• Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP

    Cedar Creek & Belle Grove

    National Historical Park Virginia

Civil War Sesquicentennial

1864 Shenandoah Valley Sesquicentennial Events

In 2014, The National Park Service, the Key Partners, and many organizations throughout the Shenandoah Valley will commemorate the 150th anniversary of that year with a series of engaging and enlightening programs that will allow you to walk in history’s footsteps, at the actual battlefields and sites where the pivotal events took place. Make your plans now to be part of this series of events.

  • Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP Sesquicentennial Events (scroll down for more information)
  • National Park Service Battle of Cedar Creek Sesquicentennial Programs and Events (scroll down for more information)
  • National Park Service Guest Lecture Series (scroll down for more information)
  • National Park Service Sesquicentennial Outreach Programs (scroll down for more information)
  • Key Partner Sesquicentennial Information (scroll down for more information)

 
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP Sesquicentennial Events
Schedule subject to change

From October 17-20, 2014 the park will commemorate a battle that sealed the Shenandoah Valley's fate and secured a victorious re-election for President Abraham Lincoln. Come learn about the history, walk in the soldier's footsteps, and honor the memory of those who sacrificed everything on this hallowed ground.

Schedule and information can be found in the Commemorative Event Guide

Some partner activities require an entrance fee. For more information, go to ccbf.us

For more information about the Signal Knob, Hike Through History event.

Real Time Driving Directions - (maps to be posted sometime next week)
 

National Park Service Battle of Cedar Creek

150th Anniversary Activities, Ranger Programs and Facilities

Visitor Contact Station

7712 Main Street
Middletown, VA 22645
www.nps.gov/cebe
(540) 869-3051

Hours of Operation

Friday, Oct. 17 9am - 6pm
Saturday, Oct. 18 8am - 6pm
Sunday, Oct. 19 8am - 6pm
Monday, Oct. 20 8am - 4:30pm

National Park Service Shuttle

Saturday, October 18

A free shuttle is available on Saturday and follows the self-guided auto tour route. Please see the event map for shuttle stop locations.Take the shuttle to access:

Main Event Gate"

Thoburn/8th Corps Battlefield Station"

128th NY Monument/19th Corps Trenches Battlefield Station"

8th Vermont Battlefield Station"

Middletown Cemetery Battlefield Station"

Rienzi Knoll Battlefield Station"

Visitor Contact Station"

The shuttle will run from 8:30am until 5pm.

Sunday, October 19

The National Park Service will offer a free shuttle for those visitors wishing to attend the real-time programs.The shuttle will leave from the Visitor Contact Station in Middletown and will return after the morning and afternoon series of programs. The shuttle will accommodate approximately 100 visitors for each the morning and afternoon sessions.

Morning programs:departs at 4:30am and returns at 11:30 am (BRING FLASHLIGHTS)

Afternoon programs: departs at 1:30pm and returns at 6:30pm

Battlefield Stations

Take a Look Behind the Scenes

As Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP continues to grow and evolve, there are many resources and preserved lands that are not yet open to the public. These areas of the park will be open to visitors for the anniversary weekend. Take a moment and explore all the unique corners of the park, and learn their role in the Battle of Cedar Creek.Battlefield Stations will be open from 9am until 5pm on Saturday and Sunday and are free of charge. Sites can be accessed by car or with the Saturday NPS shuttle. Find the following locations on the event map in this guide and look for signs around the park to help navigate to these special places.

1—Thoburn's Position/8th Corps: This landscape preservesthe site of the left end of the Union line, held by Col. JosephThoburn's 8th Corps troops, and the scene of the beginning ofthe Confederate surprise assault.

2—128th New York Monument/19th Corps Trenches:
Constructed by the 19th Corps, these earthworks are some of the most well preserved Civil War entrenchments in the Valley. The 128th New York monument is one of only three veteran placed markers on the field.

