The park developers are very interested in the Civil War history of Dix Hill. Besides the war-era hospital and the presence of fortifications during the war, Dix Hill was the encampment site of the Federal 20th Corps under Gen. Joseph A. Mower, after the surrender of the city on 13 April 1865. The story of the fortifications belongs to Raleigh's Black history as well, as state authorities conscripted between 200 and 300 free and enslaved Black workers to do the work. Some of us Civil War students think there is a good potential for historical and archaeological study at the park, and incorporation of Civil War-era history as a feature of the park as its development unfolds over the next several years.
The following map of the Raleigh entrenchments is in the possession of the U.S. National Archives. It was drawn by Lt. Col. Henry T. Guion, the engineer who designed the fortifications and supervised their construction between July and October of 1863. The detail map shows where the line of entrenchments ran across Dix Hill. The Dorothea Dix Hospital is the airplane-shaped structure marked "Insane Asylum":
I've developed a Google Map that lays out the historic fortifications on the modern Raleigh landscape. Following is a detail showing where I believe the line of entrenchments ran across Dix Hill. The black lines are stretches of entrenchments dotted with angles. The red point is the location of the Dix Battery. This detail is from my newer (and more exact, I hope) Google Map, which is incomplete and still under development. However, you can see the preliminary version and play around with it via this link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=18wH-6qk3Uuwp6Lj3qWudsWGYiLY3Qae0&usp=sharing
The walking tour was led by the excellent Ernest Dollar, director of the City of Raleigh Museum, accompanied by a group of companion living-history interpreters. Along the way, tour members enjoyed a spirited narrative by Dollar, who told stories of some of the psychiatric patients, soldiers, families, and fortification laborers associated with Civil War-era Dix Hill. Tour stops included a boulder with possible inscriptions by Civil War soldiers, the historic Dix graveyard, the Spring Hill plantation home, and the crossing of the Raleigh entrenchments. Along the way, the tour group passed by a 19th century family enjoying an outing in the park.
Al Roy B.