CRANFORD, NJ - April is the end of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a four-year conflict claiming some 750,000 American lives. Although no known citizens of Cranford were among those who perished, many of the town's residents fought in the war, as well as suffered grievous wounds or debilitating disease. And many participated in the pivotal events leading to the transformative conclusion of that great struggle.

To commemorate this important period in our nation's history, the Cranford Historical Society has scheduled several public events in April, including an exhibit at the Cranford Library, which will run through the month.

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Included in the exhibit will be a timeline of the last year of the war, noting some of the key battles and Cranford citizens who fought in them. Also on display will be original Civil War letters written by Cranford justice Wesley Rogers Batchelder, who witnessed the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, in Washington. An additional feature of the library display will be a grouping of original Southern documents, never before exhibited, showing the treatment of African Americans before, during and after the Civil War.

To complement the library exhibit, Civil War historian Steven Glazer will speak at the Crane-Phillips House Museum about Cranford's role in bringing an end to the war. His illustrated presentation will take place on Sunday, April 12, at 2:15 p.m. Doors open at 2 p.m. Admission is free but reservations are required. To R.S.V.P. call the Historical Society's office at 908-276-0082 or email cranfordhistoricalsociety@verizon.net.

A companion article to the library exhibit and museum presentation will be in the Spring issue of "The Mill Wheel," the Cranford Historical Society's newsletter received by all members of the organization. Glazer will also be addressing the sixth-grade students of Orange Avenue School during April regarding Cranford's Civil War heritage.