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Jessie Byrd


Jessie Byrd


Most people view land as just property, but land holds the secrets of the past. The land depicted in these photographs has been in my family for generations. It is located in a small town in Harnett County, North Carolina. My father grew up on this land, his parents grew up on this land, and their parents grew up on this land. This land inspired my intellectual interest in history. It spurred my interest because I realized that I wanted to know more about this land I called home and the people who inhabited the land before me. I did not know my grandfather, so by living on the land he once owned and worked, I feel a connection to him. I believe an important aspect of history is being able to understand that one must remember where they came from to know where they are going. It is important to know your roots, and the struggles your ancestors went through to establish the life you live today. Being in the Civil War and Reconstruction in North Carolina class has really made me realize the effort that people of that time put into protecting their property rights and lifestyle especially in the South. I can only imagine the struggle that my great, great grandparents dealt with on the piece of land that I call home today. My interest in history focuses on wartime and the people who endured war. I like the study of how people’s lives were affected by war, and how their lives changed after war. When I am home and spend time on the land that has been in my family for multiple generations, I feel more connected to history than any other time.




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Lillington, North Carolina

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Jessie Byrd, Civil War Era NC, accessed May 26, 2024,