Women gathered in a kitchen, talking seriously around the table about saving a Civil War battlefield. That was part of the story that Cindy Brochure shared with me when we “met” and talked for the first time on the phone prior to a virtual Civil War Round Table meeting.
“Wait,” I said, “could you please tell me more about this preservation effort that you and your friends were part of?” And that’s when I learned that these ladies weren’t just part of the battlefield-saving project. They started it, formed a small nonprofit, and created a grassroots movement in North Carolina that has had far-reaching effects.
Cindy shared a little more about the story in the phone call, but I wanted to know more and find a way to record what she was willing to share. It’s a remarkable story about modern women organizing to save a “forgotten battlefield.” They were volunteers with a interest in history that started with genealogy and branched into re-discovering local history. I feel compelled to record the accounts of the history connected to saved battlefields, the military story and also the story of preservation. Who helped to save this land? That is part of an unfolding chapter that is still being written, and I want to help make sure those leaders’ voices aren’t lost. Especially the stories of women who have been involved or leading parts of the battlefield preservation movement.
Thankfully, Cindy joined me in a Zoom meeting and we were able to talk in greater detail about the preservation of Kinston battlefield and the formation of the Historical Preservation Group.
Here are a few of the link for groups or places mentioned in the recorded chat:
- Kinston Battlefield: http://wwwhistoricalpreservationgroup.org/wil_park.htm
- Historical Preservation Group: http://www.historicalpreservationgroup.org/index.htm
- Civil War Trails, North Carolina: https://www.civilwartrails.org/docs/NC_PDF-mapguide.pdf
From an idea formed around a kitchen table to an organization that has significantly boosted historic tourism, Cindy Brochure and her friends leaped into an adventure and helped to change their community, bringing a new focus on historic preservation and forgotten stories from the past.
For me, one of the most inspiring parts of the conversation was the reminiscence that Cindy shared:
“Not knowing we couldn’t do anything, we did stuff. Looking back, I think ‘How did we do that?’ …Because we didn’t know we couldn’t! And that’s the honest trust.”
What a lovely piece of inspiration that I can take with me on my own journey and adventure in preservation work. Go for it…save historic sites and and who knows where the journey will lead.
Next: A chat with a woman starting to rediscover and preserve her family’s history…