3—8th Vermont Monument: This monument marks the locationwhere the 8th Vermont, along with three other Union regiments, made a sacrificial stand during the morning phase of the battle.

4—Middletown Cemetery: Modern Mount Carmel Cemeterymarks the scene of a desperate stand by part of the Union 6thCorps, amongst the tombstones of the town cemetery, whichdelayed the Confederates for 90 minutes during their morningattack.

5—Rienzi Knoll: The William Dinges Farm witnessed both theend of General Sheridan's famous "Ride," where he rallied his demoralized troops, and also the beginning of the Unioncounterattack that afternoon.

National Park Service Ranger Programs

Friday, October 17, 2014

10:00 am Battle of Cedar Creek Tour (car-caravan tour)A two-hour guided tour, using a car-caravan system (visitors follow the ranger's vehicle), which covers
the Battle of Cedar Creek in a chronological fashion.It includes approximately 5 or 6 stops at the key landmarks associated with the battle.

Location: National Park Service Visitor Contact Station (7712 Main Street, Middletown)


10:00 –2:00 Signal Knob Interpretive Hike and Program

Living History Signal Corps Demonstrations

Hike at your own pace and meet a National Park Service ranger at the top of Signal Knob to see the expansive Shenandoah Valley landscape and learn about the significance of the mountain during the Civil War. Signaling demonstrations will also be provided by the Warren Heritage Society. Hike with caution as it is hunting season.

Trailhead: The Signal Knob Parking Lot along Route 678 in the George Washington National Forest

WARNING: The hike to the summit of Signal Knob is approximately 10.2 miles, roundtrip.

The trail is considered strenuous and is steep and rocky. Please wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water and food.

2:00 pm Battle of Cedar Creek Tour (car-caravan tour) A two-hour guided tour, using a car-caravan system (visitors follow the ranger's vehicle), which covers the Battle of Cedar Creek in a chronological fashion.It includes approximately 5 or 6 stops at the key landmarks associated with the battle. Location: National Park Service Visitor Contact Station (7712 Main Street, Middletown)

5:00 pm "A House Divided: The Heater House" History at Sunset

The story of Solomon and Caroline Heater exemplifies the divided loyalties 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 home front in this special program that will traverse areas of the Cedar Creek Battlefield not regularly open to the public.Some moderate hiking will be required.

Location: Main entrance to Main Event Grounds, Route 11 south of Middletown.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Battlefield Station Programs

These special 45 minute programs explore each area of the battlefield, many of which are not normally accessible to the public, and explain their role in the battle.

9:00 am The Opening Attack
Location: 1-Thoburn's Position/8th Corps

10:00 am 19th Corps Trenches
Location: 2-128th NY Monument/19th Corps Trenches

11:00 am 8th Vermont
Location: 3-8th Vermont Monument

12:00 pm Cemetery Hill
Location: 4-Middletown Cemetery

12:00 pm The Opening Attack
Location: 1-Thoburn's Position/8th Corps

1:00 pm Rienzi Knoll
Location: 5-Rienzi Knoll

1:00 pm 19th Corps Trenches
Location: 2-128th NY Monument/19th Corps Trenches

2:00 pm 8th Vermont
Location: 3-8th Vermont Monument

3:00 pm Cemetery Hill
Location: 4-Middletown Cemetery

4:00 pm Rienzi Knoll
Location: 5-Rienzi Knoll

Battle Tours

These two hour tours provide an in-depth explanation of each action, most of which occurred on ground not normally open to the public.Some moderate walking may be required.

9:00–11:00 am "...a storm of bullets swept the ground..."
The stand of the 30th Massachusetts & 114th New York Infantry Regiments (walking tour)

Location: Belle Grove Special Events Parking Lot


2:00—4:00 pm "To tell the truth, it all turned into a panic"
Calvary at the Battle of Cedar Creek
(car caravan tour)
Location: National Park Service Visitor Contact Station (7712 Main Street, Middletown)

The Battle of Cedar Creek in a Box (Battle Overview Program) 11:30 am, 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm

This 30 minute interactive program provides an overview of the Battle of Cedar Creek, by using the surrounding landscape features and various props (taken from a box) to "create" the battlefield and literally walk visitors through the battle.Great for kids and adults alike!

