Civil War Debate Reenacted At The State House

04/07/11 12:44PM By Jane Lindholm, Ross Sneyd
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VPR/Stefan Hard/Times Argus
Senate President John Campbell (left) Lt. Governor Phil Scott & House Speaker Shap Smith at the reenactment.
Next week the nation will observe the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Vermont kicked off four years of observances with a re-enactment of the state’s decision to support the war.

In April 1861, President Lincoln called on the states for troops and money. In response, Vermont Governor Erastus Fairbanks brought the Legislature into an “extra session” to commit soldiers and funds to the Civil War. At the Statehouse, today’s political leaders dressed in period costume to play the parts of their 1861 predecessors.

Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott donned a beard and stove pipe hat to play Governor Fairbanks. House Speaker Shap Smith filled the role of then-Speaker Augustus Hunton. And Senate President John Campbell sported mutton-chop sideburns to play the part of then-Lieutenant Governor Levi Underwood.

Click Listen to hear a selection of the reenactment.

Click Additional Audio to hear the entire reenactment

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