A Soldier's Walk Home took place from May 11th 2015 to May 23rd 2016. Below you can find a description of the Walk. 

About the Walk

When the Civil War came to an end 150 years ago, Union and Confederate soldiers alike found themselves stationed hundreds of miles from their home. For many, the only option was to walk the return journey. For Washington Duke of Orange County, North Carolina this meant a 135 mile journey from the coastal city of New Bern back to his home in Durham.

From May 11th to 23rd of 2015 Historian and Re-enactor, Philip Brown will be walking the 166 miles from New Bern, North Carolina to Durham, North Carolina. This journey commemorates not only the walk Washington Duke made home from New Bern, but is representative of all North Carolina soldiers who made a journey home after the war.

Philip will be making the journey in period clothing and will be accompanied along the way by fellow re-enactors, veterans, a support team, and any others who wish to join him for this symbolic walk. The walk will begin at Union Point Park in New Bern, NC on May 11th.

Philip will travel along a route similar to that which Washington Duke himself would have taken 150 years before and will be making 11 distinct stops along the way. In each city or town where he stops there will be events which shine the light on local history.  He is scheduled to arrive in Durham on May 23rd at Duke Homestead State Historic Site, as a part of the Memorial Day weekend commemorations.

On this website, you will find the tools to experience Philip’s journey every step of the way. Connect with Philip, those he meets on his walk, and our partner organizations as he tells this untold story.

Map Room

Head on over to our map room where you can find Philip’s route and follow along as he moves towards his goal. As he progresses we will update our map with real time photos, points in history, and links to dispatches from the road. 


Field Reports

Philip will capture his journey in words, photographs, and video. Connect with the places he passes through and the people he meets along the way.



One hundred and fifty years ago Washington Duke returned home from war and started a business which changed his city, his state, and his country. Find out more about the Dukes of Durham as well as local history from Philip’s route and stories of other soldiers who made the long walk home after the war.


Get Involved

There are many ways to be a part of this unique journey. Find ways to donate or sponsor the walk and a list of events that will be taking place along the way. 

Duke Homestead and the Department of Cultural Resources

Duke Homestead State Historic Site preserves and interprets the historic home, farm, and factory buildings of Washington Duke and his family as they lived on the property from 1852 until 1874. Duke Homestead is a part of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Division of State Historic Sites. For a more information about the 27 unique historic sites which make up the division, click here.