Over the past few days I’ve been rummaging through research files that cover the history of the Crater during the 1950s and 60s. Thankfully, I’ve been making steady progress on my manuscript revisions. I am playing around with an opening to this post-WWII chapter that tries to imagine what a family would have seen and read between the visitors center and wayside markers at the Petersburg battlefield. Perhaps I will share it with you to get some feedback. Anyway, here are some notes I took while looking at a collection of Civil War Centennial pamphlets.
UVA: Civil War Centennial Information: “Virginia’s Opportunity: The Civil War Centennial, 1961-1965” [published by the Virginia Civil War Commission, Richmond, Va, 1960] Manual was prepared for Civil War centennial committees and teachers “who are trying to interpret the meaning of this momentous era to the youth of Virginia.”
“But the Centennial is no time for finding fault or placing blame or fighting the issues all over again. Americans from every section produced the divisions which led to war. These divisions grew out of hate, greed and fear, ignorance and apathy, selfishness and emotionalism—evils from which this generation is not free.” “This is the time to recognize these divisive forces; but this is also the time to honor dedication and devotion, courage and honor, integrity and faith—qualities plentifully demonstrated in the War of 1861 to 1865—and needed for our survival in the years to come.” (from the Foreward)
Opening day, Sunday, January 8, 1961
Va’s opening day: April 23, 1961 on the day that R.E. Lee accepted command of Virginia armed forces.
“The chief purpose of the Centennial is to strengthen the unity of the country through mutual understanding—an understanding derived from the realization that there was dedication and devotion on both sides. North and South, there were those who gave all they had in support of what they sincerely believed was right.” “In the Centennial the spotlight will be on character in men—for was is the ultimate test of character. The stories of the Civil War are full of lessons for present-day living. By these examples we can teach children and adults the moral values so needed in America today. (p.8) Continue reading →