Wednesday, November 14, 2018

3300 Hwy 82 Dunn, NC 28334
P.O. Box 1811 Dunn, NC 28335

(910) 891-5019

Click Here To Watch a Video on the History of Averasboro

As with many historical sites, Averasboro relies on contributions and sponsors to conduct ongoing operations. Museum costs, grounds maintenance, cemetery care, and historical events cost more each year. As interest grows in the Averasboro story, the demands for facilities, signage, security and safety items, and other means to provide historical education also increase.

The ABCI Board, officers, and volunteers of Averasboro Battlefield and Museum welcome any contribution you may consider to assist in continuing this worthy cause. There are many ways to contribute, some of which are membership, sustaining sponsorship, event sponsorship, and donations.

ABCI, the managing entity for the Averasboro Battlefield and Museum, is a non-profit 501(c) 3 corporation. Since no valuable amenities are given with this membership, your membership dues/donations may be fully tax deductible.  Consult with your accountant to determine your deduction. 

Averasboro Battlefield Commission Receives Donation of Piano

One never knows where the power of a hunt for an ancestor’s historical records will lead once the hunt has begun! Such a hunt was brought to fruition recently with a generous donation to the Averasboro Battlefield Commission, Inc. (ABCI) Joe Sanford from Hillsdale, Michigan, had for a number of years wondered about circumstances involving his greatgrandfather, William Henry Sanford, who was an infantry soldier who fought in the Civil War for the Union army, and who was severely wounded in the Battle of Averasboro, losing a leg. Sanford had bits and pieces of information regarding his greatgrandfather, some information from his father and grandfather, but never any real, identifiable information which could pinpoint the circumstances of his great-grandfather’s injury at this battle called the Battle of Averasboro. As fate would have it, Sanford visited the Averasboro Battlefield Museum a couple of years ago, and lo and behold, he picked up a book entitled “Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign from Fayetteville to Averasboro” and there on page 197, he found a notation mentioning his great-grandfather. Joe at that point had a passion to help the all-volunteer group of the Averasboro Battlefield Commission with their mission of preserving history for future generations in a significant way.

RICK ROTH MAKES GENEROUS DONATION - The William T. Smith House was used as a field hospital during the Battle of Averasboro for the Union army, and history states that General Sherman’s troops used the square-shaped piano as an operating table to treat Union soldiers who had been injured in the battle. The ABCI recently purchased the William T. Smith house and is currently working to restore it to its condition at the time of the battle, including furnishings, and is making it into a Transportation Museum.

When Sanford returned to his home community, he remembered that his boss, Rick Roth, owned a piano similar to the one described in the book. HE thought he would take a chance and ask his boss what he planned to do with the piano. His boss said that he was selling the house, and when the house was sold he would have to determine where the piano goes. After Sanford explained to Roth the significance of a similar piano to treat the injured in the Battle of Averasboro, he asked Roth if he would consider donating the piano to a small group of volunteers in North Carolina who were trying to preserve history for future generations, particularly Civil War history of the Battle of Averasboro. Roth enthusiastically agreed to make the donation to the Averasboro Battlefield Commission.

Though the probable opening date of the Transportation Museum is at least two years in the future, Sanford wished to bring the piano down to the ABCI now.

SANFORD PLAYS THE DONATED PIANO IN NC - On Friday, April 4, Mr. Sanford completed his journey by bringing the piano from Michigan to North Carolina. The piano is of unique design, rectangular in shape, manufactured over 150 years ago by the manufacturer, Mathushek, since gone out of business. The unusual square shape and height obviously, convinced General Sherman’s surgical team to use the piano as an operating table. The piano would be a very nice piece of furniture, even if it could not sound a note, but Sanford, who is an accomplished pianist, demonstrated the magnificence of it as a musical instrument by playing it, once the piano was located in its temporary home, Friday, April 4, 2008. The value of the piano can not be exactly placed (the value of such an antique is determined by the price a purchaser is willing to pay for it), but a similar one found advertised on e-bay was valued at $6,500.

ABCI PRESIDENT MAC WILLIAMS ASKS LOCAL HISTORY LOVERS TO DEMONSTRATE GENEROSITY - Mac Williams, president of the ABCI, said of the generous donation by Rick Roth and the in-kind donation of Joe Sanford in making the long trek from Michigan to North Carolina with it, “The power of this generous donation and the transportation of it by Joe Sanford are overwhelming. Their contributions are a fine example for our local friends and supporters of the Averasboro Battlefield. May our local friends seek ways to help us also. It is an expensive undertaking to do what we do. Remember, our volunteers love history and the preservation of it for future generations. Our motto is ‘preserving the past for the future.’”