Location:Front lawn of Belle Grove (Ticketed Event Grounds)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Real-Time Anniversary Programs

Driving Directions for the Real Time Programs - (Maps will be posted sometime next week)

This set of 12 programs (30-60 minutes each) follow the battle chronologically and as close to "real-time" these events occurred 150th years ago.Each program examines a particular area or action and be a stand-alone presentation.Thus, visitors can choose to attend individual programs, or take in the entire series.Visitors can either drive their own vehicles to each presentation (maps and driving directions will be available) or take one of the NPS shuttle buses that will follow the morning and afternoon series of programs (visitors taking the shuttle buses, therefore, will attend all of the programs that make up a set).

5:00 am Surprise Attack! (BRING FLASHLIGHT)
Location: 1-Thoburn/8th Corps

6:00 am The 19th Corps (BRING FLASHLIGHT)
Location: 2-128th NY Monument/19th Corps Trenches

6:45 am Stand of the 8th Vermont (BRING FLASHLIGHT)
Location: 3-8th Vermont Monument

7:30 am Belle Grove
Location: Belle Grove

8:20 am The 6th Corps
Location:Intersection of Meadow Mills Road &McCune Road

9:00 am Stand on Cemetery Hill &the "Fatal Halt"
Location:4-Middletown Cemetery

10:30 am The Union Line Rallies
Location:5—Rienzi Knoll

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

2:00 pm Clash of Cavalry
Location:Hite's Chapel, 150 Chapel Road, Middletown

3:00 pm Sheridan Prepares a Counterattack
Location: 5-Rienzi Knoll

4:00 pm Counterattack!
Location:Lord Fairfax Community College-south parking lot

4:45 pm Action on the Union Left
Location:Thorndale Farm, 652 N. Buckton Road, Middletown

6:00 pm Confederate Rout
Location: St. Thomas Chapel, corner of Church St. and Shawn Drive, Middletown

Battle Tour

This two hour tour will follow in the footsteps of one of the leading Confederate divisions that launched its overwhelmingly successfully surprise attack against the unsuspecting Union army.Follow their advance from the crossing of Cedar Creek to their capture of the Union entrenchments.Moderate walking is involved.Sturdy footgear, water and insect repellant are recommended.

9:00-11:00 am "Such confusion, such a panic, was never witnessed before..."

The Opening Attack by Kershaw's Division (walking tour)

Location:Bowman-Hite Farm, 621 Bowman's Mill Road

Battle of Cedar Creek Tour (car caravan tour)

A special three-hour guided anniversary tour, using a car-caravan system (visitors follow the ranger's vehicle), which covers the Battle of Cedar Creek in a chronological fashion.It includes approximately 5 or 6 stops at the key landmarks associated with the battle.

11:30 am—2:30 pm Location: National Park Service Visitor Contact Station (7712 Main Street, Middletown)

The Battle of Cedar Creek in a Box (Battle Overview Program)10:00 am, 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm

This 30 minute interactive program provides an overview of the Battle of Cedar Creek, by using the surrounding landscape features and various props (taken from a box) to "create" the battlefield and literally walk visitors through the battle.Great for kids and adults alike!

Location: Front lawn of Belle Grove (Ticketed Event Grounds)

Explore the Battlefield

Beyond the planned activities, visitors are encouraged to tour the entire battlefield and experience history on the landscape. Visitors can explore the park in several ways:

″Self-Guided Auto Tour - free brochures are available at the Visitor Contact Station or the NPS Tent at the Ticketed Event Grounds. The auto tour consists of an 18 mile tour with 10 stops and followings the battle chronologically. An accompanying CD audio narrative can also be borrowed for free.Temporary signage will also be set up that weekend to direct visitors along the route.

