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A proposed bypass of US Highway 70 would take up 55 acres of land, including the land of the Wyse Fork Battleground. Supporters of the bypass say it would ease traffic in and around Kinston, but historians fear the bypass would destroy the site of one of the last major battles of the Civil War.
(WRAL) – Historians in eastern North Carolina are fighting to stop the state from expanding a highway over the site of a Civil War battleground.
A proposed bypass project of US Highway 70 is expected to ease traffic in Kinston, North Carolina.
The development would use up 55 acres of land, including parts of the Wyse Fork Battleground. The site is part of the National Register of Historic Places.
In March 1865, towards the end of the Civil War, nearly 5,000 Confederate troops fought to drive thousands of Union soldiers back to the sea in the Battle of Wyse Fork. The Union army defeated the Confederates during the battle and the Civil War ended one month later.
Historians, such as Save Wyse Fork Battlefield Commission Chairman Dennis Harper, believe those planning the bypass do not know the history of the battle, one of the last major battles of the Civil War.
“I don’t know that they all realize the special place that this is with the history that it has,” Harper said. “And once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.”
WRAL News contacted the North Carolina Department of Transportation for…