Past is Prologue

Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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Public invited tonight to briefing on battlefield park

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Russ Smith, superintendent of the area’s four-battlefields-in-one national park, will offer a State of the Park briefing at 7 o’clock tonight in the auditorium of the Headquarters Branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, at 1201 Caroline St. in downtown Fredericksburg.  Area community leaders have been invited, and the general public is welcome.

Smith’s briefing will nearly coincide with the anniversary of the park’s creation.

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, which features portions of the major Civil War battlefields of

Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House, was established by the federal government on Feb. 14, 1927.

In all, the park contains eight units spread over 140 square miles and five area jurisdictions.  Its mission is to preserve

the battlefields and help visitors understand and appreciate the stories of not only of the battles themselves, but of their impact on the local community, Smith said.

His briefing will primarily cover improvements to the park over the last decade, current activities, and future plans to better protect the park and tell its story.  The park is an important part of the area’s tourism community and contributes tens of missions of dollars to the local community each year, Smith said.

Questions can be directed to Russ Smith at 540-372-3032.