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One nation, many stories page 4
The Sesquicentennial's Tangled Web

 The author, John Hennessey, talks to a group of battlefield preservationists about a proposed development near an area Civil War site.
file/ROBERT A. MARTIN/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 8/7/2011

continued

There is no greater laboratory for understanding the Civil War in all its forms than the Fredericksburg region. The experience of this community--a typically tense mix of people free and enslaved joined four times by tens of thousands of warring soldiers--is a vivid lens on a story critical to the health of the nation. A committee of residents has been working on the observance for nearly two years, establishing a vision that tells the whole story, using methods that we hope will make this epoch of our history accessible and engaging for everyone.

The focus will be on the major milestones--the battle anniversaries and the 2012 anniversary of "The Crossing," the exodus of 10,000 slaves to freedom. In between, we will intersperse what we hope are important and interesting events that will engage people from across the spectrum in a four-year conversation about the legacy of the Civil War here.


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LOCAL SESQUICENTENNIAL EVENTS AIM TO SHED LIGHT ON OUR COMPLEX CIVIL WAR HISTORY

John Hennessy is chief historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and former chairman of the Fredericksburg-Stafford-Spotsylvania Sesquicentennial Committee.