I was resting and reading today’s issue of The Free Lance-Star which reported that the National Park Service has set aside $1.6 million to rehabilitate exhibits at the Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville Visitor’s Centers. This is tremendous news and I am sure that they will use it to create something wonderful for the Civil War Sesquicentennial. As a local resident, historian, and private guide, I have often wondered when the NPS was going to update and expand their current exhibits. Over the last few years we have seen great additions to the National Park’s presentation of this area’s history including new interpretive markers, regional history books, sanctioned blogs and locally televised films. This coupled with the outstanding staff which includes Russ Smith, John Hennessy, Eric Mink, Frank O’Reilly and Donald Pfanz makes the Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania Military Parks among the best in the nation. I for one cannot wait to see what they come up with.
I did want to mention that I am compiling material for my speech on the 123rd PA Volunteers which will be delivered at the Carnegie-Carnegie Civil War Weekend on April 30th. My friends at the NPS have already provided me with four, fascinating diaries from members of the 123rd. This talk will be followed by a special screening of The Angel of Marye’s Heights documentary followed by a Q&A with me. We will have copies of the DVD for sale at the theater. See the ACFL&MH Press Release for full details. I also received an email from a middle school teacher in CA who is interested in using our film for her Civil War class in the spring. We are looking at putting something special together for the kids. Stay tuned. That’s all I can muster this week.