Accidental Discovery of Black Soldiers Role in the Civil War Sparks Excitement in North Carolina
For Immediate Release
January 25, 2018
Goldsboro, NC— Over 150 years later, a lost piece of American Civil War history has been found that challenges the accuracy of historians and highlights the existence of a forgotten U.S. Colored Troop based in North Carolina—the 135th U.S. Colored Troop (USCT).
Amy and Jay Bauer, historical preservationists in Goldsboro, North Carolina, attended a history talk at the Wayne County Public Library in 2014. There, they learned of a rumor that Goldsboro was home to a union troop at the tail end of the Civil War called the 135th USCT. Simple curiosity compelled them to research the topic, but soon after discovering the 135th written in pension records at the National Archives, the Bauers realized they uncovered lost history.
“After three years of research, we’ve visited many of the gravesites, travelled to the Library of Congress in D.C. six times and tracked down several living descendants of these brave and honorable men” Amy said. She went on to say it was difficult to receive callbacks from historians. “Even when finally getting them on the phone, it wasn’t easy to convince them we proved the existence of a USCT that history completely left out.”
Hari Jones, professional Civil War historian and author, explains why this discovery has not been easy to accept for many experts. “This story means that the narrative promoted by scholars who have claimed there were no African American officers, no African American field grade officers, no African Americans in regiments other than USCT regiments, no USCT regiments marched in the Grand Review, and at least a dozen other false statements must be jettisoned for a new narrative inclusive of the many facts discovered by lay historians and genealogists.”
To build interest in North Carolina about the true role of black soldiers who fought in the Civil War, a research commission was organized in Goldsboro, NC by Amy and Jay Bauer. Its members include many of the living descendants of the 135th troops, along with prominent Civil War historians, such as Earl Ijames from the North Carolina Museum of History, UNC’s Dr. Reginald Hildebrand, Dr. Ben Speller from NCCU, and Dr. Malcom Beech from Washington D.C. The commission has gained strong support from the local and state community and has plans for a Civil War living history weekend on April 6-8, 2018 in Goldsboro, NC.
General William T. Sherman’s March-to-the-Sea, along with his March through the Carolinas, required the manpower to move more than 60,000 troops, consisting of ten miles of supply wagon’s, artillery, and ambulances. To accomplish this amazing logistical feat, General Sherman employed liberated slaves, and in March 1865, the 135th USCT was formed The 135th USCT consisted of 220 North Carolinians from Wayne, Lenoir, Johnson, Duplin, and Green Counties
“They had this opportunity, and they decided to be a part of the success of people coming out of slavery,” said Deborah Jones, and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. and descendant of a 135th USCT soldier.
To celebrate and learn more about the heritage of the 135th USCT […]
State Championship of Tennis Returns to Goldsboro for 5th Straight Year
Goldsboro, NC – Since 2013, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) North Carolina has continued to call Goldsboro home to the USTA North Carolina Singles League State Championships. This year, the tournament will be headquartered at historic Herman Park on October 12th -15th, and spectators are welcome to watch and enjoy the park facilities at no cost.
450 of the state’s best tennis players will face off over the three-day tournament this weekend utilizing minimum of 48 courts throughout Goldsboro, Wayne County and Greene County. Since Goldsboro’s first year hosting the USTA North Carolina Singles League State Championships in 2013, the tournament has grown from 300 to 450 players generating an estimated economic impact of almost $1 million over the last 5 years to the local economy.
“Goldsboro is one of my favorite areas to host a State Championship. Their facilities are fantastic, the hotels are accommodating to our needs, but most of all, the people are the absolute best to work with,” explained Jenny Phelps, Director of Adult League Tennis – USTA North Carolina, when asked what makes Goldsboro an appealing destination for the sport. “I was impressed with the level of hospitality and excellent customer service…will keep our tournament coming to Goldsboro as long as they will have us!”
The 2016 championships were scheduled originally for October 6th-9th, but the devastation of Hurricane Matthew caused the tournament to be rescheduled a couple months later in December. The USTA NC office coordinated a toy and food drive with the Goldsboro Salvation Army to help families affected by the flooding. An estimated 180 toys and 400 cans of food were collected and donated over the course of the tournament weekend.
Goldsboro will host the championships again in October of 2018.
For more information regarding the NC Singles League State Championship 2017, email Ashlin Glatthar, Tourism Director for City of Goldsboro, email@example.com.
