The College of William and Mary has long claimed fame as the “Alma Mater of a Nation,” pre-dating the American Revolution. Now archaeologist say weeks of fresh excavation have uncovered the remnants of earthworks apparently dug by occupying Union troops — new evidence that the colonial-era school had an outsized role in the Civil War.
Buried just beneath the surface lies a reminder that the country’s second-oldest college still bears the scars of America’s bloodiest conflict. Archaeologists in recent weeks have probed a defensive encampment in downtown Williamsburg. It was here that Union forces survived raids by Confederate troops from 1862 to 1865 and kept a small portion of secession-minded Virginia under federal control.
August 10, 2012
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