Reconstruction Speaker Series 2017

Black and white photo showing stark landscape with wooden white headboards in rows
The original headboards in the Fredericksburg National Cemetery, which was established in 1866

NPS Photo

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News Release Date: August 24, 2017

Contact: John Hennessy, 540-693-3200 x 4010

National Park Service, Central Rappahannock Regional Library Announce:
Years of Tumult: A Sesquicentennial Speakers’ Series on Reconstruction
Fredericksburg, VA -- The National Park Service—Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park—and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library once again announce a speakers’ series—this one focused on the tumultuous years following the Civil War. The series will feature Dr. Jeff McClurken of the University of Mary Washington, and Emmanuel Dabney, Frank O’Reilly, Beth Parnicza, Becky Oakes, and John Hennessy of the National Park Service. The programs will explore how Reconstruction played out in Virginia and the Fredericksburg region. The series will rotate through the CRRL main branch in downtown Fredericksburg, the Salem Church Branch, and the England Run Branch.
All programs will begin at 7 p.m. and will last approximately an hour. All are free. 
September 7Main Branch, 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, 22401.  Going Home: War's End. Dr. Jeff McClurken, University of Mary Washington. This program will explore the return of Confederate soldiers to their homes in Virginia and their difficult transition from Confederates to Americans once again.  
September 25Salem Church Branch, 2607 Salem Church Road, Spotsylvania, 22407. The Past Living in Them: Veterans Coping with Civil War  Frank O'Reilly, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP. This program will look at how veterans remembered and wrote about their experiences in war.  
October 5, Main Branch, 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, 22401: The Freedmen’s Bureau in Virginia. Emmanuel Dabney, Petersburg National Battlefield. Mr. Dabney's extensive work in the records of the Freedman's Bureau reveals how the bureau worked in Virginia--its methods, its challenges, and its legacy.  
October 19England Run Branch, 806 Lyons Blvd., Stafford, 22406:  A Troubled Place:  Reconstructing Fredericksburg. Rebekah Oakes and Elizabeth Parnicza, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. A look at the immediate postwar years in Fredericksburg and the ravaged landscapes surrounding the town.  
November 2Main Branch, 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, 22401.   Hallowed Places: Remembering and Forgetting and a Nation Moving Forward. John Hennessy, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. This program will look at how the nation viewed, treated, and understood the hallowed grounds of Virginia, and how those uses have evolved over time.  

Download a PDF of the press release 

Last updated: August 26, 2017

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