also seeking viewer comments.

The collection depicts many different aspects of the war and includes images of artifacts and official documents. One picture shows the Cherokee members of Thomas’s Legion, a unit recruited by William Holland Thomas, who had been adopted by the tribe and was a tribal leader.  He led an almost entirely Cherokee unit from the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee into battle for the Confederacy.

The statewide tour will visit various regions presenting the importance of North Carolinians in the Civil War and educating viewers of each area’s participation and commitment during this tumultuous time.

For information on the exhibit call the Haywood County Library at (828) 452-5169. For tour information, contact the Department of Cultural Resources at (919) 807-7389.

About the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historical sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives. Cultural Resources champions North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy. To learn more, visit

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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