Soldiers in New Bern planted trees in the midst of war

“The city park movement, instigated by Andrew Jackson Downing, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in the 1840s and 1850s, demonstrated that Americans needed to balance city life with healthful interactions with nature….

“In the context of the landscape of war, which transformed forests into camp villages seemingly overnight and often seemed to wipe out all vegetation and animal life, soldiers sought to reinsert nature into their lives by planting flowers and especially transplanting trees.

“Ensconced in camp near New Bern, North Carolina, in 1863, George Troup and his brother, Charles, worked on two different tree transplantation projects….”

— From “Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War” by Megan Kate Nelson (2012)

Is anyone else startled to read of such a landscaping project in the midst of war? How long might the Troup brothers’ trees have survived?

 

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