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Battlefield monument will soon be open to public

Daily Staff Report

Beginning July 20, members of the public will be able to visit a Civil War monument on the Cedar Creek Battlefield in Middletown that few have ever seen.

National Park Service rangers will have free programs at the 8th Vermont Monument starting at 1 p.m. July 20, and continuing most Tuesdays and Saturdays at 1 p.m. through mid-August, according to a news release from Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.

The monument had been on land that was in private hands until recently, the release states, but is now owned by the park. The Civil War Trust helped the park service in preserving the land, it states.

The monument was put up about 20 years after the Oct. 19, 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek, according to the release, which says the 8th Vermont played a key role.

"Belonging to a brigade of approximately 1,500 men, the regiment sacrificed itself against a Confederate onslaught four times its size during the early morning hours of the battle," the release states.

Park Service Superintendent Diann Jacox states in the release that the park is still being developed, and the monument programs will be the first chance for the public to get unrestricted access to a section of the battlefield.

A park service banner will mark the site, according to the release.

For more information on park programs, visit www.nps.gov/cebe, or call 869-3051.

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