Georgia hopes to use Civil War anniversary to boost tourism





The Civil War brought hard times to the southern state of Georgia, with Union troops from the North torching Atlanta and cutting a swath of destruction through the state before delivering Savannah to President Abraham Lincoln as an early Christmas gift on Dec. 22, 1864.

Nearly a century and a half later, state leaders are hoping Georgia's role in the epic conflict will have a much different impact _ drawing in millions of tourism dollars by promoting its Civil War-era sites.

With the 150th anniversary of the war's start approaching in 2011, Gov. Sonny Perdue wants to spend $5 million in this year's state budget to refurbish significant sites and begin linking and promoting them as a comprehensive "heritage tourism" package.



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