EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

September 20, 2013

Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard begins 2-day event tomorrow

LAWRENCE — A tombstone at the Bellevue Cemetery tells the story of John Kendall Norwood, one of the city’s honored Civil War soldiers.

“Wounded at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863 and carried ball until death,” reads the inscription about Norwood, who came home to become a prominent business man and lived to be 77 years old while carrying inside him the bullet that pierced his right lung during the historic battle.

Norwood and close to 100 other Lawrencians who fought at Gettysburg — including six who were killed in action or later died from their wounds — will be the focus of the 11th annual Civil War Weekend being hosted by the Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard. More than two dozen Civil War re-enactors from Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Maryland are expected to participate in the two-day event that begins on the Campagnone Common tomorrow.

This year’s program also features a showing of the popular 1989 Civil War movie “Glory,” which can be viewed on the common at 7 p.m. tomorrow. The movie dramatizes the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first all-African American U.S. Army unit during the Civil War, which was led by its white commanding officer Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. In the event of inclement weather, the movie will be moved inside of City Hall.

The annual event draws a regional audience of people interested in the Civil War history, particularly local aspects. But its organizers also include activities for children: a children’s muster and games at 1 p.m. tomorrow and a children’s pie eating contest at 2 p.m. Sunday — both on the common, which will resemble a Civil War campground for “Union soldiers” who will be part of a living history display over the weekend.

As in past years, local visitors will be able to check and see whether they had an ancestor from Lawrence who served in the Civil War or who was buried in one of the local cemeteries, according to Elizabeth Charlton, vice president of the Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard. Information desks inside City Hall and on the common will provide public access to a collection of military records and other information about Lawrence soldiers.

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