Many visitors spend the 4th honoring civil war history - WSMV Channel 4

Many visitors spend the 4th honoring civil war history

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -  "We've had family fight in the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and it's just important to see the sacrifices families have made," said Stephanie Lawrence.

Lawrence is visiting the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park with her family on Friday. From the Washington D.C. area, Lawrence wanted to spend the holiday learning about American history.

"We enjoy going and learning about history and educating our kids," she said.

"I like the pictures of the Battle of Chattanooga," said seven-year-old Evan Lawrence.

But between the pictures and more than 700 monuments, maintaining the park is a lot of work. The National Park Service called Chattanooga "one of America's threatened Civil War battlefields" and awarded the park an $830,000 preservation grant on Wednesday. It will help restore 48 acres on the battlefield.

"Here it is, 150 years later," said Raymond Closs, visiting from Sacramento, Ca. His ties to the battlefield span several generations.

"He was killed in the battle in 1863, on the first day of the battle," Closs said of his great-great uncle, a Welsh immigrant-turned-Union soldier.

"When the immigrants got off the boat on Ellis Island, they were immediately called up and sent on to the war just to get the citizenship," Closs said.

The history lessons at the battlefield are timeless, Lawrence said.

"How people think freedom is so important, and the sacrifices people have made through generations," she said.
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