2014 Annual Meeting and Symposium

Civil War North Carolina, 1864

Symposium and Annual Business Meeting of the North Carolina Military Historical Society
Saturday, May 10, 2014, NC Museum of History, Raleigh, NC


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Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle Jr. is a native born and bred Wilmingtonian. He attended local schools, including UNC Wilmington from where he graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology. He was the last curator of the former Blockade Runner Museum at Carolina Beach, N.C., before going off to graduate school. He received his M.A. in American history at East Carolina University and his Ph.D. in Civil War studies from the University of South Carolina. Since 1996, Dr. Fonvielle has been teaching in the Department of History at his undergraduate alma mater. He is the author of books and articles on the Civil War and North Carolina, including The Wilmington Campaign: Last Rays of Departing Hope. He and his wife Nancy live in Wilmington, and have two daughters.


Dr. Gary Freeze is a Professor of History at Catawba College, where he takes a hands-on approach to teaching.  He leads his upper division students on numerous out-of-state field trips.  His capstone teaching experience is “Highway 29”, a seminar that goes "on the road" to explore the tangible evidence of the Jeffersonian American past.   Dr. Freeze has written three books in the last decade, the last being Carolina Arcadia: The Story of the Sparkling Catawba Springs.  He is currently at work on two projects:  an eighth-grade social studies text on North Carolina history and culture and a major exhibition on the origins of the Andy Griffith Show for the Mt. Airy Museum of Regional History.  Dr. Freeze’s honors for work in his field include the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the highest achievements for service given in the State of North Carolina and being named Catawba's Teacher of the Year, most recently in 2006.  His ongoing local heritage project in Catawba is considered to be path-breaking in the compilation and writing of county history.

North Carolina native Chris Meekins developed an interest in history from visiting places of historic interest in and around his hometown of Elizabeth City. His curiosity concerning the Civil War era grew out of class work in his undergraduate degree and continued in his graduate studies. North Carolina has a rich Civil War history and Chris was drawn to the story of the Unionists and the Federal occupation of the coast of North Carolina. The story grew in significance when Chris discovered he had two Civil War soldiers for ancestors: one who fought with the Edenton Bell Battery and was in North Carolina as a soldier until the surrender at Bennett Place; the other who joined the North Carolina Union Volunteers and was captured at Beech Grove, North Carolina and died in a prisoner of war camp/ hospital in Richmond, Virginia.


Andrew Duppstadt is the Assistant Curator of Education for the North Carolina Division of State Historic Sites.  He has a BA in history and an MA in public history from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he served as Teaching Assistant to renowned Civil War historian Chris Fonvielle.  Previously, he has worked at the CSS Neuse State Historic Site, Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Tryon Palace Historic Sites and Gardens, and the Carteret County Historical Society.  Andrew also serves as an Adjunct Instructor of History at UNC-Pembroke, Coastal Carolina Community College, and Craven Community College.  He is a founding member and President of a living history group called the Carolina Living History Guild.  Andrew currently lives in Kinston, NC.


A native of Sampson County, Morris “Mo” Bass developed an interest in history at an early age.  He started working at Bentonville Battleground as the “uniformed” interpreter in 1987, continuing part- time there until 1992.  Mr. Bass graduated from Mount Olive College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in History in 1992.  He assisted noted Civil War author Mark Bradley with his research of the physical remains of trenches and other sites in Sampson County for his Bentonville book.  He worked as the Mary Holloway Seasonal Interpreter at Fort Fisher in 1993 and 1994, and as a part-time employee there from 1993-1996.  Hired as an Interpreter I at Fort Fisher in 1996, Mr. Bass worked there from 1996 through 1999.  He was hired as an Interpreter II at the Governor Caswell/ CSS Neuse Historic Site in 1999.   He authored a new Governor Caswell story line to be included on the new Caswell Memorial exhibit panels.  He was promoted to the position of Historical Interpreter III in 2007 at the Caswell/Neuse Site and to his current position of Operations Manager on May 1, 2012.