BY TANYANIKA SAMUELS, New York Daily News

The intertwined histories of the Civil War and the Bronx are now playing out in the Museum of Bronx History at the Valentine-Varian House in Norwood.

At the Valentine-Varian House there is an exhibit on the Bronx and the Civil War. The home was built in 1758. Here a museum goer views a display with a union sword. Photo by Richard Harbus, New York Daily News

The exhibit, “The Civil War Comes Home,” features a collection of letters, photographs, sabers, a quilt that kept a Union soldier warm on the battlefield, and other artifacts from the era highlighting war’s impact on the borough.

“People look at the Bronx and see the buildings and real life, but they don’t know the history behind it. But there is so much history [here],” said Angel Hernandez,

Society Educator at The Bronx County Historical Society, which operates the museum.

The exhibit includes a diary kept by William Saward of Morrisania. At age 20, the Union Army soldier was one of the youngest Bronxites to die in the Civil War.

Nearby is a lengthy thank-you letter written in 1863 and sent to Miss Mary Johnson.

The West Farms woman made quilts and sent them off to local soldiers stationed in northern Virginia. Each of the soldiers signed his name.

Among the names is William J. Rasberry, a Union Army soldier, who was one of the first Bronxites to die in the Civil War. The exhibit includes a large rubbing of his headstone, which sits in the Old West Farms Soldiers Cemetery.

The museum’s exhibit is timed to the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States.

“It was important for us to recognize the anniversary because of the influence [the Civil War] had on the Bronx,” Hernandez said. “So many people were proud of our soldiers.”

These are the stories that are so easily lost and forgotten, Hernandez said.

“People have lived here their whole lives and never been here. But once they stop by, they’re amazed,” he said.

“The Civil War Comes Home” curated by Kathleen McAuley, will run through Oct. 2 at the Museum of Bronx History, 3266 Bainbridge Ave. For more information, call (718) 881-8900.

tsamuels@nydailynews.com

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