Under the Dome

Gen. William Sherman meets his Southern belle in Raleigh

Actor Ira David Wood III cites North Carolina barbecue as the reason he didn’t burn Raleigh to the ground as he portrays Union General William Tecumseh Sherman at an event at the Governor’s Mansion on Monday commemorating the 150th anniversary of the surrender of the city.
Actor Ira David Wood III cites North Carolina barbecue as the reason he didn’t burn Raleigh to the ground as he portrays Union General William Tecumseh Sherman at an event at the Governor’s Mansion on Monday commemorating the 150th anniversary of the surrender of the city. cseward@newsobserver.com

Ira David Wood III, playing Union Gen. William T. Sherman on Monday, gave the real scoop on why the famous military figure returned to Raleigh 150 years after capturing the city at the end of the Civil War.

Wood said that 150 years ago he was met on the outskirts of Raleigh by a Southern belle. The actor said he was back to meet her as he pulled out a picture of Betty Ray McCain, North Carolina Secretary of Cultural Resources under former Gov. Jim Hunt.

“Betty, you and I will meet later at the Wild Turkey Lounge at the Angus Bar,” Wood said to laughter from the crowd at the Executive Mansion.

McCain jokingly shot back that she wasn’t that desperate.

Wood was at the Executive Mansion to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Union occupation of Raleigh on April 13, 1865. The event was also used to announce the N.C. Civil War History Center’s new “100 by 100 – Our State: Our Story” initiative. The center hopes to collect 100 stories from all 100 counties about life in North Carolina before and during the Civil War and during Reconstruction.

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