Virginia’s Civil War 150 HistoryMobile Coming to Virginia Highlands Festival

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History is on the move in Virginia as the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile rolls into Abingdon, VA for a three-day visit from August 8th-10th, 2014.

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History is on the move in Virginia as the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile rolls into Abingdon, VA for a three-day visit from August 8th-10th, 2014. The exhibit, an initiative of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, will be located in front of the red caboose in Depot Square and will be open daily from 10am-6pm. Admission to the HistoryMobile is free.

“We wanted to bring the HistoryMobile to Abingdon in conjunction with the Virginia Highlands Festival and the opening of the An American Turning Point Exhibit at William King Museum of Art,” said Kevin Costello, Director of the Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The History Mobile will be front and center down at the Highlands Festival and we hope to get a big turn out the weekend it is here.” “We also encourage everyone to head over to William King and see the Civil War traveling exhibit on loan from the Virginia Historical Society that will be there starting August 2nd.”

An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia consists of two 1,500 square-foot gallery traveling exhibitions—Waging War and Surviving War—that together feature over 200 objects and 17 state-of-the-art audiovisual programs and will be open to the public at William King Museum of Art from August 2 until February 1, 2015.

The HistoryMobile uses immersive spaces and interactive exhibits to draw together stories of the Civil War and emancipation from the viewpoints of those who experienced it across Virginia—young and old, enslaved and free, soldier and civilian.

Visitors will encounter history in ways they may have never experienced before. The HistoryMobile exhibit is divided into four sections: Battlefront, Homefront, Journey to Freedom, and Loss-Gain-Legacy. From the bewildering sense of chaos experienced by soldiers, to the last letter written by a dying son to his father after sustaining a mortal wound, to a hushed conversation between a husband and wife considering the great risks and rewards of fleeing to freedom, the HistoryMobile presents the stories of real people in Virginia whose lives were shaped by the historic events of the 1860s, and invites visitors to imagine, “What Would You Do?”

The Civil War 150 HistoryMobile crosses the state visiting museums, schools, and special events. Its tour began in July 2011, and since then it has made over 120 stops and attracted visitors from every state and a number of other countries.

In addition to learning more about Virginia's history, the HistoryMobile also provides visitors with information from Virginia Tourism about the many historic sites and destinations that they can explore today. Interactive maps and touch-screen kiosks located at the HistoryMobile help visitors to easily plan their next trip.

The HistoryMobile was named a 2013 Leadership in History Award of Merit winner by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). The award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history. The Award of Merit is one of the nation’s most prestigious recognitions of achievement in state and local history.

The Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission was created by the General Assembly to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Virginia. In addition to the HistoryMobile, the Commission sponsors programs that include a major gallery exhibition that will be installed at seven museums across Virginia, a statewide document digitization program, a highly-acclaimed annual Signature Conference series, an Emmy-nominated documentary, and much more.

More information on the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile and the initiatives of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission can be found at For information on visiting Civil War sites throughout Virginia go to

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Tenille Montgomery
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