Hobby led to museum display

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 11, 2011

By Joanie Morris
For the Salisbury Post
It’s not every day that visitors at the Rowan Museum get to see what the battle at Grant’s Creek looked like. After all, there aren’t any pictures of the battle and all anyone has to go on are historic recountings of the event.
But now, thanks to Steve Wise, visitors at the Rowan Museum’s new Civil War exhibit can see what may have happened at Grant’s Creek when Major Gen. George Stoneman led his raid on Confederate supply trains and took over Salisbury April 12-13, 1865.
“This is what it may have looked like (at Grant’s Creek),” said Wise.
“These are the positions, the soldiers and the battery,” he added, gesturing to his glassed display in the Rowan County Civil War exhibit at the Rowan Museum. “This is only a small part.”
Wise admits it’s a generalization of what the battles may have looked like, but he researched the raid at Grant’s Creek extensively, and used the information to build his table-top display.
While there is no customization — maiming and killing of his toy soldiers — there are wounded soldiers and horses, and Confederate and Union soldiers are displayed in the correct colors.
Wise got into toy soldiers as a child, he said.
“The reason I got into toy soldiers was I tried building models as a child and had no aptitude for it,” he said. He definitely has an aptitude for toy soldiers.
The reconstruction of the battle at Grant’s Creek includes where soldiers fought, and where the battle spilled onto train tracks.
Even rocks and other natural barriers are included on the display.
“They’re a lot of fun,” Wise said. “You can set them up, knock them down and build the world up again.”
Contact Joanie Morris at 704-797-4248.