Civil War Trails: Leading The Way! Making History in Goldsboro This Spring

“They led the way,” is the title for the newest Civil War Trails sign in North Carolina which was recently installed in Goldsboro. On March 27th at 10am, on the 158th anniversary of the historic event, join community leaders, descendants, and officials at 201 S. Center Street in beautiful downtown Goldsboro as they dedicate the new site and remember the service of the men in the 135th United States “Colored” Infantry.

The story of the men in this infantry regiment was largely forgotten until recently. The 135th USCT Research Team, Inc. which was formed in 2016 by Amy and Jay Bauer and is made up of local citizens and regional historians who have spent innumerable hours exploring archives, delving into online sources, and tirelessly analyzing historic documents looking for information about the Black men who would ultimately serve in this infantry regiment. Lt. Col. (retired) Deborah Jones, who is the secretary of the 135th USCT Research Team, Inc. said, “It is exciting to see these once enslaved men recognized for their back breaking endeavors to provide Freedom for all!”

Deborah Jones (left), Leonard Paul Sherrod Jr. (second from left), Cheryl Richards Harmon (second from right), and Donald Harmon (right) from the 135th Research Group, Inc. pose with the Civil War Trails directional sign which helps marks the new site located at 201 S. Center Street, Goldsboro, North Carolina. Courtesy Civil War Trails, Inc.

The new sign is part of the Civil War Trails program which connects visitors to over 1,400 sites just like this one. Across six states, each Civil War Trails site enables travelers to stand in the footsteps of historic events or people of the past. Despite seeing and hearing hundreds of stories each year their team found the Goldsboro truly inspirational. “It’s amazing – to stand at one site which tells encompasses the story of the Civil War, “ said Drew Gruber, Executive Directors of Civil War Trails, Inc. “These Black men entered town as formerly enslaved people and marched out as Federal employees, soldiers in the United States Army.”

Donald and Cheryl Harmon (left), Leonard Paul Sherrod Jr. (second from right), and Lt. Col. (retired) Deborah Jones (right) help place the new interpretive sign which overlooks the site where the men of the 135th Regiment, many of whom were formerly enslaved, paraded past the U.S. Headquarters building on March 27th, 1865. Courtesy Civil War Trails, Inc.

Since each Civil War Trails site is promoted by municipal and state tourism office this ensures that visitors from around the world will be inspired to visit downtown Goldsboro and by the story of the men in the 135th. André Nabors, Partnership Relationship Manager for Visit NC said, “As we continue to get back to our travel mindset, we are ready to share the often untold stories and impact of many sites along the largest open-air museum, that is the Civil War Trails program!”

For more information about the ceremony on March 27th please contact Visit Goldsboro at 919-734-7922. Inspired to help the ‘135th USCT Research Team? Visit Check out to begin planning your trip and be sure to post your #signselfie @civilwartrails when you visit this site. For more information about Civil War Trails call 757-378-5462.

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