Teaching through our historic sites

Bennett Place

Today, looking at the peaceful Piedmont farmstead of James and Nancy Bennett located in Durham, North Carolina it is hard to imagine the drama that unfolded there in April 1865. On an early spring morning two worn adversaries, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, along with their escorts, rode along the Old Hillsborough Road to meet and negotiate the terms for the largest Confederate troop surrender of the war. By chance, the Bennett farm was located half-way between the Union forces positioned in the city of Raleigh and the Confederate forces encamped in and around the city of Greensboro. This chapter of the North Carolina Civil War Experience will explore the conclusion of this horrific war and the impact on civilians like the Bennetts.

This education program, designed for 8th grade students, is one in a series that provides comprehensive, site-based learning experiences concerning the state's Civil War history. The program is a stand-alone unit, but its value is multiplied when combined with one or more additional units. Each program contains at least one supplemental lesson plan. These plans work best in support of the on-site activities, but can also be used if a site visit is not possible.


The story of the Bennett Place is a component for meeting the following NCSCS Goals for 8th Grade Social Studies:

  • 4.03 Assess North Carolina's role in the Civil War and analyze the social and economic impact of the war on the state.

  • 4.04 Evaluate the importance of the roles played by individuals at the state and national levels during the Civil War and Reconstruction Period.

The story of Bennett Place is a component for meeting the following National Standard for the Social Sciences 2: The course and character of the Civil War and its effects on the American people.

  • 2B: The student understands the social experience of the war on the battlefield and homefront.

Program Objectives

  1. Students should have an understanding of the impact of the war on North Carolina’s civilians and conditions they faced during the war.

  2. Students should understand the negotiated peace terms signed by Maj. General Sherman and General Johnston.

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