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A House Divided
Posted at 11:01 AM ET, 09/27/2011

Civil War Highlights: What You Missed

This week past, we told you about the newest property added to Gettysburg National Military Park, a nine-acre parcel that includes the historic Benner house that saw action on the first day of battle. It was also used as a Confederate hospital. Then we had a surprising story about a new count of the war dead taken from census files instead of military records. Traditionally the figure used for those killed on both sides was 620,000 but the new number is 750,000 according to the work done by Binghamton University, N.Y., assistant associate professor J. David Hacker.

Stephen Spielberg has said he will delay the release of his movie "Lincoln" based on the last four months of the president's life until after the next presidential election because he is concerned it would be used for “political fodder.” And finally, in a contest to determine the 10 most endangered historic artifacts in Virginia in a field of 25, three of them were from the Civil War. Voting was done online and closed last week. Results should be announced in a few weeks

After the jump, Civil War events, how the war changed South Carolina, and freemen’s efforts to stay free.

Planning ahead:

Oct. 14 to 16, the 15th annual symposium at Pamplin Historical Park in Petersburg, Va. with seven historians speaking on a variety of subjects including the Civil War in western Virginia, the formation of the Confederate government and Gen. William T. Sherman in Kentucky. The registration fee of $224 for members and $249 for non-members includes the lectures, the Friday night reception, two continental breakfasts, two lunches and the Saturday night banquet. Reservations are required.

That same weekend, Oct. 15 and 16, is the 23rd annual reenactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek on the actual battlefield in Middletown, Va. This is one of the best organized battle reenactments in the country with thousands of infantry, cavalry and artillery re-enactors, plenty of parking and a good spectator area. It is sponsored by the non-profit Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundations. The ticket price is $15 per day or $20 for the weekend; seniors, military and students are half that price.

Must reads from other publications:

The State in Columbia, S.C., has a hard-hitting piece on nine ways the war changed and continues to affect the state, one of the wealthiest before the war that was reduced to poverty after the war and is even now one of the poorest in the country.

The New York Times continues its Disunion series with a piece by historian Adam Arenson on an unusual effort made by freemen to stay free during the war. If a freeman could find an white ally to sign a free negro bond, it attested to the status of the African-American as a free person and obligated him and his co-signer to pay a $500 bond if he got into trouble. The legal document was one way to hopefully avoid being kidnapped and sold into slavery.

By Linda Wheeler  |  11:01 AM ET, 09/27/2011

 
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