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‘Civil War Voices’ speaks to area’s role in history

Their contributions are broadly covered in history books. Their individual stories can now be told.

“Civil War Voices of Springfield and Clark County” captures the local perspective of one of the most tense periods in American history.

This special joint fundraising event for the Heritage Center of Clark County and Springfield Stageworks, part of the Spotlight on History Series, will bring new insight through an exhibition and dramatic presentation Friday and Saturday.

“We pick a theme that is part of our local history, something you can learn from you maybe didn’t know before that is educational and fun,” said Bill Schwartz, Heritage Center Development Coordinator.

Friday’s event will begin at 7 p.m. with the opening of a special-themed display at the Heritage Center with complimentary refreshments. The action then moves up the street to the State Theater where Springfield Stageworks will present an original dramatization of “Civil War Voices.”

Former Springfield News-Sun writer and local history enthusiast Tom Stafford wrote the presentation. For years, he’s shared unique stories from the area’s past for newspaper readers.

It stems from letters written by area soldiers to their families, whose ancestors donated the letters to the center.

Following the dramatization, the evening will conclude back at the Heritage Center with dessert and coffee. The cost for Friday’s event is $50 for general admission and $40 for Heritage Center members; tickets are available at the Heritage Center business office.

The dramatization only will be offered again at 8 p.m. Saturday at the State Theater. Admission is $20 and tickets are available at the theater box office.

This is the second year for the Spotlight on History series, Schwartz said. The first focused on the 30th anniversary of the Newsweek Magazine profile of Springfield.

Proceeds raised help fund the center’s ongoing educational and school programs.

“We like to promote our heritage and take pride in our community and do it in a fun way,” Schwartz said.

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