Special “Entrenchment Tour” Programs
Contact: Eric Campbell, (540) 869-3051
National Park Service and Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Announce
Special "Entrenchment Tour" Programs
Middletown, VA ----- Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, in partnership with the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, is pleased to announce the beginning of a new series of special programs which will explore some of the most extensive Civil War entrenchments in the park.These field fortifications, preserved by the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, were built by the Union army in the fall of 1864 and are some of the most pristine that survive in the Shenandoah Valley.
"What visitors will see is a snapshot of history that's very well preserved," said Tim Stowe, president of the Foundation. "What we would like to do is help educate the public and show them some of these historic resources that are here and help them understand why this area is important."
Although this entrenchment site was preserved by the Foundation years ago, thus preventing its development, it has never before been open to the public on a regular basis.These special walking tours
along this trench line will not only explain how these works were constructed, and what role they played in the Battle of Cedar Creek, fought on October 19, 1864, but also the evolving nature of fortifications throughout the Civil War.
These free tours last approximately two hours and will be offered every Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m., from July 16 through August 13.(Additional tours will also be offered occasionally this fall).Meet either the National Park Service ranger or Foundation staff at the parking lot of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation (8437 Valley Pike, Middletown, VA).Visitors will then car-pool to another site closer to the entrenchments.The tour covers a mile long trail through wooded, moderately hilly terrain.Good walking shoes or boots, water and bug spray are highly recommended.
For further information or a tour schedule contact the park at: (540) 869-3051 or (www.nps.gov/cebe) or the Foundation at: (540) 465-5884 or (www.cedarcreekbattlefield.org).
About Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park: Cedar Creek and Belle Grove commemorates a nationally significant Civil War landscape and antebellum plantation by sharing the story of Shenandoah Valley history from early settlement through the Civil War and beyond. The park is embedded within the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District, a National Heritage Area. Created on December 19, 2002, the park encompasses approximately 3,700 acres across three counties and includes the key partner sites of Belle Grove Plantation (owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and managed by Belle Grove, Inc.), Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation lands and Headquarters, Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation lands, and a developing Shenandoah County Park. The partner sites continue to be owned and operated independently.
Did You Know?
In 1860, Shenandoah Valley counties voted for John Bell, a moderate Democrat dedicated to maintaining the Union. Valley counties at a state convention urged staying in the Union, but after the firing on Fort Sumter they stayed with Virginia rather than joining the new state of West Virginia.