Home for Confederate Veterans Opens in Raleigh

An image of the Home, now held by the State Archives

The Soldier’s Home, in an image held by the State Archives

On February 14, 1891, the North Carolina Confederate Soldiers’ Home was established by an act of the General Assembly.  Attempts to establish the North Carolina Confederate Home Association began in 1884 when veterans, led by Senator Zebulon B. Vance, met in Charlotte.  The effort did not gain momentum until 1889 when the Confederate Veterans Association of North Carolina was incorporated by the General Assembly.

A temporary building was leased briefly on Polk and Bloodworth Streets with funds raised by the Veterans Association, the Wake County Ladies Memorial Association and the Daughters of the Confederacy.  In May 1891 the permanent home at the intersection of Tarboro Road and New Bern Avenue in Raleigh admitted the first occupants. The home sat on the site of the old Pettigrew Hospital and today is home to the headquarters of the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.

To be eligible, veterans had to have served honorably in North Carolina commands of either the Confederate army or navy.  Nearly 1,500 men resided at the home, about a third of whom suffered from war-related wounds or disabilities. Most residents were well into their eighties at the time they were admitted. On August 6, 1938, the last resident left the home to move in with family, and the facilities and the buildings, all named for Confederate generals, fell into disrepair.

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