• Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP

    Cedar Creek & Belle Grove

    National Historical Park Virginia

History at Sunset

IMG_4508

Ranger Shannon Moeck captivates visitors during a History at Sunset Program in 2013.

NPS

These ranger-conducted presentations cover a variety of subjects and provide visitors an opportunity to see sites not normally open, or widely accessible, to the general public. Explore and learn about some of the "hidden gems" of the park and the Shenandoah Valley. Each program is free and lasts between 60 to 90 minutes.

June 27, 7:00 p.m.

The Tragic Deaths of Stephen Ramseur and Charles Lowell: Examples of a Generation Lost

The Civil War was the deadliest in American history, costing the country over
625,000 lives. It particularly devastated a generation of young men, in their
20s and 30s, both North and South.This program examines the lives of two such
men who fought at Cedar Creek and the impacts their deaths had on
their families and communities. Meet Park Ranger Shannon Moeck at the main parking lot
at Belle Grove (336 BelleGrove Road, Middletown, VA).This program will visit
several locations around the park, and thus will involve a carcaravan system
(visitors follow the ranger's vehicle).

July 11, 7:00 p.m.

The Historic Heater Farm: A House Divided

The story of Solomon and Caroline Heater exemplifies the divided loyalties seen in
the Shenandoah Valley before and during the Civil War. Solomon a native of
Virginia supported the southern cause, while his wife Caroline, a native of
Pennsylvania feared what war would bring to her doorstep. Join Ranger Kyle
Rothemich as he explores this personal story of how the Civil War was brought to
the homefront in this special program that will traverse areas of the Cedar
Creek Battlefield not regularly open to the public. Meet at the Cedar Creek
Battlefield Foundation Headquarters (8437 ValleyPike, Middletown, VA).Visitors
will then car pool to the site.Some moderate hiking will be required.Learn about
how the Civil War raged past the Heater's doorsteps, and affected their family
both during and after this American Crisis.

August 1, 7:00 p.m.

"...there burst upon our view the appalling spectacle of apanic-stricken
army..."

The William Dinges Farm (Rienzi Knoll) at Cedar Creek

Known variously as the William H. Dinges Farm, Ripple Farm or Rienzi Knoll, this
historic property witnessed one of the most dramatic episodes of the Battle of
Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864); the arrival of Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan
following his non-stop ride from Winchester. Finding his army broken and
demoralized, Sheridan rallied his troops and launched a devastating counter
attack that afternoon which "snatched victory from the jaws of defeat," turning
Cedar Creek into astunning Union triumph. Yet the farm, recently preserved
through the efforts of the Civil War Trust, traces its history back to the
colonial era of the Shenandoah Valley. Join Ranger Jeff Driscoll for a special
program that will allow the general public access to this property and explore
its history, from the settlement of the Valley through the Civil War. Meet
at
the
National Park Service Visitor Contact Station in Middletown (Middletown Courts,
7712 Main Street). Visitors will then car-pool to the site.

August 15, 7:00 p.m.

Not Just Black and White – Discovering the Complexities of Slavery in the Shenandoah
Valley

This program explores the use of slave labor in the Shenandoah Valley. Learn
how the settlement history, agriculture and iron industries shaped the use of
slavery in this region. This program will take place at the Thorndale Farm,
an example of a typical small family farm that dotted the Valley landscape.
Join Ranger Shannon Moeck for this stationary program at 652 N. Buckton
Road, Middletown, VA 22645. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn
chair.

September 19, 5:00 p.m.

A Tale of Two Cemeteries:Winchester's Mount Hebron and National
Cemeteries

As the Confederates retreated through the town of Winchester the late afternoon of
September 19, 1864, some Southern forces held out on "Cemetery Ridge," where the
town's cemetery was located. Many Confederates who fell during this final stand
would be buried there, in what is now the Confederate section of the Mount
Hebron Cemetery. Later, across the street, the Winchester National Cemetery was
established in 1866. Join Park Ranger Jeff Driscoll as he examines the story of
both cemeteries. Meet at the public parking are aon West Street, located behind
Mount Hebron Cemetery. (West Street can be accessed from either Woodstock Lane
or National Avenue).

September, 26 5:00 p.m.

"Like a caged lion, eager for the fray"

George Custer at theBattle of Cedar Creek

Join Ranger Kyle Rothemich for a special tour highlighting the "Boy General" at Cedar
Creek. This special program will take visitors through the Battle of Cedar Creek
with an emphasis on George Custer's role, his relationship with General Philip
Sheridan and the overall use of cavalry during the engagement. Custer's
aggressive and flamboyant traits were both exhibited during this stunning Union
victory. This car-caravan tour will take visitors to parts of the park that are
rarely seen to explore Custer's crucial role in the battle. Meet at
the
Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Headquarters (8437 Valley Pike, Middletown,
VA)
.

October 17, 5:00 p.m.

The Historic Heater Farm: A House Divided

The story of Solomon and Caroline Heater exemplifies the divided loyalties seen in
the Shenandoah Valley before and during the Civil War. Solomon a native of
Virginia supported the southern cause, while his wife Caroline, a native
ofPennsylvania feared what war would bring to her doorstep. Join Ranger Kyle
Rothemich as he explores this personal story of how the Civil War was brought to
the home front in this special program that will traverse areas of the Cedar
Creek Battlefield not regularly open to the public. Meet at flag poles located
at the Cedar Creek battlefield pull-off along Route 11, south of Middletown,
Virginia. Some moderate hiking will be required. Learn about how the Civil War
raged past the Heater's doorsteps, and affected their family both during and
after this American Crisis.

October 24, 4:00 p.m.

Cedar Creek: The Aftermath

After the Battle of Waterloo, the victor, the Duke of Wellington said, "The only thing
worse than a battle lost is a battle won." With nearly 50,000 casualties strewn
across that bloody field, the famous British general's words certainly rang
true. But that is the case with any battle. Join Ranger Jeff Driscoll as he
examines the aftermath of the Battle of Cedar Creek. Meet at
the
main parking lot at Belle Grove (336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown,
VA)
. This program will visit several locations around the park, and thus will involve a
car caravan system (visitors follow the ranger's vehicle).

Did You Know?

Close-up thumbnail image of a Parrott Gun

Two future U.S. presidents fought at the Battle of Cedar Creek: Col. Rutherford B. Hayes and Capt. William McKinley. Hayes was promoted to brigadier general for his services at the battle and was elected president in 1876. McKinley won his bid for the White House in 1896.