″Civil War Trust Mobile App - Download a free interactive mobile application that contains tours, maps, historic photographs, illustrations, and videos. Download at www.civilwar.org/battleapps (for both iPhone and Android devices)

 

150thAnniversary
National ParkService Guest Lecture Series
1864 ShenandoahValley Campaign

October 23rd, 7:00 p.m.
Rediscovering the James E. Taylor Sketchbook
Dennis Frye, Chief of Interpretation, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Dana MacBean, Curator of Exhibits, Parris Island Museum, USMC
Location: Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst Street, Winchester, VA22601

November 13th 7:00p.m.
"Ours is no longer a divided country"
The Path to Reconciliation in the Shenandoah Valley
Jonathan Noyalas, Associate Professor of History, Lord Fairfax Community College
Location: Carl and Emily Thompson Conference Center, Corron Building , Lord Fairfax CommunityCollege, 173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645

 

National Park Service Sesquicentennial Outreach Programs

October 9 - "On This Day" Battle of Tom's Brook Anniversary Tour (4:00 pm)
This car caravan tour, led by Ranger Eric Campbell, will examine the clash between Union and Confederate cavalry forces, which resulted a lop-sided victory for Union troopers and became known as the "Woodstock Races." This tour will cover key areas such as Spiker's Hill, Tom's Brook, Round Hill and others. Meet at the Shenandoah County Park, 380 Park Lane, Maurertown, VA 22664


October 13 - "On This Day" Battle of Hupp's Hill Anniversary Tour (4:00 pm) Presented by the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation.
Join Historian Richard Kleese as he describes this engagement and its impact on the Battle of Cedar Creek less than a week later. A Confederate reconnaissance of the Union positions along Cedar Creek resulted in some sharp fighting on the slopes of Hupp's Hill, just north ofStrasburg. Some moderate walking is involved. Meet at the Hupp's Hill Civil War Park, 33229 Old Valley Pike,Strasburg, VA 22664

 

Key Partner Sesquicentennial Information

 
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Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation's Sesquicentennial Events

Eight counties in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia have been designated as a National Heritage Area - The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District - which preserves and interprets the region's significant Civil War battlefields and related historic sites. The effort is led by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, which works with partners to preserve the hollowed ground of the Valley's Civil War battlefields, and to share its Civil War story with the nation.

In 2014, the National Heritage Area's many sites will commemorate the 150th anniversary of 1864 with a series of engaging and enlightening programs. Please visit Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation Sesquicentennial Events Page.

2014 Sesquicenntennial Programs in the Shenandoah Valley

 
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Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Sesquicentennial Events

Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation will be hosting the 150th Anniversary Re-enactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek. To find out more about the event follow the links below.

Spectator Information

Reenactor Information

 
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Belle Grove Plantation Sesquicentennial Events

Belle Grove Plantation will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19. All sesquicentennial events at Belle Grove will be included with ticketed admission (tickets at http://ccbf.us). Belle Grove will have living history interpreters in each room of the Manor House and on the front lawn. A symposium tent behind the house will feature three lectures on Saturday and two on Sunday (see schedule at http://www.nps.gov/cebe/planyourvisit/upload/CEBE-150-Event-Program-web-version-2.pdf). On Saturday, October 18 at 5:00 p.m. the Commemoration Ceremony will take place in field in front of Belle Grove's Manor House.

Visitors may access Belle Grove via a walking path from the reenactor camps or by the free shuttle bus that will circulate between the properties. There is no spectator parking at Belle Grove except for the Commemoration Ceremony on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Belle Grove will be closed to the public on Friday, October 17 to host school tours.

 

Did You Know?

Union soldiers marching during the 2005 battle reenactment

The Union victory in the Battle of Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864), combined with the capture of Atlanta by Gen. Sherman in September, likely contributed to the reelection of President Abraham Lincoln in 1864.