Waynesboro Museum Remembers Civil War Generals

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A Waynesboro museum invited the community to celebrate the birthdays of two famous confederate generals.

Volunteers brought the Civil War era to life to make visitors feel like they turned back time.

"I just learned the middle name of Stonewall Jackson was Jonathan," said Shirley Bridgeforth, the President of the Board of Directors for the Waynesboro Heritage Foundation.

Volunteers - including Shirley Bridgeforth - dressed in Civil War era style to commemorate the birthdays of two famous confederate generals, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

Bridgeforth says this is an educational opportunity.

"When you have your history, you know where you came, you know where you're going," Bridgeforth said. "It's that coziness I always speak of that is good."

Lee was born on January 19th and Jackson on the 21st. People gathered in Waynesboro's historic Plumb House Museum Sunday to honor the two men through trivia, tours, and talk about their lives and legends.

"It's probably important to put life to these gentlemen," said Ted Hughes, Waynesboro Heritage Foundation volunteer. "It's easy to go over battle statistics, movements, numbers, dates but the real story of the men is the human story, try to get into their mind as best as we can in this time and figure out how they looked at life."

Bridgeforth says by peeking through their lens on life, people today can learn from the past to shape a promising future.

"The future is unknown and I think we deal with that better if we know where we came," she said.

Organizers had materials for history buffs of all ages to take home. Virginia, of course, honors Lee-Jackson Day as a state holiday on the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.