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Hale Farm Civil War Weekend brings history to life

The diverse stories of the 1860's, including a Cleveland connection, were on display in Bath, Ohio

BATH, Ohio — There were fifes and drums, and scenes from both Confederate and Union camps. Hale Farm and Village came to life on this Civil War weekend. 

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These re-enactors marched out of history and on to the battlefield. The Blue and the Gray, fighting. Brother against brother. The sounds of cannon and rifle echoed through the Cuyahoga Valley, as spectators lined the fences along the battlefield. But there were different voices to be heard.

Like Dred Scott. "How old is your children?" asked Scott, who is actually actor Richard Josey. He portrays the slave and tells the stories of his struggles, in character, up to and including the famous supreme court case. 

"The ruling came down to the fact that the black man or black people didn't have any rights that the white man was bound to respect and that was the final nail in the coffin in regards to race and race relations in the time frame", said Josey, who is from Virginia just like Dred Scott. 

Another one of the featured Voices from the Past has a deep Cleveland connection. Do you know the story of Sarah Lucy Bagby Johnson? 

Robin Pease does "She was one of the last fugitive slaves to be surrendered by the North and returned to the South under provisions of the fugitive slave law and it happened in Cleveland, Ohio". 

Pease tells Bagby-Johnson's story of being arrested by marshals and tried, and ultimately returned to her owner in Virginia in 1861 shortly before the Civil War began. She was liberated during the war and returned to Cleveland where she lived with her husband. She is buried in Woodland Cemetery and the words "UNFETTERED AND FREE" are on her headstone. 

These voices from the past connect us to history, shedding a light on a very dark time in America's past, hopefully leading to understanding. Robin agrees. 

"Out of many, we are supposed to be one. and so I think the history of all peoples, especially the history of our own country, all the people here, should be known." 

So does Richard. "I'd like to say that this sets a model how people from two different worlds can grow and learn from each other and become, just get to a point where where less separated and have a sense of oneness."

There's still much to learn.

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