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Chambersburg restores Civil War history

From scrubbing soldiers gravestones, to fake burning down their town, Chambersburg is remembering its past.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. — Chambersburg is restoring their history by scrubbing down one gravestone at a time.

Volunteers from the Cumberland Valley Civil War Roundtable are performing general maintenance and cleaning for over fifty Civil War gravestones at the Mt. Vernon/ Lebanon Cemetery.  The gravesites belong to African American soldiers who served and fought during the civil war.

Tracy Baer, the executive committee member of Cumberland Valley Civil War Roundtable, believes that this was much more than a routine clean-up.

“It’s a show of honor, it’s a show of respect and admiration for what these men suffered and went through," Baer said.

Mike Lentz, a longtime volunteer, believes cleaning these stones not only benefits the soldiers, but also himself. 

"It is for me to honor them. Not only clean the stone, but to find out who they were," said Lentz.

About a mile from the cemetery, a the Market Day Festival took place in downtown Chambersburg. Over 100 vendors and food trucks packed the streets for the Franklin County residents.

Around 9:00 p.m. a historical re-enactment of the 1864 Ransoming, Burning and Rebirth of their town was held. Along with a realistic light show--the quaint, small town re-enacted the flames from the past--when confederate troops were ordered to burn the town down because of an unpaid ransom. 

Jennifer Davis, the Chambersburg downtown business council coordinator, believes this is what bring the town together.

"It's a celebration of our community," said Davis.

 A celebration of the towns darkest hours, but also, one of its greatest triumphs.

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