Booming Tourism Industry Helps Set New Record for Wayne County
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Ashlin Glatthar │(919) 734-7922
August 17, 2017
2016 Booming Tourism Industry Helps Set New Record for Wayne County
County Spending by Domestic Visitors Increases by 3.9 Percent to $162.31 million
Visit North Carolina announced today that domestic visitors to and within Wayne County spent $162.31 million in 2016, an increase of 3.9% from 2015.
“Years of growing demand and rising average daily rates in our hotel market has put Goldsboro-Wayne County on a record breaking streak over the last 5 years. The wave of economic development in our area is also telling of our strengthening travel industry. After a $15 million revitalization of our historic downtown in 2015 and over 40 new restaurants, retail and commercial companies opening in the last 3 years, Goldsboro-Wayne County is rapidly becoming an attractive destination offering a more dynamic experience for our visitors and residents. We only expect to continue this positive trend as we open the doors to The Maxwell Center and Goldsboro Multi-Sport Complex in 2018.” -Ashlin Glatthar, Director of Travel & Tourism for Goldsboro & Wayne County
Wayne County tourism impact highlights for 2016:
- The travel and tourism industry directly employs more than 1,000 in Wayne County.
- Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Wayne County was $22.3 million.
- State and local tax revenues from travel to Wayne County totaled $12.48 million.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced in May that visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2016. The $22.9 billion in total spending represented an increase of 4.4 percent from 2015.
These statistics are from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2016,” which can be accessed at partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association.
“All eight economic development regions of the state had spending growth of 3 percent or more, and 96 percent of the state’s counties saw direct tourism employment growth from 2015 to 2016,” said Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit North Carolina. “Tourism continues to be major driver of economic development across North Carolina, which is the sixth most-visited state in the country.”
Statewide highlights include:
- State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 5.1 percent to nearly $1.2 billion in 2016.
- Visitors spend more than $62 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds more than $5.1 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.2 million in state taxes and $1.9 million in local taxes).
- The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 219,000 North Carolinians.
- Each North Carolina household saves $497 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state.
Director of Travel & Tourism Goldsboro-Wayne County
919-734-7922 │ firstname.lastname@example.org
+$20M Economic Impact from 2017 Wings Over Wayne Airshow
Top Air Show Accounts for More Than $20 Million in Economic Impact
GOLDSBORO, NC – A newly released report from the Travel & Tourism Department for the City of Goldsboro and Wayne County reveals the estimated economic impact for the 2017 Wings Over Wayne held at Seymour Johnson AFB on May 20th & 21st was in excess of $20 million.
The report quantified the economic benefits generated from overnight travel and day visitors. Based on the responses of 351 surveys, the report also provides insight on the air show audience and how successful the marketing efforts were to attract attendees.
The Office of Public Affairs for Seymour Johnson AFB announced Saturday’s crowd estimate was 130,000 visitors, with an additional 100,000 people visiting on Sunday. In 2015, the total crowd estimate for both days was 205,000, which makes the turnout for 2017 Wings Over Wayne Air Show the best in the history of Seymour Johnson AFB.
“Wings Over Wayne was a great event and had a tremendous impact on our local economy,” said Goldsboro City Manager Scott Stevens. “I continue to be impressed with the outstanding working relationship we have at all levels with Seymour Johnson AFB.”
The report shows more than half of the visitors attended Wings Over Wayne for their first time in 2017, and nearly 65% of all visitors travelled more than 50 miles to experience the air show. Jennifer Wickes, the Director of Sales for the Towneplace Suites by Marriott Goldsboro, confirms “Being the host hotel for the Blue Angels was an awesome experience! We had a stellar week being sold out due to so many travelers and groups coming in for the Wings over Wayne Air Show. This air show was the biggest yet to date.”
In 2016, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base contributed $705 million to Wayne County’s economy and generated 9,369 jobs. Furthermore, events such as 916th ARF UTA weekends, graduations, promotions, PCS transitions, deployments, and retirements generated $7.5 million for area hotels.
Maj. Matthew “Cain” Olde was the 2017 Air Show Director. He credits the success of this year’s show to keeping the focus on the customer experience. “We really appreciate the support of all the businesses and all our friends and family in Goldsboro and Wayne County,” says Cain, “and I want them to know we will continue to work hard to involve them in the planning and execution of future WOWs.” Wings Over Wayne Air Show is held in odd numbered years with the next show scheduled for 2019. Dates for WOW 2019 to be announced soon.
For more information, contact:
Ashlin Glatthar, Director
919-734-2213 or email@example.com
Goldsboro Wayne County Travel & Tourism
Goldsboro-Wayne Honored For Military Support
The Association of Defense Communities (ADC) and the Defense Communities Caucus announced 10 communities from across the nation as “Great American Defense Communities” for providing unwavering support to service member and military families.
