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A House Divided
Posted at 01:45 PM ET, 09/08/2011

Celebrating a Confederate general’s birthday in Alabama

Gen. Joseph Wheeler ‘s 175th birthday is on Saturday and a crowd is expected to celebrate the event at Wheeler’s Courtland, Ala., home with reenactors, music and barbeque cooked by the local Halleyville camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The event revives a tradition begun by Wheeler’s daughter Annie, who always held an annual celebration of his birthday at Pond Spring until her death in 1955.

It will also provide an opportunity to see the progress made in the restoration of the Wheeler house, Pond Spring, which the general built for his bride Daniella Jones Sherrod when they married in 1866. The house, family cemetery and 50 acres were donated to the state in 1994. When the house officially reopens next year, Wheeler’s Confederate uniform, as well as heavily carved furniture made for the family, will be on display.

The sesquicentennial of the Civil War has rejuvenated an interest in preserving battlefields, historic homes and most anything associated with the war. In Brandon, Vt., the 150-year-old town hall that was finished in time to witness local boys marching off to war is being restored and at Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia, the Civil War Trust announced the preservation of an additional 54 acres the day before the battle’s 150th anniversary. There are also restoration efforts underway for memorials in town centers as well as those at the Gettysburg battlefield.

By Linda Wheeler  |  01:45 PM ET, 09/08/2011

 
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