New Civil War Exhibit Opening in Lynchburg

    Reporter: Mark Kelly l Videographer: Brian Whitesell

    Lynchburg, VA - Take a step inside the Lynchburg Museum now, and you might not recognize it. For weeks, curators have been busy piecing together a brand new exhibit, and it wasn't easy setting it up.

    It's called An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia - and we got a sneak peak.

    The exhibit takes up four rooms and it's been five years of planning for it. The grand opening is this Saturday. We were with crews earlier this week when they were on deadline setting it up.

    The Civil War is the lynchpin of American history. Its stories are at times difficult to hear. Recreating the war isn't much easier.

    "This was floor to ceiling covered with crates," said Doug Harvey, director of Lynchburg Museum.

    "You had to make room just to unpack a crate. It was fun," said Greg Krueger, curator at the Lynchburg Museum.

    Krueger and crews worked furiously for weeks setting up the exhibit. And out of the gate, the project had a big hurdle to jump.

    "The storm was interesting," said Krueger.

    The June windstorm blew in the same day the artifacts rolled in on two big tractor trailers. Little power meant no elevator, and no air conditioning for setting up. But crews were armed with the willpower to finish the exhibit on time.

    "It was tough work, but we labored on. You just try to keep a smile on your face, keep a full cup of coffee, and have at it," said Krueger.

    "We were on a deadline and we knew we had to meet it," said Harvey.

    And the result of all that hard work - gems from the Civil War all in one place. The history can, at times, feel intimidating.

    "You are handling artifacts that can sometimes be very stressful to handle," said Krueger.

    The Lynchburg Museum is honored to host the exhibit and share the stories.

    "The stars all lined up for us and we are very fortunate," said Harvey.

    The Lynchburg Museum isn't paying a dime for this exhibit - and that's rare.

    Several organizations like the Virginia Historical Society, the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities help fund it. You can check it out for the first time this Saturday at 10 a.m. It will be around through November.

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