Old Times Not Forgotten: Reporter Embarks on a 600-Mile Tour of the Civil War

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NEW YORK (AP).- A hush fell over the crowd filling the elegant hall in downtown Richmond, Va. The vote was about to be announced, and a young staffer of the Museum of the Confederacy balanced his laptop across his knees, poised to get out the news as soon as it was official. Who would be chosen “Person of the Year, 1861”? Five historians had made impassioned nominations, and the audience would now decide. Most anywhere else, the choice would be obvious. Who but Abraham Lincoln? But this was a vote in the capital of the rebellion that Lincoln put down, sponsored by a museum dedicated to his adversary. How would Lincoln and his war be remembered in this place, in our time? A century and a half have passed since Lincoln’s crusade to reunify the United States. The North and the South still split deeply on many issues, not least the conflict they still call by different names. All across the bloodstained arc where