Press Release

For Immediate Release: October 28, 2014

“Letters from the Front” Memorial Ceremony Will Honor Civil War Veterans, Nov. 12

Civil War letters exhibit, Union County NJ

View a new display of Civil War correspondence in the Civil War Exhibition at the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth on Wednesday, November 12. Beginning at 2:00 p.m., these poignant records of the great conflict will be read aloud in a commemorative ceremony.

ELIZABETH, NJ – The Union County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee invites the public to attend a free memorial ceremony honoring Civil War veterans, entitled “Letters from the Front,” and view a new display of Civil War correspondence in the Civil War Exhibition at the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth on Wednesday, November 12, beginning at 2:00 p.m.

“Union County is honored to have veterans and relatives of veterans participate in this special Civil War memorial event as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1861-65 conflict,” said Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi, chairman of the committee. “We welcome visitors to the Courthouse to learn more about the experiences of Union County residents during the Civil War through correspondence between members of the military and their families.”

Among the scheduled speakers on Nov. 12 will be Henry Bassman, commander of American Legion Lindsey-Street Post 322 in Summit; Berley Hanna Jr., past-commander of American Legion Post 499 in Rahway; Army veteran Vincent DeTrolio, former Union County Undersheriff; Navy veteran Lester Sargent, former Chief Warrant Officer in the Union County Sheriff’s Office; Janice Robner Black of Union and Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi, both of whom will read letters written by their relatives.

“Letters from the Front” will include Civil War soldiers’ correspondence from Chauncey Harris of Elizabeth, Edward C. Jones of Plainfield, Walter Morrel Bramhall of Rahway, John D. Hamilton of New Brunswick, Peter Vredenburgh Jr. of Monmouth County, and Alfred Atkins of Ulster County, New York. Music will be provided by Deborah Schnaph, Mel Freda and Mary Heller. Committee member Tom Plante will read a selection from the Civil War writings of poet Walt Whitman.

The memorial ceremony “Letters from the Front” will be presented in the Courtroom of the Hon. Karen M. Cassidy, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court, at 2:00 p.m. To reserve a seat for the lecture, please call 908-527-4999.

The Civil War Exhibition is on display until 2015 in the rotunda of the Union County Courthouse, 2 Broad Street in historic midtown Elizabeth. The exhibit may be viewed weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The displays will change from time to time. Anyone wishing to loan historical artifacts from the Civil War era for the exhibit can contact committee member Katherine Craig at 908-282-7617. All objects will be secured, locked and acknowledged.

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