Alan Zirkle photographed historians Frank O'Reilly and Greg Mertz delivering the Meagher sword from the Irish Embassy to the Fredericksburg park last year. Below, a close-up view of the finely crafted sword's hilt, decorated with an American eagle.
Come Monday, a great Civil War talisman will vanish from public view. A sword owned by Union Brig. Gen. Thomas Meagher, commander of the legendary Irish Brigade, can be seen through Sunday at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center off Lafayette Boulevard. And then, no more.