HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Hagerstown is making the most of its crossroads connections as the host city for a Civil War seminar.

A group from nearby Chambersburg, Pa., chose the western Maryland city as home base for a four-day program exploring the battles of First Manassas and Ball’s Bluff in neighboring Virginia.

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After two days of field trips, participants are settling in Friday for a series of lectures at the Ramada Plaza Hotel near the junction of interstates 70 and 81.

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The talks will be followed by an auction of Civil War books, prints and memorabilia.

The program is presented by Chambersburg Civil War Seminars and Tours. The group says it has raised more than $135,000 for battlefield preservation since 1989.

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