Teaching through our historic sites

Tryon Palace

New Bern fell to Union forces in March 1862 and, although the Confederacy made several attempts to re-capture it, the city remained in Union hands throughout the remainder of the war. The primary focus of the Civil War period interpretation and programming at Tryon Palace is the 1862 Battle of New Bern, the Union occupation of the town, and the life and recruitment of African Americans in the New Bern area during the war. This chapter of The North Carolina Civil War Experience explores the social and economic impact of Union occupation in New Bern, as well as political and military activity in the region.

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.

Program Goals

Tryon Palace is a component for meeting the following NCSCS Goals for 8th Grade Social Studies:

  • 4.02 Describe the political and military developments of the Civil War and analyze their effect on the outcome of the war.
  • 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.
  • 4.05 Analyze the political, economic, and social impact of Reconstruction on the state and identify the reasons why Reconstruction came to an end.


The Civil War storyline at Tryon Palace is a component for meeting the following National Standard for the Social Sciences:

  • Standard 2 - The course and character of the Civil War and its effects on the American people.
  • 2A - The student understands how the resources of the Union and Confederacy affected the course of the war.
  • 2B - The student understands the social experience of the war on the battlefield and homefront.

Program Objectives

  1. Students will understand of the role of New Bern in the Civil War.
  2. Students will learn about the Battle of New Bern and the Union Army occupation of the town during the Civil War.
  3. Students will gain a better understanding of the life and role of the African American population, both enslaved and free, in New Bern during the Civil War.

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