Grant PaintingCivil War enthusiast and amateur historian Jim Stark will discuss the American Civil War’s 1864 Battle of the Wilderness in his presentation, “Grant Goes East and Meets Lee on the Battlefield,” Thursday, June 5, 6:30 p.m. at the Northfield Historical Society. The event is free and open to the public.

Stark, a former president of the Northfield and Rice County historical societies, will discuss Ulysses S. Grant’s appointment as general of all Union armies and his subsequent decision to direct the Army of the Potomac in the eastern theater of battle. “This brought the two most prominent generals of the Civil War — Grant and the South’s Robert E. Lee — in direct conflict for the first time,” explains Stark. The Battle of the Wilderness commenced on May 4, 1864.

“Both North and South fought many battles with heavy losses on both sides and neither side would back down,” says Stark. “Many believed that the war’s outcome was in the balance that summer of 1864.”

The Northfield History Month celebration includes a number of events that will end with a festive fireworks display July 4. In addition, local stores will display historic photos from the Save the Depot organization that document the rich history of the role of railroads in the area’s thriving agricultural businesses and industries.

Nearly all of the remaining scheduled events are free and open to the public, including a  free admission day to the Northfield Historical Society museum:
June 19: “A Beacon So Bright: The Life of Laurence McKinley Gould” presentation
June 22: Free admission to the Northfield Historical Society museum
June 26: Opening of “Northfield Wheels: A History of the Automobile” exhibit featuring a show by the Sundowners Car Club
June 27: History Mystery Pub Crawl in Northfield
July 2: Books and Stars with the historic Fort Snelling Band
July 4: Vintage baseball game
July 4: Fireworks

For more information about these programs visit the event page or call NHS at 507-645-9268.

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