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Call to arms

South Boston News
Reenactors with the Crossing of the Dan. Below, the Virginia Civil War & Military Show held last year at the museum. / February 07, 2019
War history will be getting a workout this month in Halifax County.

First up is the 238th Anniversary of the Crossing of the Dan, marking the late stage of the “Race to the Dan” that preserved the southern Army of General Nathaniel Greene in the Revolutionary War. The successful crossing of Greene’s forces across the Dan River in South Boston, ahead of the dogged pursuit by British forces under the command of Lord Cornwallis, is considered a precipitating event in Cornwallis’ surrender later that year in 1781, ending British rule over the newfound republic.

The Crossing of the Dan program is set Saturday, Feb. 16 at The Prizery starting at 10 a.m. Keynote speaker for the morning program will be author and historian Carole Watterson Troxler, professor emerita of history at Elon University. The topic of her presentation will be Loyalists in the Southern Backcountry.

The following week, Revolutionary War history will give way to an emphasis on America’s other great homeland conflict — the Civil War — as the South Boston-Halifax County Museum hosts two days of war memorabilia sales and trades.

The Virginia Civil War & Military Show, slated Feb. 23-24, will feature some two dozen exhibitors of Civil War memorabilia — displaying everything from guns and swords to period uniforms and buttons — who will sell, buy and trade items to the public. Admission to the show is $5, with all proceeds going to benefit the museum.

This is the second year for the memorabilia show, which focuses on the Civil War but also will include sale items from other military conflicts in American history. The show was begun last year by Jerry Roxbury, a retired Naval officer who moved to South Boston from Norfolk and now volunteers as the museum’s vice president.

“Naval history has been in my blood and Civil War history is especially what I like doing,” said Roxbury, who explained that he started collecting war memorabilia as a child in grade school. “We had some good success last year for the museum, so we’re going to do it again.”

Roxbury got his start as a show runner and organizer as a member of the Hampton Roads Military Society. It was there that he gained the know-how to stage a memorabilia sale, a skill set that has served him well in bringing the concept to South Boston.

So far, 22 dealers and exhibitors have signed up to man tables at the museum show, and Roxbury said he expects to have a full contingent of 25 exhibitors by the Feb. 23-24 event. Tables can be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis by contacting Roxbury at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The first day of the show, on Saturday, will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with Sunday’s hours set between 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Children under 12 are admitted free with a parent; all others pay $5.

“It all goes to help the museum,” said Roxbury.

The South Boston-Halifax County Museum is on the web at

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