Goldsboro/Wayne County was honored as the only community in the State of North Carolina with this distinction. The formal announcement was made on Monday and Jimmie Edmundson, Chairman of Friends of Seymour Johnson AFB and City of Goldsboro Councilman Bill Broadaway were in attendance for the announcement. The named communities will be formally recognized throughout 2016 at a variety of events held in Washington, D.C., including an exhibit and reception at Capitol Hill.
The Great American Defense Communities program was launched this year to acknowledge the unique contributions cities, counties and regions that host installations make to improve quality of life for service members, veterans and their families. This inaugural class of communities was selected by a panel of defense community advocates and experts from dozens of nominees based on the broad range of efforts that carry out on behalf of military personnel and their families, covering areas such as education, job opportunities, housing, family support during deployments and community appreciation.
Colonel Mark Slocum, Commander, 4th Fighter Wing of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base shared his thoughts on the community and its support in a letter dated February 3rd stating, “Prior to taking command here in the summer of 2014, I heard that Seymour Johnson AFB enjoyed incredibly strong community support, but I have come to realize over my last 20 months of command that no community could be a better partner or stronger supporter of the mission, the Airmen and the Airmen’s families. In my 23 years of service, I have never witnessed such support and commitment from a community.”
In addition, letters of support from Congressman G. K. Butterfield and Congressman George Holding advocated for the ADC to take a strong look at the Goldsboro/Wayne County community for their work in ensuring a strong community of support for SJAFB.
Lieutenant General, USAF Steven Kwast stated, “As a commander, I had never seen a community and its leadership so seamlessly integrate with the military chair of command as well as the lives of every family associated with the military.” Inaugural class of honorees includes:
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Okaloosa County, Florida
South Puget Sound, Washington
ADC builds resilient communities that support America’s military. ADC is the connection point for leaders from communities, states, the military and industry on community-military issues and installation management to enhance knowledge, information sharing and best practices. The association includes nearly 300 communities, states, regions and affiliated industry organizations.
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SJAFB Impacts Local Economy
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. — Five months after the United States entered World War II, Seymour Johnson Field, in Goldsboro, North Carolina, activated during the summer of 1942. After the war, in 1946, the installation deactivated.
Led by then Goldsboro mayor, Scott B. Berkley Sr., local community leaders spearheaded a successful campaign to reopen the installation, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base reactivated in 1956.
For nearly 70 years since, the base has been a central part of the community. There have been many advancements, improvements and changes over the years, but one commonality is the support and teamwork between the community and installation.
The base employs approximately 7,000 personnel, including active duty and reserve military members, civilians and private businesses with an overall economic impact for 2014 exceeding $594 million. These figures reflect payroll, appropriated funds, non-appropriated funds and various contracts.
According to Scott Stevens, Goldsboro city manager, there is much more to the picture than numbers alone. The presence of the installation has shaped the community since it first opened.
“When I came here four years ago, I knew the city and county catered to the military because it’s such an important part of our economy,” Stevens said. “What I didn’t realize was that the military was so good to the city and county. I’ve been on teams that didn’t feel like teams because I was always giving, but in the relationship between the city, county and Air Force here, it feels like a team. They do all they can to support the community through volunteerism and supporting local retailers. Everybody I’ve interacted with on base has been phenomenal in trying to help us.”
In the spirit of teamwork, the community supports, and in turn benefits from, several military activities, such as installation construction and inspections, reserve weekends and air shows.
“Anytime there’s something happening on base that requires more than base personnel, or an event is held that attracts new people, it’s going to bring money into Goldsboro,” said Betsy Rosemann, Goldsboro travel and tourism director. “The relationship between city and base is intertwined. That’s what improves our economy.”
One weekend every month, hundreds of reservists assigned to the 916th Air Refueling Wing report to their respective units on base, creating another economic boost, 12 times a year.
According to Rosemann, roughly 500 of those personnel stay in Goldsboro hotels and frequent local restaurants. Room and food sales during these weekends alone account for roughly $140,000 each month.
“The Goldsboro local community has impressed me beyond words since I arrived here in 2013,” said Col. Craig Shenkenberg, 916th ARW commander. “They are so supportive of our Airmen and continually support the military in a way that is second to none. Members of the 916th ARW travel from near and far to serve our nation and we simply could not do what we need to do without the tremendous support of our civilian partners. I have a deep appreciation and admiration for the people of Goldsboro and Wayne County.”
The community also supported the 2015 Wings Over […]