The American Civil War Through Durham's Lens

The Civil War was a momentous event for the United States, and few places had as broad of an involvement as what is now Durham, NC. Though neither the city nor the county of Durham existed at the time, the area was the site of essential social conflicts before the war, integral events during it, and telling developments after its end.

This website highlights the role Durham played and gives a view of the events through a Durham lens. It tells the stories of:


Addy, a fictional young girl who lived as a slave before escaping to the North, and Mary Walker, the woman whose escape from Stagville, one of the antebellum South’s largest plantations, provided many of the details for Addy’s tale. See more...

Bennett Place

The Bennett Place farmhouse, where the Union’s General Sherman and the Confederacy’s General Johnston met and negotiated the surrender of the armies of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. It was the largest troop surrender of the war, taking place 20 days after Gen. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, marking the effective end of hostilities. See more...

Duke Homestead

Washington Duke, a Confederate soldier who returned to Durham after the war and launched a tobacco company that later became the American Tobacco Company, one of the world’s largest, and helped transform Durham into an industrial town. See more...

Civil War SesquicentennialBennett PlaceHomesteadMangum HouseStagville